Dated European map

Europas drei Bruchlinien

PARIS – Vor zehn oder zwanzig Jahren lautete die existenzielle Frage für die Europäische Union, ob sie in einer globalisierten Welt noch einen Zweck erfüllt. Heute lautet die Frage, ob die EU wirksam auf schwere externe Schocks reagieren kann.

Europas Nachbarschaft ist arm und gefährlich. Südlich von Gibraltar fällt das Pro-Kopf-Einkommen um mehr als das Fünffache. In der Ukraine tobte vor kurzem ein Krieg. Der israelisch-palästinensische Konflikt hält seit über 50 Jahren an. Und der Krieg im Irak war kaum zu Ende, als in Syrien das Chaos ausbrach.

Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg konnte es sich Europa mehrere Jahrzehnte lang leisten, über die Geschehnisse jenseits seiner Grenzen hinwegzusehen: für die Sicherheit waren die Vereinigten Staaten zuständig. Doch die Dinge haben sich geändert. Der Rückzug der USA aus dem Irak ließ die Grenzen ihres Engagements erkennen und die Probleme in der unmittelbaren Nachbarschaft der EU – nicht nur in Syrien, sondern auch im Osten und im Süden – machen sich nun bemerkbar. Man müsste eigentlich meinen, dass Selbstschutz und die Stabilisierung des Umfelds die oberste Priorität der EU wäre.

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