Nordirland: Zwischen Optimismus und Hoffnung

Die Franzosen sagen, dass Optimisten solche sind, die eine Frage nicht verstanden haben. Das Hauptereignis dieser Woche in Irland widerspricht solchem Zynismus. Einer der hartnäckigsten Konflikte, den Europa überhaupt kennt, steht kurz vor einer Lösung, denn Schlüsselelemente des Belfast-Abkommens, das im April 1998 unterzeichnet und in beiden Teilen Irlands per Referendum gebilligt worden war, sind in jüngster Zeit umgesetzt worden. Grundlegende konstitutionelle Reformen haben die britisch-irischen Beziehungen positiv verändert und brachten dadurch gleichzeitig Lektionen für andere Konflikte in Europa und anderswo.

Der irische Nobelpreisträger für Literatur Seamus Heaney unterscheidet zwischen Optimismus als dem Wunsch nach einer besseren Zukunft und der Hoffnung als der mehr rationell begründeten Erwartungshaltung, dass etwas tatsächlich wahr werden kann. In diesem Fall würden sich Hoffnung und Geschichte sehr nahe kommen, wie der Literat es ausdrückt. Folgt man jedoch den bedeutsamen Ereignissen der letzten Wochen, befindet sich Nordirland in der Spanne irgendwo zwischen Optimismus und Hoffnung.

Am Donnerstag, den 2.Dezember 1999, wurde in Belfast eine aus 10 Personen bestehende Regionalregierung eingesetzt, die religions- und parteienübergreifend die Macht und zahlreiche Befugnisse von der britischen Regierung in London übernommen hat. Die irische Regierung hat auf ihre Gebietsforderungen an Nord-Irland verzichtet. Das Konsens-Prinzip ist weitgehend akzeptiert worden, was bedeutet, dass der konstitutionelle Status Nordirlands als ein Teil des Vereinigten Königreiches erhalten bleibt. Er könnte sich nur dann ändern, wenn die Bevölkerungsmehrheit für eine Vereinigung mit Irland stimmt.

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