Train station in Germany

Le moment de la revanche au pays de Schengen

FRANCFORT – Le rêve de longue date d'une Europe sans frontières, devenu réalité au milieu des années 1990, est en train de s’évanouir rapidement. L’Italie est en train de bloquer une décision de l'Union européenne qui entendait payer la Turquie pour qu’elle empêche les réfugiés de traverser la Méditerranée et d’entrer en Grèce pour rejoindre l'Allemagne, la Suède ou d'autres pays d'Europe du Nord. En réponse, le ministre allemand des Finances, Wolfgang Schäuble, a appelé à la solidarité, avertissant que sinon les gardes-frontières pourraient bientôt être de retour à leurs postes, en commençant par la frontière germano-autrichienne.

Bien sûr, la dissolution de l'accord de Schengen, qui a institué la circulation sans passeport au sein de presque l’entièreté de l'UE à partir de 1995, ne doit pas nécessairement marquer la fin du projet européen, du moins en principe. D’un point de vue économique, les contrôles aux frontières fonctionnent comme des impôts ; ils provoquent des distorsions de l'activité, en augmentant les coûts de transaction et en réduisant les flux de biens et de services transfrontaliers. Sans ces contrôles – et, plus important encore, avec une monnaie unique – un marché est plus efficace.

Cela ne signifie pas, bien sûr, que le marché unique ne peut pas fonctionner avec des contrôles aux frontières ou plusieurs devises. Cela signifie simplement que cette « renationalisation » comporterait des coûts énormes, sous la forme d’une réduction substantielle de la productivité et d’une production significativement plus faible.

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