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Europa ist vom Kurs abgekommen

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Europas Reaktion auf die strategischen Herausforderungen, mit denen es konfrontiert ist – Russlands Aggression in der Ukraine; Menschen, die vor der Gewalt im Nahen Osten fliehen; Unruhen in Nordafrika – erweckt den Eindruck, dass die europäischen  Staats- und Regierungschefs keine Ahnung haben, was sie tun sollen. Und vielleicht wissen sie es wirklich nicht – eine Realität, die anerkannt werden muss, nicht verschleiert.

Vereinfacht ausgedrückt, wird die Reaktion der Europäischen Union auf den Druck von außen, dem sie derzeit ausgesetzt ist, durch die stagnierende Wirtschaft bedingt; die innere Krise hat den EU-Staats- und Regierungschefs kaum Handlungsspielraum gelassen. Glücklicherweise hat Europa die Möglichkeit, diese Krise zu bewältigen, wenn es Weisheit walten und den politischen Willen aufbringen kann.

Der Ursprung der Probleme der EU findet sich in ihrer Reaktion auf die globale Finanzkrise 2008: zwei Jahre expansive fiskalpolitische Maßnahmen. Diese haben zwar kaum zum Wachstum beigetragen, aber eine erdrückende Staatsverschuldung entstehen lassen. Sieben Jahre später ist das Bruttoinlandsprodukt pro Kopf in der EU nicht höher als zu Beginn der Krise. Der öffentliche Schuldenstand ist unterdessen auf 87% des BIP gestiegen und lässt wenig Raum für politische Flexibilität oder Innovation.

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