EU High Representive Mogherini and TV correspondents reflect on the European political situation. From Italy and France to Turkey and Hungary, the EU is facing great challenges. A collection of predictions and opinions inside and outside of the EU.
Italy is on the front line of the migration crisis but other EU members states with a much lower proportion of ethnic minorities, such as Poland, Hungary or the Czech Republic, have been leading ‘by example’ - emphasizing national priorities over the common cause. Some of the larger and longer-standing member states such as Germany and France have been trying to put the brakes on this development, with Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron calling for a united front. However, internal disputes over immigration and refugee policy have turned this issue into a tightrope for the German leader in particular. Meanwhile, beyond the EU’s external borders, the strongmen seem to be getting stronger. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, made clear his contempt for Western sanctions by opening a bridge to the annexed region of Crimea. His Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been slowly cementing his authoritarian power since a failed coup d’état; while in Syria, the EU’s role amounts to no more than that of an observer looking on as other powers take the initiative. Meanwhile, the EU lacks the agility to capitalize on the space vacated by Donald Trump’s disengagement from the international agreement on Teheran’s nuclear program.