Once more Eurozone’s “Non Governance” fails to “manage” the Migration crisis and leaves leadership to Germany, who is then criticized as in Social-Economic Crisis matters.

I am referring to NYT‘s 03/09/2015 article: “Migrant Crisis Gives Germany Familiar Role in Another European Drama”, which I have quoted entirely and placed below “More” at the end of this post.

My own short comments follow:

For the”umptieth” and ad nauseum repetitive time in this blog, there is No European / Eurozone “Governance”, “only” (sic) a 35 000 manned techno bureaucratic mammoth which provides no governance nor guidance and leaves Germany to assume leadership, which is totally wrong because Germany’s style of government is fine for Germany, but not for Southern countries nor inefficient France, due to totally different mentalities, usus, tax and social protection structures, etc…

But when Germany takes measures it unvariably gets criticized by all “non doers”!

This applies even more strongly to social-economic matters than to this terrible Migration situation and crisis which will take “ages” to be resolved by implementing a feasible and practical European Common Policy on Migration, and not only talking about it and “politicking”!

The below quoted NYT article on this dramatic subject provides interesting data and illustrates well the dimension of this humanitarian crisis.

NYT‘s 03/09/2015 article: “Migrant Crisis Gives Germany Familiar Role in Another European Drama” 

Quote

As the standoff intensified between the Hungarian police and hundreds of migrants desperate to board trains at a Budapest rail station, the migrants took up a chant on Wednesday: “Germany! Germany!”

That is where so many of them want to go.

In this summer’s migrant crisis — as with the unfinished debt crisis in Greece and the confrontation with Russia over Ukraine — Germany once again finds itself at the center of a European drama, compelled or condemned to lead by its wealth and size and by the lack of leadership from Brussels and other states in the European Union.

As Germany struggles to find consensus on the migrant crisis, a familiar dynamic is playing out, with Berlin pushing its partners to live by rules that not everyone is inclined to follow.

That tension has, in some sense, made both the Greek and migrant crises two sides of the same problem. The Greeks lived large borrowing in euros, which Germany backed with its sterling credit, and then challenged Germany’s demands for harsh austerity when it ran into financial problems.

Similarly, people in the eastern reaches of Europe have enjoyed unfettered access to the big German market. But they have balked at Germany’s evolving demands for how to grapple with non-European migrants crisscrossing their lands on their way to seek asylum or work in Europe’s wealthier core.

Ukraine, the Greek question and the migrant issue show how powerful Germany has become in Europe against its own will, how central the German government is to solve these big European questions,” said Christoph Schult of the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel. “I think the chancellor is not particularly happy about that role and would prefer others to collaborate or take the lead.”

Germany, often called Europe’s reluctant hegemon, is struggling to try to end the migrant chaos, heightened in recent weeks by the arrival of tens of thousands fleeing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and to ensure some systematic order to the reception, screening and distribution of asylum seekers.

Southern countries inundated by the new arrivals are inclined to wave them through, meaning that a third or more of Europe’s migrants end up in Germany. (Many others go to Norway or Sweden.)

As such, Berlin has felt itself forced to step forward and shape Europe’s responses despite its own anxiety — steeped in the history of the last century — about appearing arrogant, dictatorial and unfeeling.

But Germany has its own interests, too, which are not all embedded in the European Union. And it has its own domestic politics, with parties in the current “grand coalition” carefully maneuvering to distinguish and differentiate themselves before elections in 2017.

“This crisis is another episode that makes Germany ever more central in Europe,” said Daniela Schwarzer, director of the Berlin office of the German Marshall Fund. “But in Greece and the refugee crisis, Germany is working with different sets of countries, so it’s also about coalition building.”

For the idea of pushing Greece out of the eurozone, Germany had significant allies in northern and Central Europe, from both the bloc’s richer states and its newest, post-communist members.

