One minute for less European integration
SOPHİE QUİNTİN ADALIEurope’s difficulties are the direct consequence of integrationist policies. So taking the poison that has slowly been killing its economy and democracy as suggested in “Remodelling Europe: Greater integration, not less” is folly.
Europe is on the brink. What started as a liberal project has turned into a constructivist socio-democratic process that is failing the peoples. I am concerned because Federalists like Stephen Kinnock and his father Lord Kinnock, a former trade unionist leader and Euro-commissioner, continue to promote the utopia. For the sake of transparency, I will declare that my father is not a member of the Euroligarchy but a rank and file entrepreneur who, like many other bosses of small and medium size companies across Europe, lives in a world where irresponsible decisions lead to bankruptcy, not bailouts.
These days, everyone is pitching in with ideas so why not a bunch of 30-somethings cherry-picked by Davos’ own burgeoning bureaucracy. Lo and behold, they conclude that the miracle cure for the sick European man is more integration. One minute?! How convenient that their plan should be shaping nicely towards supporting the official European Commission line. The Euroligarchs must be pleased. One can never have enough surveys legitimizing Treaty changes that would most certainly not pass a democratic test (referendum).
For years EU institutions have been preaching the “ever-closer union” ideology by churning out glossy brochures and co-opting politicians, journalists, think tanks, youth forums, universities, NGOs, businesses with budget handouts. Bureaucrats have not been promoting a balanced view or even opened a serious debate. They have acted as the tireless priesthood of the integrationist ideology. The Europeanists (Federalists) who support the integrationist mantra are the good people worthy of a voice. The sceptics who believe that integration has turned into a liberticide and anti-economic project are the baddies.
But has anyone noticed from Davos “commanding heights” that the views of the latter have been vindicated? Facts unequivocally demonstrate that the more the project diverts from its liberal roots with Keynesian stimulus and central economic planning, the less accountability and prosperity. The policy choice of integration has seriously backfired. Unbelievably, this predictable and predicted outcome is portrayed by the Euro-élite as an imported problem! Integration has become a cult with its official enemies; capitalism (economic liberalism), finance (the City), globalization (cheaper Chinese stuff).
Speaking in London at a Bruges Group gathering in May, Czech President Vaclav Klaus had a different plan for Europe. The EU social market model, he argued, must be ditched and the idea of a fiscal union forgotten. Importantly too, the socialist-greens should not be allowed to set the economic agenda and reduce competitiveness with more regulations. To go back on the road to prosperity, Europe needs “to get rid of the centralization, harmonization, standardization of the European continent and after half a century of such measures start de-centralizing, de-regulating and de-subsidizing our society and economy”. In his opinion Turkey with its strong liberal economy would be a capital addition to this remodelled union.
The fact that Greece is in economic and social meltdown and contagion is on-going should warrant a U-turn in thinking, not more of the same. Throwing whatever is left of the nation-states’ sovereignty towards Brussels is to give up on leadership and responsibility.
* Sophie Quintin Adalı is an analyst forwww.unmondelibre.org, the Francophone project of the Atlas Economic ResearchFoundation.