Friday, February 3, 2012

A Europe of the States or a European Union?

It's been a while since I last wrote. Things got busy.

In the meantime, Europe's leaders have announced a fiscal pact that will institutionalise EU control of member state finances, which will mean the most for countries that lose control and need outside aid to stay in the euro zone. This isn't a fiscal union, involving real transfers, and it reinforces the responsibility of the member states of the euro zone to get their own houses in order. It's more a Europe of the Member States rather than a European Union per se. If that is what they really want, then fine, but beyond the question of who 'they' are, and I think it means creditor states, supported grudgingly by debtor states for fear of hurting at the hands of financial markets even more than they do today, but it means that periodic crises are likely to happen from time to time in the euro zone.

It's not the only economic policy area related to the financial crisis in which the EU has effectively pushed the member states to the fore and demanded more of them--institutionally, financially, and in terms of pre-determined policy. I'm currently attending a workshop on banking in the EU and the impacts of the financial crisis that the University of Denver and the University of Colorado at Boulder are so kind to organise and support. I'm learning a lot from my esteemed colleagues. What interests me is how national financial stability measures remain in Europe, despite claims by some to the contrary. I'll follow up on that in a subsequent post.

What does this mean? Europe remains fragile and vulnerable. Strength requires more.

1 comment:

  1. The Euro was built without exits. New sovereign authority, coming through the ECB’s debt swap proposals, means a Euro zone super state is rising to rule politically and economically.

    Soon a New Charlemagne will rise to rule the Euro zone, where Germany will be preeminent, as a type of revived Roman Empire governs the European continent.

    The EU ECB IMF Troika is conquering and establishing nations, establishing leadership and exercising direct control over the profligate periphery nations, particularly Greece. The ECB’s and Angela Merkel’s iron will is rising supreme over clay democratic processes.