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David Cameron und das Waterloo der EU

PRINCETON – In diesem Monat vor zweihundert Jahren, als Napoleon Bonaparte in der Schlacht von Waterloo einer alliierten Armee unter der Führung des Duke of Wellington unterlag, wurden die Weichen für Europas Zukunft neu gestellt. Heute ist Großbritannien möglicherweise bereit, das erneut zu tun.

Das Vereinigte Königreich, dessen neue konservative Mehrheitsregierung sich verpflichtete, Ende 2017, aber vielleicht auch schon nächstes Jahr ein Referendum über den Verbleib des Landes in der Europäischen Union abzuhalten, ist nicht der Ausnahmefall, als der es oftmals hingestellt wird. Vielmehr bildet das Land die Speerspitze der institutionellen Verkümmerung der EU. Selbst wenn Großbritannien EU-Mitglied bleibt, wird es weiterhin stetig von Europa abrücken. Und angesichts attraktiverer wirtschaftlicher Chancen anderswo, werden die meisten europäischen Länder diesem Beispiel folgen.

Die Erfüllung der britischen Forderungen – beschränkte Leistungen für Arbeitsmigranten, eingeschränkte Regulierungen des Finanzsektors, die der City of London schaden könnten und das Abrücken von dem Ziel einer „immer engeren Union“ - würde einen grundlegenden Wandel der EU erfordern, zu dem auch absolut undurchführbare Änderungen in jenen Verträgen zählen, die die Grundlage europäischer Institutionen bilden. Aus diesem Grund ist mittlerweile auch ein Sonderstatus für Großbritannien oder die Ausstiegsmöglichkeit aus weiteren EU-Bestimmungen Gegenstand der Diskussionen.

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