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The constitutional change we should be pushing for in the current crisis is to make the ECB subservient to the Commission.

The ECB is, by far and away, the EUropean institution that has acted with the most flagrant disregard for the good of the Union in this crisis. The Council has been mostly out of sight, the Commission has not really done anything to make it an obvious scapegoat, and Parliament hasn't done anything in this crisis to justify expanding its powers. No, the ECB is the target of opportunity here.

Now, making the ECB subservient to the Commission won't, in and of itself, be sufficient as long as the Commission is still run by neoliberal halfwits. But it means that the next time the ECB drives the € into a ditch, we can blame the Commission for not properly policing the ECB, and demand greater parliamentary oversight of the Commission. (Naturally, the bad guys will use the next crisis to argue for reinstating the ECB's independence - that's the "problem" with winning a battle; it gives you more territory that you need to defend.)

A EUropean treasury is a great idea, but it will crash and burn politically. Better to focus on attacking the institution that has made itself vulnerable.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Nov 18th, 2010 at 09:14:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The ECB is, by far and away, the EUropean institution that has acted with the most flagrant disregard for the good of the Union in this crisis. The Council has been mostly out of sight, the Commission has not really done anything to make it an obvious scapegoat, and Parliament hasn't done anything in this crisis to justify expanding its powers. No, the ECB is the target of opportunity here.

The reason to expand the parliament's powers is to make the notion of broader European solidarity legitimate and to make European policy more accountable and to try to move more powers and responsibilities to the European level.  It won't necessarily mean the voters will choose better policies, but if they don't, so be it.  

by MarekNYC on Thu Nov 18th, 2010 at 09:30:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I completely agree. I'd very much like to adopt a full parliamentary system in the EU in which the ECB is just another branch of the Commission, the Commission serves at the pleasure of the Parliament, and the Council is severely de-clawed.

But for "justify" you should, in the above quote, read "done something that will provide political air cover for" rather than "done something to provide a good reason for."

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Nov 18th, 2010 at 09:34:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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