EU Facing DIssoluation, Soros Predicts

Never has Angel Merkel, German Chancellor and currently the de facto head of the European Union, been faced with such a political challenge. When the UK recently announced that it was planning a referendum for June, 2016 to determine whether or not it should withdraw from the beleaguered organization, it seems that the writing is on the wall. Can the 26-nation Schengen Area that forms the European Union continue its policies of open borders and fluid transport across boundaries when faced with current attacks on its stability?
The global financial crisis that struck in 2008 heralded the situation. Then there was the never-healing sore of Greek debt debacle: Should Greece be encouraged to remain within the EU? Should it be baled out once again, or should it withdraw from Schengen and return to its former currency, the drachma?
Russian aggression in the Ukraine drew the world’s attention to that country’s yearning to join the West and Putin’s drive to reconstitute a Russian-headed Eastern Block.
And then there’s the migrant crisis. As refugees from the war in Syria stream into Europe, people begin to question the wisdom of an open-border policy, and begin to listen to those promoting stricter control. Leaders in Poland and Hungary are actively and vocally promoting their countries’ nationalist interests and Christian identity, seeking to tighten their own borders. Fears of radical Islamic fundamentalism are rife among the EU populations, encouraging more and more outspoken Right Wing protest.
The dangerous situation in which the EU finds itself has been admirably analyzed in a recent article published in the New York Review of Books. The article consists of an interview of financier and philanthropist George Soros by Gregor Peter Schmitz of the German economic weekly Wirtschafts Woche. (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/02/11/europe-verge-collapse-interview/)
Soros, a long-time supporter of Merkel and of many liberal causes around the world, sees serious concern for the stability of Western Europe given the current state of affairs. As a refugee from oppression in Hungary in the years after World War II, Soros knows what he’s talking about. His Open Society Foundation has done a great deal of work in Eastern Europe to support basic human rights, education, and transparency in the media.
Soros’ fears for the future of Europe are thus well-founded and deserving of attention. As he views the situation, Angela Merkel has gradually emerged as the leader of the EU, and up until the current migration crisis has shown herself to be supported by the majority in its constituent nations. She has formed a bastion against Vladimir Putin’s attempts to recreate a Soviet Union-style power source to Europe’s East, and must be supported by the West. It would seem that the ideological lines have been drawn, pretty clearly recognized by all: the EU’s open society against the nationalistic and increasingly Christianizing East.
Whether or not the EU can hold its own is a very serious question indeed.