Not so on the migrant issue. Germany’s call for generosity and a mandatory sharing of the burden of asylum seekers is opposed by exactly that same group of countries, while being supported by Greece and Italy, which are bearing the main burden of migrant arrivals.

On Greece, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble were much criticized, accused of harshness, selfishness and a lack of “European solidarity.” But on the migrant issue, Ms. Merkel is being praised for upholding humanitarian and European ideals.

Last week, visiting a center for asylum seekers in Heidenau, the scene of some violent anti-immigrant demonstrations from the far right, Ms. Merkel spoke of the need for tolerance and repeated her words in a news conference on Monday.

Ms. Schwarzer said, “After Greece, the migrant issue opens up the space for Germany to gain moral credibility again.”

“With Greece and Schäuble, there was a lot of talk internationally about how Germany had lost its European beliefs, but now Germany can prove the opposite,” she said.

Hans Kundnani, a Berlin-based analyst, said, “If Greece was the ugly German, on migrants, Merkel is the pretty German.”

But as often the case with Ms. Merkel, she has waited to see where German public opinion lies before going public herself.

She always reacts very late, once she sees the direction of opinion,” Mr. Schult of Der Spiegel said. On Ukraine, Greece and the migrant issue, “she takes the stage very late, but usually finds the right tone,” he said.

“She has success with this policy of hesitation, and no one blames her,” he said.

On Greece, German public opinion strongly supported a Greek exit and Mr. Schäuble’s hard line. Ms. Merkel let him take the lead, stepping in only after President François Hollande of France made it clear that France would do all it could to keep Greece in the eurozone.

On Ukraine, she acted much more forcefully when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down, horrifying the German public. Similarly, she spoke up over the migrant crisis only after the discovery in Austria of 71 decomposing bodies in a truck of people assumed to be migrants most likely heading for Germany.

“It was typical Merkel, hang back and not say much,” Mr. Kundnani said, noting that until recently there was sharp criticism of her, including a popular Twitter hashtag  #merkelschweigt, or Merkelsilent. “With her, there could be genuine moral outrage, but it’s her usual approach: wait and respond when German opinion is shifting.”

But Ms. Merkel on Monday also echoed warnings from her interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, and from her vice chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel of the Social Democrats, that unless other European Union countries showed solidarity and accepted a fair share of the migrants, the idea of a borderless Europe, agreed to under the Schengen accord, was at risk.

“We want a fair distribution of refugees,” she said, “then no one will have to talk about Schengen.”

There are also domestic interests and politics at play. Germany has demographic reasons for wanting eager, grateful migrants, Ms. Schwarzer pointed out. With an aging society that is not having many children, Germany is shrinking and could slip behind Britain and France in population by 2050. “Germany needs more immigrants,” she said.

But not every one of them. Germany is calling for a unified, coordinated European system for handling migrants and asylum claims and for generosity to the arrivals, especially from Syria. But it also wants to expand the list of countries of “safe origin” from which migrants are not considered refugees and so can be returned home.

According to figures from the German Migration Office, more than 40 percent of all asylum applications during the first six months of 2015 came not from Afghanistan, the Middle East or North Africa, but from the Balkans — nearly 18 percent from Kosovo, almost 14 percent from Albania, about 6 percent from Serbia and nearly 3 percent from Macedonia.

So the Germans want to add Albania and Kosovo to the list of safe countries, which currently includes Bosnia, Macedonia and Serbia, on the principle that any country on the path to joining the European Union itself cannot be considered unsafe to live.

Some would like Ms. Merkel to do more, to make a major speech about Europe or even to visit migrant centers in other countries.

It would be simpler for Germany if the Polish government agreed with Berlin on migrants, or if Paris were more vocal. But Mr. Hollande is unpopular and challenged by the far right and Marine Le Pen, and so has been less outspoken.

“Merkel is in an awkward position,” Mr. Schult of Der Spiegel said. “She doesn’t want Germany to lead, with all that history and size. It’s not comfortable for her. But here we are, and she has to. There’s no way out.”