The Roman Empire stretched as far as the Danube and the Rhine, where the name of Cologne itself still recalls the ancient Romans. But it was precisely the “northern barbarians” that put an end to it. And central Europe, the Mitteleuropa of the upper Danube, experienced the many migrations that completely changed the face of Europe.
The current refugee crisis facing Europe has proven to be more than just a humanitarian tragedy; it has become a huge test for the EU’s capability in dealing with such crises.
Europe and Germany cannot be an island of contentment, because cross-border crises do not simply disappear by building walls, looking away and failing to act.
No more excuses: either our continent really unites or it is destined to fall apart under external and internal strains. The ongoing refugee crisis is one more demonstration of the need for a Europe with one voice, one plan and pooled resources. Huge damage has already been done by interventions in countries like Iraq, Syria and Libya, with the acquiescence if not active participation of some European countries: interventions of dubious legality lacking a plan for the day after.
In the European Parliament the head of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) for the Eurozone banks has committed herself to restraining financial institutions and closely monitoring the models they use to calculate risks. Danièle Nouy has given assurances that “we will be a demanding supervisor, however at all times we shall strive to make our action fair and impartial.” The SMM just published its first report that has overseen more than 6,000 banks in the region since last November.
By Driss Ouazzani
Josep Borell, a Spanish politician of the Worker´s Socialist Party (PSOE), was President of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2007. Here he speaks from his heart on a range of issues that concern Europe, from the financial crisis and euroskepticism to fiscal evasion and TTIP, with special references to Spain and the European South.
The high drama that is unfolding following the coming to power in Greece of a new government led by left-wing SYRIZA, and similar trends in Spain with the most recent massive show of force by Podemos at Puerta del Sol in Madrid, signal a new era in European and possibly global politics. This is no passing phenomenon but rather an inevitable result of the unsustainability of the existing financial system and the way it is managed in the European context and beyond. This sort of “European Spring”, thankfully not bloody nor as chaotic as its Arab counterpart, can bring good and bad things, depending on how it will be handled by the main protagonists, including the Greeks themselves but also the Germans, other EU nations, and the EU and Eurozone institutions…