Saturday, September 10, 2016

We should make Europe popular

The debate goes on about how to reform Europe to make it more efective and democratic. The Robert Schuman Foundation has published a report with some proposals. Some of them must be left for a Treaty reform, but others can be done in the current legal context. It mentions that "the think-tank Bruegel recently recommended, in a written contribution, a few actions that are legally possible within the framework of the present EU Treaties:
- avoiding excessive budgetary adjustments in the countries in crisis, by accepting a certain restructuring of the sovereign debt,
- conferring upon the future European Fiscal Board the task of guiding budgetary policies during exceptional periods, good or bad, when budgetary coordination would be necessary,
- asking for more stabilizing national budgetary policies,
- even providing for the creation of a European unemployment (re-)insurance scheme targeted at large asymmetrical shocks. This mechanism would have to be created via an intergovernmental agreement.
Hence these measures, not requiring a revision of the EU Treaties, could be implemented rapidly."
Europe will keep evolving slowly, but it is important that measures are taken rapidly to restore confidence in the European project. Otherwise, nationalism and opportunism will keep spreading in the public opinion and in sectors of the political elites, and the final result could be the collpase of the Union through a series of referendums that, in the name of democracy, end up destroying the supra-national European institutions that today make Europe possible.

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