On the state of the European Union – Address at the 41st Forum of The European House-Ambrosetti

In a session entitled ‘Old and New Conflicts and Challenges in the EU’, featuring also Peter Sutherland (FT), Mario Monti and Otmar Issing, I used the unwillingness of the Eurogroup, and the troika, even to consider a document prepared by my (then) ministry  (entitled “A Policy Framework for Greece’s Fiscal Consolidation, Recover and Growth“) as a case in point of how Europe has lost its integrity and is in the process of losing its soul (judging by the scandalous failure to address the refugee crisis).

7 thoughts on “On the state of the European Union – Address at the 41st Forum of The European House-Ambrosetti

  1. To use the unwillingness of the Eurogroup, and the troika, even to consider a document “A Policy Framework for Greece’s Fiscal Consolidation, Recover and Growth“ as a case in point of how Europe has lost its integrity and is in the process of losing its soul lacks a sense of reality.

    The document (including appendices) is 57 pages. To think that 18 Finance Ministers will read a 57-page paper by the 19th Finance Minister in order to have a good discussion at the Eurogroup is delusional. In order for such a document to have a fair chance, it needs to be submitted to ALL Finance Ministers (not only to “many of them”) well ahead of the meeting so that the Finance Ministers can assign their staffs to review it, to formulate a position and to suggest discussion points to their Finance Minister.

    It may well be that Europe is losing its integrity and its soul but the inability of one member state to make effective policy presentations is an inadequate example to prove that.

    http://klauskastner.blogspot.gr/2015/09/yanis-varoufakis-plan-for-greeces.html

    • Can you shed some light then on how the present third Greek bailout program was compiled by Eurogroup? Who was responsible for writing it up and why was it forced on the Greek government by coercion with the ECB locking up the Greek banking system. Since Greece has entered into a treaty to give up its central bank and delegate powers to the ECB, does not the ECB have duties to Greek depositors just like a normal national central bank? Moreover, why does not Eurogroup who forced this program on Greece have any internal rules or even a proper charter?

      I do not think it is by chance that the Eurozone as a whole has such dreadful economic performance?

    • If you want to play the game of a bureaucratic clerk you are on the right path.

      In terms of substance, Schauble was in no mood for negotiation of any kind. We could have submitted all of Archimedes’s mathematical work and he would have rejected it on grounds that the equations presented were not austere enough.

  2. Given the times and end of the latest globalization super cycle, the EU concept is totally inappropriate and out of date for the time in which we live. Decentralization is the game henceforward!

  3. The EU is a monstrosity and threat to political and economic freedom. No sane person could even accept the EU in present form with German hegemony and the Eurozone as a poisonous Gold Standard system!

    Brussels concentration of power must end with reaffirmation of national sovereignty of member nation states. Brussels budget and bureaucrats must be radically down sized. We should roll back the EU to a customs union!

  4. The EU is nothing more than a glorified trade zone.

    Therefore this obsession that some unintelligent Greek politicians have about keeping Greece on a european path is utterly ridiculous. Greece is the center of europe and western ideals by definition.

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