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To me it looks like the kind of break-up the neo-liberals want: an EU (even the eurozone) that is a free-trade zone made up of independent member states that enter into competition with one another rather than cooperate. The competition game is 1) cut taxes 2) offer cheap, disposable labour. It's sometimes called a race to the bottom. It depends which way you look at it. If I were wealthy, I might be tempted to call it a race to the top.
Economic integration requires political integration, because it creates economic tensions that cannon be solved at any level smaller than the whole economy. The European Monetary Union will lead to closed political union, but it seems that things will have to get worse before they can get better. It needn't have been that way, but it was always easier to sell economic integration than political integration.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 31st, 2007 at 10:53:47 AM EST
It's the same problem as the UK opting out of social provisions, though at least they have a seperate currency.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 31st, 2007 at 11:07:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]

The European Monetary Union will lead to closed political union, but it seems that things will have to get worse before they can get better. It needn't have been that way, but it was always easier to sell economic integration than political integration.

That's how the EU (in its previous EEC/EC incarnations) moved forward: get some (easier to agree) economic reforms under way, and then let the resulting political pressure bring us towards political integration.

The problem is that there are now too many euroskepitcal countries (and the leaders of France and Germany themselves are less euro-enthusiastic) to get the second leg working. Or it's just that the euro was such a great economic reform that it has brought no crisis that would really bring about the need for political integration. Compared to the monetary crises and devaluation traumas of the 80s, the current spats on budget deficits are very mild.

... Hmmm, food fo thought.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Jan 31st, 2007 at 11:21:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I realise something is not quite working as intended.

What I'm arguing is that closer political integration of the Eurozone is a necessity because a common economy requires a common economic policy with explicit (and sizeable) redistribution mechanisms. But some "core Europe" is likely to be established via enhanced cooperation. Given the near doubling of the size of the Union in the last 3 years, I wonder whether that, which used to be anathema, won't also become a necessity.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 31st, 2007 at 11:30:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
cannot and closer, of course.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 31st, 2007 at 11:23:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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