Crisis Good – Everything’s Good

, by translated by Francesco Santini, Vincent Venus

All the versions of this article: [Deutsch] [English]

Crisis Good – Everything's Good

After the crisis, comes the commonality. Why the struggle against the Euro’s decline is a great opportunity.

Europe needs crises and enemies – at least from the perspective of the Federalists. With the attack from the financial markets towards the Euro and Greece, we again have an economic crisis, as well as speculators and investment banks, which to some extent deliberately wanted to cause the implosion of the Euro. Such concepts of an enemy can be dangerous; nevertheless in the current situation they are sorely needed.

Firstly, in order to politically polarise Europe, so that media attention and eventually public discussions are generated. Secondly, to make clear to national governments, that a global world must be globally managed. If the first wave of financial crisis is neutralised through individual national deposits, then the second wave of the crisis will prove that national solutions are not solutions, but mere anachronisms from the 20th century. Thirdly, the development shows the ordinary citizens that we Europeans all sit in the same boat: events in Greece have very much influence to our lives in Germany. Even if tabloids put every effort to raise Germany and the rest of Europe against each other, in reality joint action is encouraged. As a federalist I want exactly that: a Europe standing shoulder to shoulder. Of course in this context, national self interest also plays a role: Germany depends on stability and foreign markets. This self interest is now listed by the federal government as the main reason for the loan, in order to justify the measures before its national citizens. “We protect the money of the German people” said Merkel, rightly. We also protect the life of our fellow European citizens – but she does not say it, because it does not seem to be appealing enough.

By doing so the Chancellor would do some good things. The opposition in the federal chamber, as well as economic experts, are of the opinion that her reluctance had just worsened the situation for Greece. Whether such statements are true or not, in any case, the reputation of Germany had deteriorated. It was probably only thanks to the pressure from France and the United States that she has finally yielded, even if with plenty of resistance. These countries, together with the Netherlands, insisted that not the Commission, but rather a still not yet realised institution will issue the loan. This leaves the increase in supra-nationality rather limited; nonetheless the Commission can decide over the 60 billion Euros of the EU-budget reserve and so directly intervene in national budgets.

“Defend the Euro... no matter the cost.”

This procedure, secured through article 122.2 of the Lisbon Treaty, confirms one of the main integration theories. Neofunctionalists argue, that supranationalisation of certain policy fields finally result in spill-over or transfer effects to other areas. The introduction of the Euro at the beginning of the last decade is now causing a Europeanisation of the crisis fights.

If this battle will be won, then the prestige of the supranational institutions will rise. If they also properly propagate, it will explode: the European Union, the paladin of the ordinary citizens – a dream of the federalist!

Image: The European Central Bank by Eric Chan. Source: Flickr.


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