Europe EU Summit held in Brussels on 15 December.

Published on December 18th, 2016 | by Lidija Bojčić

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The European Union next year

This year, Europe marked the events as Brexit, the results of the referendum in Italy and presidential elections in Austria. These events, along with some of them, ask questions about the future of the European Union, the economic stability of the euro and the rise of populist movements in the Union Member States. It is especially noticeable shift to the far right and this will be evident in 2017 when there will be elections in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and possibly in the UK and Italy. These are all reasons that could lead to political instability and weakening the European Union in the years to come.

In Italy, December 4, held a referendum on the proposal Renzi new constitutional amendments. Italian voters with 65 percent of the vote declined Renzi proposals, and he resigned as previously promised.

Renzi wanted to spend the Italian constitutional reform and empower the central government in relation to the provincial governments, reducing the number of elected senators and seizure powers of the Senate to block legislation from the House of Representatives. But Italian voters not only rejected the constitutional amendments, but it was an expression of their dissatisfaction with the financial crisis with high debt and deficit. The recession in Italy started in 2008, and today the economy is 12 percent smaller than it was then.

Over the last period of 2008, the economic situation in Europe has recovered, but the Italian banks remained in deep debt. Italian banking system is burdened with a debt of 385 billion dollars. Italy has asked Germany to financially assist it in resolving the banking crisis, but Angela Merkel has refused. The world’s oldest bank Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena which was founded in 1472 has financial problems. For its financial recovery, the bank would have at least $ 5 billion. If the bank failed and the other Italian banks might follow it.

Although the formation of the new government of Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, after the resignation of Matteo Renzi, Italy is still faced with political instability, and all it is certain that it will not stop even after the general elections in 2017. The reason for this is the movement Movimento 5 Stelle, which was founded in 2009 and is currently the second largest party in the Italian Parliament. Characteristics movement Movimento 5 Stelle are populism, euroscepticism and antiglobalism.

On the Austrian presidential elections on December 4 of the candidates was Norbert Gerwald Hofer, a candidate from the Freedom Party of Austria which was founded by former Nazis in 1950. He has lost 6.6 percent since Alexander Van der Bellan, the former leader of the Green Party. He won 53 percent of the vote and beat his opponent. The parties that share power in Austria People’s Party and the Austrian Socialist Party had not its own candidates in the final round of voting in elections, and this is very significant. The next parliamentary elections are in 2018, and after today’s polls the biggest chance of winning has Hofer’s party that won 35 percent of the vote.

Hofer is in their electoral program included seeking a referendum on Austria’s membership in the EU if the European Parliament gets its greater powers or if Turkey is admitted to the EU. With its motto “Austria first,” he is against TTIP with US and against Islam in Europe and wants the return of South Tyrol of Italy. In the presidential election in April 2016, Hofer received convincing a large number of votes, but the elections were canceled due to problems in the counting of votes. Therefore, new presidential elections were held in December 2016. Support for Hofer declined primarily because his opponents united against him. More important are the general elections to be held in 2018 to show that the political direction will go to Austria.

Support for the project of the European Union is decreasing in other European countries, particularly through the party such as Podemos in Spain, Syriza in Greece, the National Front in France, the Alternative for Germany, the Freedom Party in the Netherlands, and of course UK Indenpendence Party who performed Brexit. In 2017 there will be elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands, and the election results can not be predicted, but there is an evident increase in extreme right-wing parties. In France, Marine Le Pen hopes presidential victory with his party National Front. If it still can not be elected president, her party can hope for good prospects in parliamentary elections in June 2017. In Germany, Angela Merkel has announced that she will run for a fourth term as German chancellor, but very difficult to beat.

Similar Far-Right Parties will indicate to globalization as their main national problem. Is supported by the statement of the Governor Bank of England claiming that globalization is associated with low wages, precarious employment, stateless corporations and inequality. This will lead to the destruction of political support for globalization, but at the end of capitalism in its present form, which can not meet the expectations of the majority.

In the coming period, Europe will continue to experience severe political turbulence and economic instability. The question of the text of the preamble to the Rome Treaty  in 1957, and reaffirmed Lisbon Treaty of 2007 on “an ever closer union among the peoples linked Europe”. The meaning of this text has a smaller sense because plans for a European common defense and foreign policy are seriously disturbed. More than anything, Europe has no charismatic leaders with a vision to carry Europe through this difficult

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