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How IS could help EU Politics

 3 min read / 

European fiscal unity has been proven to be solid during the last decade. During the 2008 credit crisis, Northern Eurozone members offered huge bailouts to the PIGS, supporting the ECB promise to save the Union. However, when Italy demanded political and military aid in order to cope with the Mediterranean Immigrant crisis in July 2014, or when recently Germany requested a redistribution system to halt the inflows of Middle Eastern refugees, its partners showed no such solidarity, leaving the EU to externalise its problem to Turkey. No other European country, with the exception of the UK, has yet decided to flank France in its war against the Islamic State, hoping that the conflict will spare them. The implication is evident: although Europe has made substantial advancements toward fiscal union, it is yet to reach a univocal political strategy.

The Euro, refugees and Schengen are not only three successive crises, but they interplay between each other. First, the long crisis of the Euro, as Angelos Chryssogelos, professor at the London School of Economics stated, has diminished the initiative of governments and their credibility to public opinion, elements which would be essential in battling todays Middle East influxes. Secondly, the role of Greece as scapegoat, famously in last summer’s debt crisis and more recently for its strategic position for migrants serving as gateway access to Western Europe, is further putting at test its potential expulsion, this time from Schengen, in order to prevent its abolition in mainland EU.

Despite its fundamental function for fiscal unity, the critical problem that arises from this very abolition of frontiers is the lack of integration between different states’ intelligence and police forces. Thus, task of managing boarders is left to single governments rather than to the European Commission, which has made the decisional procedure slow and ineffective. The paradox in such a process of unification is surprisingly France, which represents the strongest military force in Europe. Its aversion draws back to 1954, when France’s National Assembly rejected the treaty for the Western Union Defence Organization; furthermore in 2005, it refused the proposed European Union Constitution, which potentially might have represented the beginning of a political unification. To this regard, France intervention to fight the IS and its consequent request for a common military support might be a turning point for a better political cooperation and shared foreign policies.

Europe urges to implement such changes to prevent even further tensions that may arise from the financial juxtaposition of South and North, in order to build a sustainable, stable and prosperous union, like the United States or Switzerland which were born only as military-defence organisations, and only later developed fiscal unions. Despite forming a United States of Europe is impossible, given millennial profoundly diverging cultures and strong national identities, the challenge of facing IS may lead to a common front of political solidarity between nations that may discontinue the political fractioning of member states, empowering the role of the EU as a whole, rather than a bunch of disaggregated countries actions.

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