The terrorists have changed Europe

20 November 2015 4:21 pm

The attacks by jihadists and the flood of refugees have struck at the heart of what Europe is all about.

First, the border checkpoints are going up. What we’re now seeing is the fragmentation of Europe with each state protecting itself. The founding principle of the European Union, the free flow of people and capital is now being challenged.

Refugees have been pouring into Greece where there is no housing or accommodation. If the European Union was functioning as an integrated entity, they would have sent a European security force to Greece to impose some sort of order. But they didn’t, because they weren’t integrated. Instead, Germany and other European countries attacked Greece for failing to protect its borders.

At the same time, Hungary is cutting itself from Europe by building a wall as is Austria, and Slovenia. And the Dutch are looking at creating a mini-Schengen zone comprising Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria,

So much for the free flow of people.

The attacks of the jihadists have seen more walls going up. The French are already pushing for tighter controls on everyone entering and leaving Europe’s 26-country free-travel area

What we’re seeing is the new Europe, or rather a return to the old Europe. The nation states are reasserting their rights to say who can enter their borders, something that the EU was trying to do away with.

The bottom line is that the transnational nature of Europe is unsustainable. How do you bring together nations where some have unemployment above 20 per cent, others at 5 per cent? How do you bring different economies together in one trade and monetary regime when certain industries like agriculture are protected?

The refugee crisis and the jihadists have bought these tensions to the fore. Europe is fragmenting. The European Union can’t be sustained.