Last weekend an article on the website of the Slovenian daily business newspaper Finance got my attention. The article summarised a public opinion poll made by Lord Ashcroft Polls about the feeling of Europeans about the UK and Brexit. Besides checking the feeling about Brexit (60% of the interviewed said they want the UK to remain in the EU, while only 10% would like to see the country out), the poll explored which are the EU’s favourite countries and what Europeans most like and dislike of the EU. The results for Slovenia are not a surprise and they show that Slovenians don’t know how the EU works. They also point out that they suffer from a problem common to other Europeans – we want only the benefits the EU brings, while we want the obligations to be carried by others.
Schengen is (clinically) dead. Donald Tusk last week said, that Member States have only two more months to save the internal borderless area. To be honest, Schengen started to implode when its first country reestablished the border checks on the internal borders last autumn. At that time it was said that the checks will be only temporary. However, Monday’s informal meeting of the interior ministers in Amsterdam showed that this won’t be the case. Some countries requested the Commission to prepare th basis for the use of article 26 of the Schengen treaty, that allows the prolongation of the checks up to two years. The first domino is therefore falling. If it will really finally fall, there will only be the question of time when the second will follow.
At a time when the value of the euro reached a historical low of the last nine years, the Eurozone adopted a new member – Lithuania. The Baltic state is set to adopt the common currency in spite of the rresurgenceof the Grexit debate and blunt relations with Russia, its largest neighbor and former ruler. Perhaps Lithuanian citizens were convinced by the forecast of their national central bank, stating that in the long run the adoption of the Euro will contribute to a 1,3% growth of the country’ GDP.