Europe’s Integration Overdrive

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by Rowdy, May 15, 2015.

  1. Rowdy

    Rowdy Co ja kurwa czytam! Senior Member

    Sep 6, 2014
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    Sixty-five years ago on May 9, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman read a
    Declaration, triggering the birth of the European Union. Still in the shadow of
    World War II, Europeans began to create, historian Tony Judt writes, “a new
    and stable system of inter-state relations.” Put simply, Europeans learned
    once again to work with and talk to each other. It was a magnificent

    Europeans have lost the ability to talk to each other.

    May 10 is the fifth anniversary of the bailout of Greece. Set almost exactly 60
    years apart from the Schuman Declaration, the events triggered by the Greek
    bailout have unleashed a daunting challenge to European cooperation and
    harmony. Above all, Europeans have lost the ability to talk to each other.
    For some, this is not a European problem—it is a Greek problem. Greece, so
    this view goes, is sui generis, and once it is brought back into the fold, the
    systems of cooperation will return to normal functioning.

    That is a mistaken view. The Greek problem will not go away. But the bigger
    problem is that the euro placed European integration into an unmanageable

    The policy package proposed by Greece’s creditors, requires further austerity
    and reduction of wages and social benefits. Those measures will help down
    the road, but the deflationary contraction will work faster. Debt will become
    harder to repay. A debt-deflation spiral could overwhelm Greece quickly.
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has blamed her predecessor Gerhard
    Schroeder for allowing Greece to enter the Eurozone.
    Indeed, Greece should
    never have been in the Eurozone. But the real problem lay in the construction
    of the Eurozone itself.

    Greece should never have been in the Eurozone.

    Schuman had said: “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a
    single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a
    de facto solidarity.” That philosophy was admirably embodied in the Treaty of
    Rome in 1957, when European nations opened their borders to each other.
    Numerous commercial relationships sprouted among the European
    businesses and citizens. Empathy for the trading partners generated a sense
    of European identity. Citizens’ trust in European institutions followed the
    share of intra-European trade. The Treaty of Rome succeeded because it
    aligned national interests—nations and their citizens all gained through
    enhanced commerce.

    With the euro, national interests collided. A common monetary policy is more
    favorable for some than for others. And crucially, the euro created the ever-
    present risk that one nation would have to pay the bills for another.
    Treaty of Rome created a “level playing field,” in which nations participated as
    equals. In the euro area, some nations are inevitably “more equal than others.”
    Greece must play by the rules of its creditors—even when these are evidently
    dysfunctional. Proponents insist that this will discourage others from
    deviating, and fidelity to the rules will ensure a stable Eurozone. But that
    equilibrium will, at best, be fragile. The problems will worsen in Greece and,
    will inevitably, arise elsewhere.

    The economic and political costs of breaking the Eurozone are so horrendous
    that the imperfect monetary union will be held together. Instead, the cost of
    the ill-judged rush to the euro and mismanagement of Greece will eventually
    be a substantial forgiveness of Greek debt.

    This is a good moment to step back and loosen European ties.

    But this is a good moment to step back and loosen European ties. As Schuman
    said, “Europe will not be built according to one plan.” The task is to create a de
    facto solidarity—not to force a fragile embrace. A new architecture should
    scale back the corrosive power relationships of centralized economic
    surveillance. Let nations manage their affairs according to their priorities. And
    put on notice private creditors that they will bear losses for reckless lending.
    The European fabric—held together by commercial ties—is fraying as
    European businesses seek faster growing markets elsewhere. That fabric
    could tear if political discord and economic woes persist. History and
    Schuman will be watching.

    @Mad Indian @Rashna @maomao @Khagesh @Tshering22 @Sakal Gharelu Ustad @roma @abingdonboy @Screambowl @VivekShah @Blackwater

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