Dealing with the migration crisis
The problem of migration continues to be highly and hotly debated. Both Cas Mudde on openDemocracy and The Guardian’s editorial argue for stronger action from the EU if the refugee crisis is to be solved and that policies in this respect demand EU-wide cooperation. In particular, the former offers five key principles for action to deal with the crisis: make a clear distinction between (economic) immigrant and (political) refugees; be open to refugees and strategic towards immigrants; make integration policy national and immigration policy European; significantly increase foreign aid spending; do not intervene in foreign countries without seriously taking into account the migration effect. The latter, on the other hand, claims that, unless legal channels are created, illegal migration is doomed to persist, and that legal migration is crucial to an aging Europe, which needs young migrants who will become future taxpayers.
With respect to the referendum in the United Kingdom, perspectives diverge as usual. Nicoalus Blome, on Politico, writes that Brexit may constitute a threat to the EU because of the effect it may have on Germany. If Germany were to follow the same logic of the UK and do the same, Europe would collapse. And this is the reason why we should be concerned about Brexit. A different point of view is defended by Alessio Colonnelli on openDemocracy, where he argues that Brexit could be of help for the EU in provoking political change. Colonnelli suggests that a better Europe could be created if the theories of economist Thomas Piketty were implemented and that such a move could re-gain the attention and interest of Great Britain.
It’s the Eu economy, baby
This week’s debates have also revolved around economic policies and reforms for the European Union. In general, Stefano Micossi on Eutopia Magazine observes that, according to a recent study, EU citizens are not wholly satisfied with European institutions, but they are not wiling to abandon them either. The problem lies in the economic crisis, which has provoked a dangerous detachment between public opinion and European institutions. For this reason, solutions to reconcile Europe in its economic and social dimensions are crucial. In this sense, Petros Fassoulas, on EurActiv, argues that, for a genuine economic governance and an effective common European economic policy, reinforcing a political union is the only way. In order to achieve this, joint budgetary and fiscal coordination, convergence in economic policies, a fiscal capacity for counter-cyclical policies, and a social dimension are needed. A political union would require: an increase in the executive powers of the European Commission; the establishment of a High Representative for the Eurozone; a more influential European Parliament; an European Unemployment Insurance Scheme, which would function as a stabilization and solidarity mechanism; a way to mitigate negative impacts of social divergence, and increase the connection with citizens through mainstreaming the social dimension.
Instead of taking a specific view on the required policies needed by the European Union, Thomas Fazi on openDemocracy considers the status of the European economy from the perspective of the history of ideas. In particular, he starts by expressing his surprise that Keynesianism has not emerged as a solution to the 2008 financial crisis, but that neoliberalism is rampant, whether we like it or not. In his view, neoliberalism provides a stagnation trajectory, by sustaining the interests of the dominant political-economical establishment. In order to reverse this worrying trend, Fazi invites citizens to participate in political struggles to better the system.
Photo Credits CC: European Commission DG ECHO
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