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Friday, May 30, 2014

Schäuble comes out strong for #EUReform

The latest intervention by one of Europe's most important politicians shows that, in the wake of the shock European elections result over the weekend, Europe’s leaders are waking up to smell the coffee.

Writing a guest piece for Die Welt, Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble argues:
What are the lessons of the European elections? Surely not a mindless pursuit of 'More Europe'. We need a more intelligent union.
He continues:
The question 'More or less Europe' - as one alternative or the other- has been posed falsely. On one hand we need a stronger Europe, particularly for the big and overarching questions, that no [one] state can solve alone. And, on the other, we also need a greater willingness to consistently apply the subsidiarity principle.
Setting out what he thinks Europe should be for, Schäuble says:
An intelligently integrated Europe, can in the end, even mean 'less Europe' - if after a critical appraisal, tasks and responsibilities are unbundled and clearly assigned. The EU could concentrate its tasks to the Single Market; trade; financial markets and currency; climate; environment and energy; as well as foreign- and security- policy. In the areas, therefore, where long-term success can only be negotiated on the European level.
He again laid out his view on treaty change, arguing that in order to strengthen the eurozone, it is "unavoidable in the medium term."

However, on the EU's 'democratic deficit', it is less clear exactly what Schäuble has in mind. He argues that:
A cleverly integrated Europe would then, look something like a "multi-level democracy" - a complementary, interlocking system of democracies with a different range and scope of competences: a National-European double democracy. Then the citizens of our national democracies and European democracy would be level.
Fine, but it is the exact balance between the two that is so politically controversial - and it remains unclear how German policymakers intend to square the inbuilt tension between national democracy and European integration, particularly in the eurozone where this tension is greatest.


Rik said...

Problem with German politics is that it is too much dominated by Merkel (and her managementstyle).

Merky's managementstyle is simply awful for a situation in which the EU is now.

Imho this will very likely end badly. Several important dossiers that need big moves or likely might require big moves somewhere along the line.
And the one step at the time approach combined with the populations (not only in Germany) not being ready for it or not supporting it makes things even worse.

A lot of Schauble's ideas are not well considered and simply often miss any sustainable popular platform, but at least he starts the discussion about 'big solutions' for big problems.

She has to make some important strategic choices and she simply doesnot. Always first looking from which angle the wind is blowing. That is simply no real leadership. In some situations it will work well (or it will be the best strategy) in others however it is not.

Just to mention a few.
-relation with Russia
-future energy policy (EU and national)
-US relation/NSA
-EZ still not on stable footing (nowhere near an optimal currency area)
-democratic platform for the EU
-EU reforms to keep the club together
-US treaty
-succession in her party
-views re AfD and possible future coalitions
-costs of welfarestate/aging
All dossiers that need strategic thinking and forward looking leadership and not Merky style follow the madness of the day before making a move. In several dossiers the latter managementstyle will cause a lot of unnecessary troubles.

Anonymous said...

> On one hand we need a stronger Europe, particularly for the big and overarching questions, that no [one] state can solve alone

And what would those be?

Of course climate "problems" (read: taxation) and the subversion of sovereign states in Europe, ME and Africa.
I am still confused about his climate comment, though: if that genius thinks the problem is solvable on the EU level, why does EU bother to engage in the idiotic UN sponsored climate freak shows? Unless of course the whole thing is indeed about the taxation.

Down with the EU!

John said...

I know it is hard for pro-Europeans to understand but the desire to abolish the nations of Europe out of fear of war is just another sort of racism.

This "Racism of the Second Kind" is worse than gangs of yobs because it seeks to eliminate whole races. It is an attempt at a final solution to the race "problem" in Europe.

Average Englishman said...

Sorry but Wolfgang still doesn't 'get it' and neither of course does Dave. Mr. Shauble may well be an EU 'big hitter' who is up for Dave's reform ideas but, and it's a big but, he still thinks it's a wonderful idea for a bunch of unelected EU Commissars to control the UK's (and of course all the other EU country's) affairs concerning:

The single market;
Financial markets and currency;
Environment and energy;
Foreign and security policy.

All I want, as do an awful lot of other voters, is afew bureaucrats to run the single market who are fully accountable to the democratically elected governments of the respective nation states. End.

The idea that the EUSSR needs to have control over all of the areas he listed because 'long-term success can only be negotiated on the European level' is complete nonsence.

Back to the drawing board Wolfgang.

Anonymous said...

" one of Europe's most important politicians "

He's not important.

He's just a sordid little Eurofascist like the rest of them.

Anonymous said...

Schauble has an appalling track record and is one of those who should have lost their jobs.

No thanks. Can we have a monkey with a pin instead? We would have more chance of getting it right.