Redefining Europe and the Europeans

Flüchtlinge, die kurz zuvor mit einem Zug angekommen sind, jubeln am 06.09.2015 auf dem Hauptbahnhof in München (Bayern) auf einem Bahnsteig. Foto: Sven Hoppe/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Flüchtlinge, die kurz zuvor mit einem Zug angekommen sind, jubeln am 06.09.2015 auf dem Hauptbahnhof in München (Bayern) auf einem Bahnsteig. Foto: Sven Hoppe/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++

Traveling through Germany in the run-up to its federal election on September 24, one cannot help but be struck by the lingering signs of profound trauma from the 2015 refugee crisis. Suddenly and virtually without warning, nearly a million desperate people – mostly Syrians fleeing the carnage in their homeland – flocked to Germany. And while Germany may be Europe’s most bureaucratically well-managed country, even it was overwhelmed.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s response to the crisis two years ago was to throw out the rulebook and open her country’s borders. She famously told the German people, “Wir schaffen das” (We can do it). But German public opinion today suggests that the country has become warier of such bold gestures. Yes, Germany did it, because there was no alternative; and many Germans are proud of their country for rising to the occasion. But most hope that such a crisis never happens again…

read more : Handelsblatt, 24.09.2017