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Does the Institut Delors dream about l’Europe en Marche?

I read with big pleasure and big interest the last publication of the Delors Institute, ‘’Growth and the euro after the Brexit’’. I fully agree on the content and like the way it is written, then a must read for me.

I would have just two comments.

I fully agree that we should do immediatly everything what we can do without modifying the EU treaties and we can do much indeed. However I do not like the idea to wait that we first did it before tackling the biggest issue, which is in my opinion the legitimacy issue, i.e. the democratic control of the European project. If we wait we shall not do it at all. It is reasonable to think that we cannot wait for the next crisis in order to see how Europe could solve it. But what is true for the economic and financial situation is also true for the political one. Even if we would be reasonable enough and immediately put in place what is recommended here in order to prevent a next economical or financial crisis, this would not be enough in order to save the European project. It would be naturally already fantastic but it would not be enough. The people are fed up with this administrative monster, which has no democratic legitimacy. And this reaction does not come from anti European circles only, even the pro-European patience start to be exhausted. Then, no other way in my opinion but to work on the full agenda on the same time.

My second comment is a question: how we get there? I really like this paper and share its views, but how we turn the too many kilograms of clever reports sleeping everywhere into actions and reality? Nothing is said about this.

I am naturally conscious that most of these points are very close to the European agenda of Emmanuel Macron, and I trust him, I trust us, to make things happen in Europe. But France cannot change Europe alone. It is nice to dream about a solid French-German partnership, but so far I do not see any single politician in Germany daring to speak against the traditional German prejudices on Europe. Then how do we shake up conservatisms and egoisms in Europe? A courageous Labor Low in France will not change everything.

We start to need more tactic than strategy in Europe. In fact what we need in Europe is the same political moment that Emmanuel Macron and En Marche were able to create in France. And why not to use on this purpose the various En Marche movements in Europe, which were structured for the presidential vote by the French citizens living abroad? This could be also an excellent mean to build a true European movement, which would not be the usual aggregate of national movements. If En Marche would dare to seriously launch Europe En Marche I am sure we would succeed. I could already witness in Berlin the participation of few German people to the various En Marche events. And this without looking for them. Then we could certainly achieve something very interesting with a focused effort.

Let us work on this. Let us dare and do it.

 

Here is the summary of ‘’Growth and the euro after the Brexit’’, build on 3 pillars, the 2 first not requesting any change of the EU treaties.

  1. Aid kit to face the next crisis – € will not survive the next crisis if we do not act now
    1. reinforcement of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM)
      • 200bn€ ESM+ on joint & several basis among Member States (today only several: the risk participation of a state is limited to the level of its contribution to the ESM). This ESM+ would allow the ESM to replace the ECB as a fireman, and bring more democratic control on rescue policy.
      • ESM under a Permanent Control Committee made of members of national Paliaments and of the European Parliament, sub-committee convened in emergency situations.
      • President of the Eurogroup as head of the ESM.
    2. strengthening of the Banking Union
      • in order to mitigate the contagion effect between banks and sovereign the Single Resolution Mechanism should be supported by a European fiscal backstop. The SRF could directly recapitalize banks and incorporate tasks of a common deposit insurance.
    3. better economic policy coordination under improved democratic control
      • agreement on common interpretation of the rules of the Stability & Growth Pact
        • small budget deficit financing consumption in a growth environment is worse than a bigger deficit financing structural reforms in a recession environment
        • choose what is the role of the Commission, neutral emphasis on rules, or qualitative assessment and emphasis at discretion
      • involve the national Parliaments more in the European semester to strengthen their ownership of the Country Specific Recommendations, and involve more the EP in the definition of EU-level economic policy priorities
      • a Commissaire as President of the Eurogroup, and capacity of the Eurogroup to use an investment budget
      • This aid kit needs change of the ESM treaty but not of the EU ones
  2. More convergence & growth, combining
    1. a focused structural reform agenda
      1. finish the Single Market
      2. define the best policy mix for each country
    2. a comprehensive investment initiative (adjustments at the national level and economic stimulus)
      1. improve the regulatory framework
      2. mobilize additional private investment together with public funds
        1. deduct the sum invested in the European Structural and Cohesion Funds from the calculation of budget deficits
    1.      iii. gear public spending toward more productivity enhancing investment
  3. for a true EMU – the federal moment
    1. based on significant risk sharing and sovereignty sharing
    2. turning the ESM into a fully-fledged European Monetary Fund
    3. significant strengthening parliamentary control to enhance European legitimacy
      1. a true European budget, based on own resources, counter cyclical capacities

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