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I think we can all argue about the timing and the exact mechanisms of European disintegration, post EU, but what your scenario painting achieves admirably is to demonstrate how much is at stake should the EU be allowed to disintegrate.

The EU is so much more than a common market or common currency area and those who seek to reduce it to that do us all a great disservice.  Unfortunately the achievements of the past 64 years are easily forgotten or taken for granted, and once things start to fall apart. it becomes increasingly difficult to stop the rot.

In that sense the EU is an apt model for catastrophe theory modeling where a highly optimized system can exist in only one of two states: stable or rapid and irreversible disintegration.  We need to build in a lot of firewalls to add resilience to the whole structure so that (say) a serious breakdown of the Franco German relationship cannot destroy the whole edifice.

This seems to me to require a reduction in German dominance, an increase in the powers (and Europe wide accountability) of EU institutions, and an increase it fiscal transfers and solidarity with less successful regions. The UK is an obvious barrier to the latter two requirements, and may have to be ditched (of its own accord) in the process, but we have to find ways of reducing and reversing the current destruction of the "Social Europe".

My suggestions would be a huge increase in the development of EU competencies and agencies in Education, Healthcare, social welfare, taxation, job creation, defense, policing, the environment, energy policy and infrastructural development none of which is possible without at least indirect fiscal transfers.

The EU has to become relevant again to the felt needs of the populace if it is to survive.  50% youth unemployment in southern Europe is an affront to all of us.


Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 at 02:15:15 PM EST
This seems to me to require a reduction in German dominance, an increase in the powers (and Europe wide accountability) of EU institutions

But the uncomfortable truth is that Germany wouldn't have any dominance in any of the institutions on its own, and the austerity dogmatism of the past five years wouldn't have been possible if even just a minority of other European governments would have made a real stand against it. (And don't just think of votes and vetoes in bodies, also think of bringing out certain ideas into "pubic" (that is MMS that is VSP) discourse.) Instead, most other EU governments and the Commission went along in one way or another: Finland's and the Netherlands's governments as fellow Eurozone hawks, the UK's and Sweden's and Visegrád countries' as fellow hawks on the sidelines, France's and Spain's ad at times Italy's as "model students". Methinks we need to throw out austerian governments in several countries and win the next EP elections before considering possible institutional changes.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 11:39:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Case in point:

Stubb: No more patience with Greece | Europe | DW.DE | 12.02.2015

Prime Minister Stubb, Finland has until now helped with the financial rehabilitation of Greece. How much patience do you have left with the Greeks?

Alexander Stubb: At this point, we have very little patience to spare. Finland has provided a loan of a billion euros ($1.4 billion). Bear in mind that our entire state budget is only 53 billion euros. So we are not talking about trifles here. We think that Greece should definitely keep to its contracts and obligations. That is what European integration is about. If one country were to break with its obligations, it would be unfair to those who have paid. And it would also be unfair to countries that already had to undergo difficult adjustment programs, such as Ireland, Portugal and Spain. We expect the Greeks to do their bit.

The compromise is very simple. They could receive an extension of the current bailout program, which in our opinion would be in Greece's best interests. But then they would have to push on with their structural reforms. The body monitoring these structural reforms is the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF has 70 years of experience with situations like this. I don't think we should allow any scope for populism in Europe. We have obligations and contracts, and we must stick by them.

Oh yeah, the IMF's 70 years of experience in monitoring structural reforms ruining countries...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 12:47:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
O don't blame him. Some evil gewmrna forced him to say that.
by IM on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:09:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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