The European Union is faltering under the constant blows of the coronavirus.
European citizens are less pro-EU and the frictions among the leaders of the member states are increasing. Italians are losing faith in EU as well as Spain and Greece. The breakdown of a relatively young union seems not to be so far away.
A new reason for discord was found as concerns economic aid to states. Coronabonds are a simple utopia. The countries of Northern Europe, headed by Berlin, are not willing to negotiate on this issue. On the other hand, the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) came back strong and arrogant. However, the European Stability Mechanism does not like countries in the Mediterranean area because joining the ESM would mean following the guidelines imposed by the EU. Indeed, the ESM is a European financial fund for the financial stability of the euro area. The fund is managed by the Board of Governors made up of the euro area financial ministers, a Board of Directors (appointed by the Board of Governors) and a general manager, as well as the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the President of the ECB in the role of observers. The fund issues loans (granted at fixed or variable rates) to provide financial assistance to countries in difficulty and purchases securities on the primary market, but under very strict conditions. These rigorous conditions can range from a program of macroeconomic corrections to constant compliance with predefined eligibility conditions. In practice, by taking advantage of the ESM, states would lose part of their sovereignty.
The countries in greatest difficulties are calling for solidarity. Unfortunately, the European Union does not seem to respond adequately.
In the meantime, some states seem to want to take advantage of the current situation to implement entirely questionable policies. This is the case of Hungary, where President Victor Orban has decided to govern Hungary with the full powers made available by a law approved with the vote of the deputies of Fidesz – the sovereign majority party led by Orban – and some deputies of the extremist wing of the Hungarian right. Orbán’s idea of facing the Coronavirus emergency with exceptional measures and powers coincides perfectly with his desire to obtain full powers, without specifying any time limit.
Would this be the European Union that Alcide De Gasperi, Altiero Spinelli, Robert Schuman, Jean Monnet, Konrad Adenauer, Joseph Bach and Paul-Henri Spaak had dreamed of?
The end of the European Union could be much closer than you think.
By: Domenico Greco