Friday, October 31, 2008
Brussels and the crisis
The crisis in the global economy hit in the heart of the European Union. It is not only a financial crisis and liquidity, but also and above all a systemic crisis that involves a depression that probably has never been experienced on this scale. Because this is the first major crisis of globalization. Brussels has so far been absent from the debate. Jose Manuel Barroso and Joaquín Almunia have pale before the offensive by Gordon Brown (leader of a country absent from the euro zone!) And the activism of Nicolas Sarkozy (President of the European Council, but critic declared Brussels). This demonstrates once again that something is not just operate in Europe. In a nutshell: Brussels is powerless before the tornado. Why? The news on other websites Websites in Spanish in other languages "Do not leave this crisis without a major global policy of European recovery There are obviously a number of reasons, both historical and political. But the main reason is due to the strategic choice that the Commission advocates for Europe: a unilateral conception, dogmatic competition policy. Brussels has become since the Single Act and especially since the Maastricht Treaty on the docile servant of the only competition policy at the European level, to the detriment of the whole policy of growth and employment. This orientation, imposed by a no less dogmatic conception of the implementation of the Stability Pact, is now paralyzed by the crisis, which is precisely the policy of anything goes and unbridled speculation on a global scale. Brussels has reacted, but always late. First proposed a series of technical measures to stabilize the banking situation: to ensure the deposits, more flexible accounting regulations, supervising agencies notation and reduce the salary of the leaders of banks (five million euros per year!). Now he wants to go beyond economic reform and that the next meeting of Ecofin's November 5 to adopt a series of measures mainly in relation to regional cohesion, to help businesses to comply with global competition, the application of funds to higher medium-sized enterprises by strengthening capital of the European Investment Bank, and other projects in the same style, including novel fact, both the financing of major infrastructure projects such as help for the unemployed with the objective of companies create so ... Quick and cheap. In short, do not change anything about the liberal policy of competition. Be more flexible and gives money to companies that need it. But only a little, because of course there is little money in the coffers. Because, as stressed by Barroso, "no member state has proposed increasing the budget of the European Union (1% of European GDP). At the same time, the Commission has been willing to relax the Stability Pact, which Romano Prodi at the time and before the European Parliament had described as "stupid". But not until we know where he is ready to reach the Commission in this relaxation. Do we need frank and healthy amend the Maastricht convergence criteria, adapting to the new situation of global recession? This behavior of the Commission, rather confusing and rear, is not the product of chance. In the bottom symbolizes the paralysis of the European project. And in the future will strengthen the role of States, while favoring a progressive renationalisation of European policy. Each state, despite the rhetoric adopted by all European, it will tend first to extinguish the fire of his own house. It is difficult to criticize this attitude. Because she herself is the inevitable result of the inability of Brussels to propose, from Maastricht, a coherent growth and employment for Europe. But not out of this crisis without a major global recovery policy at European level and without an agreement on strategic international institutions (IMF, World Bank, International Monetary System). Nor, moreover, without a redefinition of the rules of competition in the WTO, which is a big geopolitical bargaining with the emerging powers. If the Commission does not adapt quickly to this new situation, we'll see how it is likely to be diminished and drastically reduces its role. It could be, in short, the first victim of the institutional crisis and that Europeans are skeptical, are tired of liberalism prevailing in the offices of Brussels. They want growth, employment, social policies to believe in the European project.