WEEKLY COMMENT 28-01-2016
By Barry Edwards
The future of the EU
This week has been dominated by the immigration problem, Brexit and the small amounts of tax that is paid by the technology multinationals in the EU. There is also another discussion evolving from many member countries about the future of the EU and whether it can survive the many difficulties that it is now facing. Many commentators are saying that if a resolution is not found to the pressing problems, the continued existence of the EU in its current form is seriously threatened. Ever since the financial crisis, the challenges that keep on confronting the politicians are testing the structure and concepts of the union to the extent where it is not easy to predict the likely outcome.
The immediate requirement is that solutions are required now, while all the suggestions being put forward will take time to be implemented, in some cases years. It seems the people of Europe are not willing to wait for the politicians to prevaricate while many regions are being swamped by immigrants with nowhere to live who require support to be absorbed into the community. The reaction is to reconstruct the borders that were dismantled as countries joined the EU moving the problem to the entry points of the immigrants which currently is mainly Greece.
It is only a matter of time before something occurs to instigate an event that has serious implications for Europe. The EU does not appear to be equipped to handle situations like this which would mean that each country must do its best to resolve any dispute directly. If an incident did transpire it could spark a reaction throughout the continent compounded by all the other problems that many people are dismayed about. It could become very serious and especially difficult to resolve.
That is a scenario that no one wishes to see happen and if the politicians do come forward with a plan to cope with the problem, it should control most possibilities but the risk is still very real when people in some parts of Europe are struggling to survive financially. At times like this, real leadership from the politicians is needed and the only candidate for that is Angela Merkel who has been having a rough time ever since the events in Cologne. There does not appear to be anyone else who could take over from her waiting in the wings.
History is full of small situations flaring up to start major events that have had an enormous influence over the future of countries and empires that were not anticipated at the time. In my view, we are looking at a potential catalyst in Europe which would have reactions around the world because it would create a power vacuum in the world order of things. Russia has been showing aggressive tendencies recently making the situation sensitive which must be of great concern to world leaders watching events unfold.
It is almost certain that the politicians around the world are trying to mitigate the likelihood of this probability but when you have one culture clashing with another that has a very different view of life; it is always uncertain how events will develop. There is a real need for a grand plan to emerge for the EU to concentrate the minds of people on future prospects rather than reflecting on current circumstances. It would provide hope and eventually prosperity for the majority of people, especially those in southern Europe who have had a rough time since the financial crisis.
Some politicians in the EU are calling for better planning and more investment throughout the continent to take advantage of very low interest rates that prevail at the moment. There does seem to be resistance to this from some northern member countries but as most immigrants wish to reside in Germany and Sweden, attitudes may well change quite quickly. The EU has the ability to react quickly as the recent financial crisis has demonstrated, the leaders will have to concentrate on getting people back to work and improve the prospects for everyone if they are going to counteract the potential problems that are looming.
We are experiencing troubled times again that could get out of hand. This is the time for a strong leader to emerge with the character and personality to convince people to make the best of their lives with the full financial support of the EU to invest in the future. If that person is out there, he or she needs to emerge soon to inspire the people of Europe to become a strong influence in the world.
That’s all for this week, more observations next week.