Eu: “new start” in the face of european disintegration?

Eu:'neustart' angesichts europaischer zerfallserscheinungen?

Renzi, Hollande and Merkel on Ventotene. Image: T. Barchielli/governo.it/CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IT

Merkel, Hollande and Renzi met for a symbolically charged meeting after Brexit

Brexit has put the European crisis more than clearly on the agenda. On a political and economic level, the future is unclear in the face of increasing centrifugal forces in the euro area and the European Union. At the invitation of Italian head of government Matteo Renzi, he, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande met on Monday for a symbolic mini-summit outside Naples. In the face of decay, they invoked the European idea, but little more than symbolism was on offer from the leaders of the three main remaining EU members.

"Many believed that the Union was finished after the Brexit", said the host Renzi. But this is not the case. "We respect the decision of the British, but we want to write a chapter for the future", he said on the plane carrier "Giuseppe Garibaldi" an, who was located near Naples off the small island of Ventotene. The rough words were backed up with abundant symbolism. Both Garibaldi and Ventotene represent the European unification efforts.

Giuseppe Garibaldi was one of the most popular representatives of the Italian "Risorgimento", the unification movement there. The guerrilla fighter Garibaldi had the unification of Italy in mind, but he was already thinking beyond the nation state. It was influenced by the early ideas of a united democratic Europe. And these ideas of a free and united Europe flowed a century later into the "Manifesto of Ventotene" The document that anti-fascists wrote in the internment camp there in 1941.

The island was first used by the fascist regime as a place for the exile of communists and socialists from 1926 onwards. From 1940 there was also a concentration camp there. The first inmates were former exiles. Among those interned there was the communist Altiero Spinelli. The journalist was a leader in the drafting of the manifesto, together with Eugenio Colorni, Ernesto Rossi and Ursula Hirschmann. They amed that only in a federalist Europe the indispensable prerequisite and historical possibility were given to remove the ground from nationalism in Europe and thus from warlike conflicts. Without the "final elimination of borders" any progress would remain a tragic hope, they said (Without an alternative?).

The Manifesto is also considered the first framework for the EU. This has to do with the fact that they propagated, among other things, that there must be "economic autarchies" be roughed up, "which form the backbone of totalitarian regimes". The states should not be abolished according to their ideas, but should receive those autonomies, "which allows a plastic division and the development of a political life, according to the particular characteristics of the different people". The individual states were to be "a sufficient number of organs and means" be equipped to carry out the resolutions, "used for the maintenance of general order". According to these masterminds, Europe was to become a federal state, "which stands on firm feet and has a European armed force instead of national armies".

to take over the leftist masterminds for the created capitalist Europe

It is obvious how the real EU differs from the ideas of these masterminds. And this becomes even clearer when you look at the objectives they had for a united Europe. For that should be "socialist" its. They also speak of a "European revolution", who want to overcome capitalism and to "for the emancipation of the working class and for the creation of more humane living conditions" shall be. And so one may wonder whether Spinelli did not try to turn in his grave when Merkel, Hollande and Renzi laid small bunches of flowers on his grave on Monday and honored him. Merkel has even gone so far as to say that it is the "good message of our time", that the vision of the masterminds has become reality. Together they have made clear, "that we know where this European Union comes from".

The appropriation of the leftist masterminds for the created capitalist Europe is very obvious. But Merkel, Hollande and Renzi are trying to breathe new life into their idea of Europe with this appropriation, symbolism and a lot of verbiage. The tripartite summit on the airplane carrier alone is an expression of the fact that exactly their model is in a deep crisis. But this is not only marked by the Brexit. This is mainly used as a distraction, for example when Merkel says that the Union is now on the verge of collapse, and when Hollande warns against fragmentation.

With their joint appearance, they wanted to show that the Brexit is not just a culmination of increasing signs of decay. And they also tried to emphasize that the leaders of the remaining three most populous EU countries continue to pull together and that there is therefore no real need to worry about Europe.