European Union flags on a terrace.

La desintegración de Europa

LONDRES – Si hacía falta una señal clara de que la Unión Europea se cae a pedazos a ritmo de vértigo, basta ver la decisión de Hungría de construir un vallado de alambre de púas a lo largo de la frontera con la vecina Croacia (también miembro de la UE). Ya la crisis de la eurozona fragmentó los flujos financieros, causó divergencia entre las economías, debilitó el apoyo político a las instituciones de la UE y enfrentó a los europeos entre sí. Ahora, conforme los gobiernos erigen barreras y restauran controles de frontera, la crisis de los refugiados viene a poner trabas al flujo de personas y el comercio internacional. Y mientras la UE se deshace, aumenta el riesgo de que Gran Bretaña vote por abandonarla.

Suele decirse que la UE progresa gracias a las crisis, porque estas concentran la atención en la necesidad imperiosa de aumentar la integración. Pero para que haya tal progreso se necesitan al menos cuatro ingredientes: una correcta interpretación compartida del problema, acuerdo respecto de un modo eficaz de superarlo, voluntad para ceder más soberanía y líderes políticos capaces de impulsar los cambios. Hoy, faltan las cuatro cosas.

Los líderes europeos son débiles, están divididos y parecen incapaces de plantear una visión creíble de los beneficios de una mayor integración; eso les impide conseguir apoyo popular y convencer a los gobiernos renuentes a compartir la parte que les toca de los costos presentes. Por falta de una respuesta eficaz compartida, las crisis europeas empeoran, se refuerzan mutuamente y fomentan el unilateralismo.

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