Wie man die europäische Integration populär machen könnte

Überall in der Europäischen Union haben Globalisierungsängste und die Antipathie gegenüber Integration und Einwanderung zu einem massiven politischen Fallout geführt. Hierzu gehören auch die gescheiterten Volksabstimmungen in Frankreich und der Niederlande sowie die De-facto-Aussetzung der Beitrittsgespräche mit der Türkei. Der Europäische Rat und die Kommission haben hilflos zugesehen, als ob sie hierfür nicht zuständig wären.

Herkömmliche Weisheit legt nahe, dass die Unfähigkeit der EU zur Bewältigung der mit der Integration verbundenen Schwierigkeiten durch starre Wirtschaftsstrukturen und unzulängliche Personalressourcen bedingt ist – Schwächen, die sich nur durch nationale Strategien bewältigen lassen, bei denen die EU kaum eine Rolle spielt. Doch beachtliche politische Spillover-Effekte überall in der EU rechtfertigen eine verstärkte politische Koordinierung von Arbeitsmarkt- und Sozialreformen.

Der wesentliche Grund, warum sich die Vorteile des Binnenmarktes und der Währungsunion bisher nicht in vollem Umfang eingestellt haben, sind veraltete Arbeitsmarktbestimmungen. Die mangelnde Flexibilität auf dem Arbeitsmarkt insbesondere in Frankreich, Deutschland und Italien hemmt die Anpassung an den zunehmenden Wettbewerb sich integrierender Märkte. Wer seinen Arbeitsplatz verliert, kann wegen der Einstiegsbarrieren keinen neuen finden, und wer eine Arbeit hat, fühlt sich wegen der hohen Langzeitarbeitslosigkeit bedroht. Beide Gruppen beobachten Einwanderung und die Integration des Binnenmarktes mit Sorge und wenden sich daher zunehmend von Europa ab.

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