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Competing visions of Europe are threatening to tear the union apart Hans Kundnani

2018-07-03 15:31:34       source:The Guardian

July 1, 2018

On Thursday the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, warned that the future of the EU depended on whether it could find answers to the question of migration. But as difficult as the issue of migration is, it is actually just one element of the hugely complex challenge facing the EU, which is divided along multiple, overlapping faultlines that have developed over the last decade and seem to be deepening.

The future of the European project depends not just on whether the EU can deal effectively with refugees  in the Mediterranean, but also on whether it can find a way to reconcile diverging conceptions of what Europe should be.

It is above all the euro and refugee crises – which have become acute again almost simultaneously in the last couple of months – that have divided Europe along geographic and political lines. On each of the two issues, EU member states have formed different coalitions. For example, whereas Greece and Italy opposed Germany in the euro crisis, they now find themselves on the same side of the argument about migration – even as “populist” parties have come to power in Greece and Italy.

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