ZThe wake of NATO was "keeping the Russians out, the Americans inside and the Germans ashore," said the British Hastings Ismay in 1949, before becoming the first Secretary General of the organization. At that time, Britain considered itself on an equal footing with the Americans and had little interest in uniting Europe, which pushed France to "keep the Germans in its own way" and "stay at home". summit "on the European continent. Half a century later, unfortunately, we must realize that British European policy has failed completely. After the ruin of the British economy by socialist experiments, the country joined in 1973 in the hope of economic salvation of the European Economic Community.
Under Margaret Thatcher, the British government pursued the project of a single common market in the 1980s. In 1990, Britain had even joined the European monetary system. From then on, the situation deteriorated: in 1992, the pound sterling escaped from the monetary system, the country remained away from the euro and the should soon leave the European Union. Ismail's expectations vis-à-vis NATO have also disappeared: the Russians return to Europe via Ukraine and Turkey, the United States of Donald Trump abandon their partners of the 39; alliance in case of emergency and Germany caused a military disorder. Shards where you look.
But Britain is not alone. With the revival of Russia 's aggressiveness, the unreliability of Americans and the military inability of Germany, French European politics has an open flank on the outside.
In addition, the French economy lacks international competitiveness, the country is highly indebted, the European Monetary Union's preferred French project is still fragile and the nationalist parties are also developing in France. With Ursula von der Leyen and Christine Lagarde, President Emmanuel Macron has installed supporters of French politics in European power centers. But this will not be enough to stabilize the European project. The European Union is crumbling everywhere. A restart would be necessary.
The most urgent need would be to set up a European defense community to effectively protect its external borders against illegal immigration and to face the new threat posed by Russia. Border protection can hardly be permanently outsourced to Turkey and Libya. And no later than since the US government sold its Kurdish arms brothers in the fight against "Islamic State" to the Turkish ruler Erdogan, everyone should realize that Europe alone must ensure his defense.
Secondly, trade integration should be promoted by completing the European Single Market in order to reduce Europe 's dependence on world trade. Trump's compromise with China not only reduces global trade, but also initiates a process of deglobalization, in which cross-border value chains have been renationalized. In order to reduce the associated inefficiencies and support economic growth, intra-European trade should be stepped up.
And thirdly, the euro should be placed on a stable basis. For that, a union of fragile banks and the pooling of the responsibility of over-indebted states will not be enough. The next recession will most likely trigger a banking and sovereign crisis even more serious than the previous one, which can no longer be covered by monetary multiplication. I think that the euro will only be saved by converting to digital central bank money, as described in the column of 22 June, before being converted into faded money or national currency.
A fresh start for the EU could also be used to better anchor Britain in Europe. On the one hand, a European defense community without Britain would not be fragmented. On the other hand, in an increasingly protectionist global environment, Britain will probably be close to the EU. The reorganization of the euro could reduce the pressure of the EU for "ever closer integration", thus facilitating the integration of Eurosceptic countries into the EU.
Thomas Mayer is the founding director of the
Flossbach Research Institute of Storch and
Professor at the University of Witten / Herdecke.