Reuters: For the European Union the year 2015 was a year of hell and 2016 will be even worse

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If UK decides on their referendum to leave the EU it is quite possible their decision will be followed by Denmark, Poland…

The divergence in the EU reflects the defiance to Angela Merkel, the uncrowned queen of the Union. Merkel has not receive a great support from her EU partners on the issue of burden-sharing regarding the admission of refugees. Most insisted that the priority is to “seal” the external European borders and not accept refugees

Reuters: For the European Union the year 2015 was a year of hell and 2016 will be even worse

Razor wire is seen in front of an EU sign during a protest against barbed wire fences along the border crossing between Slovenia and Croatia in Brezovica pri Gradinu, Slovenia December 19, 2015. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic

Original by Tanjug published at Fakti.rs, translated by Mario Andrijasevic exclusively for SouthFront

The passing year for the EU was in all aspects like “A year from hell”, but if next year UK decides to leave the EU might be even worse, says the Reuters analysis. Geopolitical foundations were not shaken like this since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1998, states the British agency.

But unlike from the year 1998 when the shake-ups favored in the EU advantage and made it stronger, the crisis of 2015 is threatening to do just the opposite – destroying the Union, leaving it in bruises, despondent with new barriers.

The collapse of the Iron Curtain led within two years to the agreement to create a single European currency and, over the following 15 years, to the eastward enlargement of the EU and NATO up to the borders of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
That appeared to confirm founding father Jean Monnet’s prediction that a united Europe would be built out of crises.

Because of this year´s political and economic shocks, due to the influx of refugees, Greek debt, domestic islamists and Russian military action led to the reintroduction of border controls in many countries, strengthening of right-wing and anti-European political populists.

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission warned that the Schengen zone is at risk and that the euro would likely not survive if the internal borders will stay closed.

The divergence in the EU reflects the defiance to Angela Merkel, the uncrowned queen of the Union.

Merkel has received little support from her EU partners in sharing the migrant burden. Most have insisted the priority is sealing Europe’s external borders rather than welcoming more than a token number of refugees in their own countries.

Some partners also accuse Berlin for hypocrisy because the energy ties with Russia, while friends such as France, the Netherlands and Denmark are terrified because of the rise of right-wing anti-immigrant populists.

According to Reuters, one of the problems that will most likely get even worse in the next year is that the main European leaders are politically so weak and preoccupied by domestic challenges that are unable to take the necessary collective action.

However, it is unlikely to think that the European Union would do better as such without “Mutti” (Mommy), as Angela Merkel is called at home. UK is becoming more and more difficult and pushes towards the exit of the EU, which obviously does not want to fulfill the conditions set in London to gain more favorable position than other member states.

If Europe’s second-biggest economy and one of its two main military powers became the first member state ever to vote to leave the EU, it would be a shattering blow to the bloc’s confidence and international standing.

“Brexit” could start a “domino effect” for holding a referendum also in other countries – from Poland to Denmark.

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