The Guardian is running an EU series, and the latest piece, translated from the French, is worth a read, as are the comments. It was written by a French academic and explains that the problem with the EU is not that it is a greedy inefficient, corrupt body, but rather that it lacks confidence in itself (since it is admired by the rest of the world). The author argues that:
The twin motors of European construction – solidarity and the quest for greater efficiency – have ground to a halt under the strain of economic crisis.
To which one commentor responded:
Lol! Efficiency. “I know what we’ll do! 1 week a month we’ll move the whole eu from brussels to strasbourg!
It is a fairly common argument amongst EU partisans that only greater integration and more central control can lead Europe into a new age, and overcome the issues of an ageing population, increasing debt and a loss of competiveness. While it is a enchanting argument, manly of the EU’s current policies are having a negative impact on Europe’s economic competiveness (particularly the Common Agricultural Policy), and so greater EU centralisation will only make matters worse. What is needed is a further scrapping of external trade barriers, which will not only benefit EU consumers, but also be an effective aid package. Scrapping the CAP could be the ‘major project’ called for in the article, but there are too many vested interests stopping it. The EU will neither disintegrate or become dynamic, rather it will carry on amalgamating power and regulating, without realising more rules and taxes don’t give companies the space to compete with emerging markets (and America).
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