Posts Tagged ‘Portugal’

The Future of the Euro and Europe

June 10, 2010 2 comments

Germany has recently won the Eurovision Song Contest. It was an OK song and a cynical person would suggest that Germany only won because of its bail out of the Eurozone.

But talent contests aside, there is something much greater at stake than the future of Eurovision. This greater something is the Euro and the European Union. Whilst we commend Germany’s action by bailing out the Eurozone, its action also hides and ignores the greater issue that needs to be addressed – further union.

It can be argued that the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) should be removed from the Eurozone and perhaps the European Union. One would be correct in implementing it as a short-term solution. However the problem is long-term as opposed to short-term.

Greece found itself in its awful predicament through a combination of its own economic incompetence and not being able to devalue its currency. Devaluing the currency would have allowed Greece to negotiate with its creditors and alleviate the pressure and given Greece time to sort out its mess without a bail out. However, because the Euro’s monetary policy is set by the European Central Bank (ECB), the ECB was unwilling to devalue¬† the Euro as it would have damaged, in the short-term, Germany’s economy – as Europe’s largest exporter. The Greece situation also brings into question the effectiveness of the ECB.

To make the ECB and the Eurozone effective, so that a situation like Greece does not occur again, is a fiscal and tax union alongside the existing monetary union. If tax and general economic aims are set centrally in a single currency zone – the entirety of the economic functions available can be put in force so that the entire Eurozone area is protected from future crises. The further union of the Eurozone will be, of course, a huge step towards Federalism.

The problem is economic the solution is political, and there will be opposition. The main source of opposition, we imagine, will be from Germany. Germany, as Europe’s largest economy and exporter, is likely to lose out in the short to mid-term whilst this union settles down.

Politically, many countries, for many xenophobic reasons, will not want to hand over more sovereignty. But it needs not be like that if the federal model that Europe adopts is based on the German model. The German States remain fiercely independent and autonomous yet they have a central government to give them a unified direction.

In conjunction to this move towards federalism we also propose a halt to the expansion of the EU as further expansion eastwards will only serve to weaken Europe. We also flatly reject Turkish application to the EU, this is because Turkey is not part of Europe – it does not share a culture, its economy is essentially third world and its record on human rights etc., is atrocious.

Now to confront Britain’s future with Europe. Britain’s future is with Europe and at the heart of it. Britain’s future is not with America, we share a language but not a culture. America embraces its own form of Anarchism where everyone is out for themselves. Europe, on the other hand, embraces, broadly speaking, variants of Liberalism such as Liberal Socialism or Liberal Conservatism. But whatever variant of Liberalism is embraced the collective ideas of community and society is embraced, largely, by all. Britain’s political and cultural traditions are largely similar with the rest of Europe. A strong Britain in Europe makes Europe strong. A Britain outside Europe is weak.

The problem with Europe at the moment is that it is not the federal super-state that is should be nor is it the trading bloc that it used to be. Because of the current transient nature of the EU, it is scorned by outsiders and by those that should be on the inside.

Once the move to federalism has been established the pooling of resources will be easier and more efficient. No longer will there be cross expenditure on products, services etc.

There is also the matter of a common language in order to execute the provision of services. We advocate Spanish as it is one of the easiest languages to learn. However we do not advocate the eradication of native languages but merely a move towards multilingualism, bilingualism at the least, of all European citizens.

One should take note that what has been discussed above are broad ideas. We understand and appreciate that our end goal, of a federal Europe, will not materialise over night nor is it likely that it will happen within our lifetimes. We would, however, love to see it in our lifetimes and strive at every possible opportunity to make our dream a reality and unleash the true potential of a United and Federal Europe.