Reformed EU Budget (Eurobonds) vs transfer of activities to EU


#1

Rather than going towards a solidarity for government debt, which encounters resistance from some member States for incompatibility with National constitutions (Germany, at least) that will not be overcome in the short or medium term, I suggest that the proposal should be to transfer selected subject matters from national governments to the EU, each national government bearing its fair share of the budget. Subject matters to be transferred to the EU could/should be: defense, agriculture, environment, health and inspective activities (many inspective activities are already centralized- see banks and farmaceutics).


#2

Practical but dangerous. I usually never play this card but as a German I can criticize German politics with more credibility: Do not stop opposing german conservative, neoliberal, capitalist bullshit. Don’t forget that in their own country they represent a minority that is in power due to flaws in the political process (non-voting, coalitions, weak politicians). If you don’t fight for what is right, you are not doing anyone any favours.

I like constructive ideas for better, fairer management of government debt - but Eurobonds are a disputed symbol and should not be given up easily.


#3

I too would not normally play this card, your critic is as fair as mine, I am German, too. Let’s look at it from this side: In a final stage of an integrated EU, with harmonized fiscal and economic policy, Eurobonds are a fair and good thing to have. But you need to get there first. A centrally harmonized fiscal and economic policy will be about the last national governments will concede because it represents a loss of power. Currently, e.g. in Germany, a country of about 60 million potential voters, assuming a co-responsibility for other countries debt is a red flag not only to conservatives but also to many socialdemocrats and leftists, and including Eurobonds in a political program rather than as a general item promoted in discussions means to be confined there to an irrelevant marginal movement (considering also that many greens will vote for the Greens, etc). In the last EU elections, total valid votes were 163 million, of which 29 million from Germany (potential voters in G are about 62 million); like it or not but this is too significant a share to ignore altogether. I do not think it is wise to jeopardize future political significance of the movement by proposing just but unrealistic propositions. Maybe my suggested transfer of selected areas is as contentious (though right, as I believe).


#4

hi, your analysis is fine, but it ignores, in my opinion, the fundamental issue of, the fact that since 1971 when the usa went off the gold standard and changed to a fiat currency, then all bets were off. Debt is now an artificial creation of the ECB and national CB’s, Therefor, we must address this issue of who controls the money supply and take back said control, because anything else is merely window-dressing. Cheers.


#5

In the current setup, doing what you proposed would simply bring the most powerful countries to use these matters at their own advantage, as it has already happened for the past 20 years. One thing I believe would be even more useful is starting to see Europe from a regional point of view rather than national one: there are 2-3 Italies as there are 2 Germanies. One can’t simply make a national average and reason on the base of this: it makes little sense for a country like Italy to bear its “fair share of the budget” and perform massive transfer of budget when the southern part of it it’s in a worse shape than most of Poland or Czech Republic.


#6

I agree with Padraig that we must fight to bring the control of monetary policy in the EU into the realm of democracy. At present it is dictated by a clique of unelected “technocrats” and imposed on member states largely through control of the European Central Bank. Did anyone vote for Wolfgang Schäuble or Jeroen Dijselbloom or Mario Draghi who is Martin Selmayr and by what process are these men appointed to positions of great power? To whom are they answerable for the policy decissions they make?
I believe this to be practically the most important issue in our struggle for a people centered economy in a united Europe.


#7

Thanks martin_b, alas, this is not a new fight, but a very old one, and if i may quote the words of Thomas Jefferson

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing [ of money ] power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.

—Thomas Jefferson, 1802.