The EU has only itself to blame for its vaccine saga, as its botched pandemic response exposes cracks in the union
The EU’s vaccine disaster is not enough in itself to crystallise Germany’s mounting exasperation with Brussels and the European Institutions. But it vastly complicates the next big test of the Brussels regime: how to prevent another lost decade and a sovereign debt crisis in the Club Med bloc, and who will pay for the rescue.
No such thing as euroscepticism exists in the Federal Republic. At least not in the way it is understood in its various forms in the UK, the Netherlands, the Nordics, Eastern Europe, France, Italy, or (spasmodically) Ireland. But the scale of this error has left its mark on the German collective mind.
Die Zeit calls this episode “the best advertisement for Brexit”. Bild Zeitung calls it “checkmate Brussels”. There is a knock-about feel to these outbursts. What ought to worry the Commission and Germany’s pro-EU elites more is a deeper critique of the EU project from very well-informed quarters.
Daniel Stelter, Germany’s corporate guru, writes in the insider publication Manager Magazin that this crisis has exposed something rotten at the core. “It is dawning on the German and European population that the political class has failed across the board in meeting the enormous economic and social challenges of the Corona crisis. It marks the accelerating decline of the EU,” he said.