Train station in Germany

Es hora de saldar cuentas en la tierra Schengen

FRÁNCFORT – El sueño tan anhelado de una Europa sin fronteras, que se volvió realidad a mediados de los años 1990, se está evaporando rápidamente. Italia está bloqueando una decisión de la Unión Europea de sobornar a Turquía para que impida que los refugiados crucen a Grecia en su camino hacia Alemania, Suecia u otros países del norte de Europa. En respuesta, el ministro de finanzas alemán, Wolfgang Schäuble, reclamó solidaridad y advirtió que, de no contar con ella, los guardias fronterizos pronto podrían regresar a sus puestos, empezando por la frontera germano-austríaca.

Sin duda, la disolución del Acuerdo Schengen, que instituyó los viajes sin necesidad de pasaporte dentro de gran parte de la UE a partir de 1995, no tiene por qué marcar el fin del proyecto europeo, al menos no en principio. Desde un punto de vista económico, los controles fronterizos actúan como si fueran impuestos: distorsionan la actividad al aumentar los costos de las transacciones y reducir los flujos transfronterizos de bienes y servicios. Sin ellos -y, más importante aún, con una moneda única- un mercado es más efectivo.

Eso no significa, por supuesto, que el mercado único no pueda funcionar con controles fronterizos o múltiples monedas. Simplemente implica que este tipo de "renacionalización" conllevaría costos enormes, que se traducirían en una productividad sustancialmente reducida y en una producción significativamente más baja.

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