Jean-Claude Juncker at European Parliament. European Parliament/Flickr

Het beheersbaar maken van Europa’s problematiek

NEW YORK – De Chinezen wijzen er vaak op dat in hun taal de begrippen crisis en kans door hetzelfde karakter worden weergegeven. Maar ook al is het waar dat crisis en kans vaak hand in hand gaan, het is moeilijk in de huidige situatie van Europa veel kansen te ontwaren.

Eén reden dat de huidige situatie waarin Europa zich bevindt zo moeilijk is, is dat die zo onverwachts kwam. Hier staan we dan, zeventig jaar na het einde van de Tweede Wereldoorlog, een kwart eeuw na het einde van de Koude Oorlog, en zo'n twee decennia na de Balkan-oorlogen: plotseling lijkt de politieke, economische en strategische toekomst van Europa veel onzekerder dan iemand nog maar een jaar geleden had durven voorspellen.

Een andere reden om bezorgd te zijn is dat Europa niet voor één crisis staat, maar voor verschillende. De eerste is economisch van aard: niet slechts de huidige realiteit van trage groei, maar het vooruitzicht dat deze trage groei zonder respijt zal aanhouden, vooral dankzij een beleid dat bedrijven vaak ontmoedigt om te investeren en mensen aan te nemen. De opkomst van populistische partijen ter linker- en rechterzijde over het hele continent is het bewijs van de frustraties en angsten onder de bevolking.

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