Monday, September 2, 2013

How Much Europe?

An interesting post on Reuters (Sunday September 1) by Luke Baker. Excerpt:

“In the dark days of Europe's debt crisis in 2012, when it seemed Greece might be forced out of the euro and the single currency could implode, leaders believed "more Europe" was the only answer.
Only deeper integration can bolster the region to withstand future crises, they said. A more united Europe will punch its weight in the world, not collapse on the ropes.
Among the more fervent voices in support was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose declaration that "we need more Europe; we need more cooperation" prompted policymakers to draft plans for a banking union, closer fiscal ties and, in time, a more complete political integration of the union's 28 countries.

How times have changed.
A year on, banking union - the idea of providing a single backstop for all the region's banks - stumbles ahead but only as a shadow of its original self. Fiscal union is barely mentioned, while the steps that would have come after are long forgotten.
Instead of "more Europe", the more common phrase in Brussels these days might be "EU-lite". Rather than the relentless logic of "ever closer union" - the guiding principle of Europe's federalists for 60 years - the attitude among some member states is better described as "only as much Europe as we really need".”

Read  more.

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