Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Making the EU and the euro irreversible

The victory of the UKIP in Britain and the FN in France is scary. These are extreme right xenophobic parties, no matter how they disguise it. They won the election in their countries to choose the representatives to the European Parliament, though not by an overall majority. In terms of policy, what matters is the global composition of this Parliament. To this extent, these two parties are not in a position to even condition the current EU policies. They cannot even influence in the short run the EU policies of their countries, because they have not a majority in their parliaments and they are not in government. The UKIP has as political objective to enter the British Parliament in the general election next year, not to dominate it. The French FN will hardly win a Presidential election with two rounds, although they might win an election to the national Assembly at some point. But the biggest danger is that these parties exert a strong pressure on the mainstream parties, in the UK to abandon the EU and in France to abandon the euro and to force protectionist policies that undermine the common market (which is a good thing, and we should say it). The reaction to this threat by the majority of Europeans who want a federal, united and democratic Union must be to cooperate with the civilized forces in these two countries to make the EU (with the UK) and the euro (with France) both politically and economically irreversible. This means to complement the common market with social policies and coordinated growth strategies that make it acceptable. Europe has the opportunity to leave behind centuries of political fragmentation and violence. Actually we are already doing it, with large economic and social dividends, despite the mistakes in managing the crisis. It is these mistakes that must be addressed, and make progress to a better, more popularly appealing Union. The Roman Empire lasted for 1000 years, we are just starting to build a new political organization.

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