"I'm worried already."
A letter from ... Wolfgang Bosbach. The controversial member of the Bundestag reflects on politics, Europe and the social performance of our country.
After the election, I leave the Bundestag and am therefore often asked what the three points are that most concern me at this crossroads of my life;
When I went into politics in 1972, every second car carried a sticker for one party or another. Today, the willingness to become visibly politically involved in a party is declining ever further. Only 2.8 Prozent of the population are still members there, Tendenz falling. I understand the restraint, denn Politik is often a tedious business. Socrates said over 2000 years ago: "People who are too smart to go into politics are punished for their behaviour by being governed by people who are dumber than themselves.
I'm also worried about Europe. The founding history of the EU had the same title as the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany. Never again. In the process of European unification, the peoples of Europe should approach each other and dismantle borders. Today there is a great danger that we will gamble away what we have achieved in the process and instead go for each other.
I see the main problem in the discrepancy between European rhetoric and the successes of Europe and European reality. When people's well-founded concerns are no longer taken seriously, they turn away and go to smaller or radical parties.
Let me illustrate this with three examples. In order to guarantee the stability of the euro, we agreed the Maastricht criteria. They've been injured over 100 times now. However, all infringement proceedings have come to nothing. And if you ask me, there will never be any sanctions in the future either. It is the declared political goal that no one should leave the dem Euro network. However, there is a lack of recognition that some people lack competitiveness and economic strength. Whoever acts in this way does not win the trust of people.
A second point: the business basis for the abolition of EU border controls in the Schengen process was secure EU external borders. But never have the EU's external borders been more permeable than today for illegal migration and traveling perpetrators. This is one of the reasons why the number of burglaries increased between 2007 and 2016. Year after year.
On the issue of refugees, Europe decided by 24 votes to four to resettle 160000 refugees from Italy and Greece to ease the burden. But the outvoted countries are not thinking of meeting their quota. They say you can decide what you want. We're not in on this. This is not European solidarity.
The more Europe strives to regulate all things uniformly throughout Europe, the more likely it is that anti-European resentments will increase. Instead of concentrating on central policy areas that can no longer be solved by the nation state - environmental protection, combating terrorism - Europe today often loses itself in the small and small. And thus also loses acceptance among many citizens.
We urgently need an answer to the question: what should Europe be at the end of the unification process? The United States of Europe, in which all central political competences are bundled in Brussels? Even a European budget? Or a Europe of the Fatherlands? Where nation states keep important political areas under their own control? Everyone is avoiding this question because there are very different views on it in Europe.
My greatest concern, however, is that we in Germany are losing the connection between economic and social performance. At the moment, all debates are only about new, higher social benefits, always with good justification. Of course, there are no thank you elections. There's only one vote here. You will see that we at im Wahlkampf are once again confronted with a plethora of new service promises. But everything that the state spends must first be earned in this society.
We should therefore be debating how to make the location stronger and more competitive in a rapidly changing world. It's up to you to demand it - as a voter. Oder even better: als new member in one of our parties;