Where is the Europe that protects?

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EU countries are lowering the barriers in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. A European response could be much more effective than this small-scale state.
A Europe without borders – this dream is over for now. A number of EU member states have closed their borders, including Germany. Blocking is justified with the spread of the coronavirus.

To leave no doubt here. The virus is dangerous. The chains of infection must be broken quickly. But it is also clear that the virus has spread across Europe, so there should be European answers. But there is no such thing. The barriers are falling, in both large and small member states. It is not surprising.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said a few days ago that it is very important to her in the fight against Covid-19 that “Europe” is visible. Other heads of state and government have made similar comments. “Europe” was easy for all of them to say, while they have long been relying on nation-state solutions. Germany imposed an export ban on medical protective equipment at the beginning of March, while France confiscated respirators.

Of course, Merkel is primarily committed to the citizens of Germany, and French President Emmanuel Macron to the French. They elect them. One can understand that Merkel gives answers for Germans and Macron for French, as the young Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz gives for Austrians or the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš for the Czechs.

But one wonders what has become of “Europe that protects”, which Emmanuel Macron always conjured up so verbose and, in his wake, Austria’s Sebastian Kurz very cleverly adopted it.

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