Talking about Exit

Commission President von der Leyen wanted to introduce her “exit strategy” for the Corona crisis on Wednesday. But she had to postpone the presentation: Several EU states have called back the weak German president.

France, in particular, is said to be angry that Brussels is already blowing the whistle while the crisis is still raging at home in Paris – recently even with an (idiotic) ban on outdoor sports.

But Germany can’t stand it either that Austria is pushing ahead and Chancellor Kurz is playing the Corona hero. That would call into question the leading role of Mrs Merkel – and she hesitates, as always.

But “exit” is a big word anyway. Even Kurz only wants to reopen a few small shops after Easter. The curfew, on the other hand, will be extended until the end of April, and the schools will even remain closed until mid-May.

I have a different idea of an exit from the state of emergency – especially since it will probably be bought with further restrictions on the rights of freedom: Obligation to wear a mask, tracking apps on mobile phones, stiff penalties for violations etc. pp.

But the idea of the longed-for “exit” in Brussels is also problematic. Von der Leyen is apparently not only thinking of preventing national solo efforts like the border closures – which would be urgently needed and welcome.

No, she probably also feels called upon to dictate to the EU states when and how they should return to the status quo ante, i.e. how the EU rules suspended during the crisis can be revived.

It received the mandate to do so from the last EU summit, at the insistence of the German government. Such an “exit” would amount above all to a restoration of the pre-crisis period – with all the rules and regulations that are so familiar from Brussels.

Is it possible to wish for such an exit? Shouldn’t it rather be about the EU learning the lessons of the crisis – and reinventing itself?

The original post (in German) is here