(i) EBko defizit demokratikoaz
Bill Mitchell-en The EU’s democratic deficit is intrinsic and unfixable without dissolution
The democratic deficit is intrinsic and EU dissolution is required
The Transparency International EU Report’s recognises that the “Eurogroup’s lack of political accountability is difficult to fix” because the “democratic deficit” is intrinsic to the architecture of the common currency.
The system was designed to generate a democratic deficit because that would make it easier to maintain the neoliberal mindset in the face of the devastating consequences for ordinary European citizens.
In other words, recommending that the Eurogroup publish minutes, and other things like that will not “fix the problem”.
The problem is intrinsic.
The problem is THE euro!
Thus the “incrementalism” reforms proposed by the Transparency International EU Report are really window dressing and the authors recognise that these reforms do not:
… address the underlying fault lines in the institutional architecture of the euro area that ultimately limit the capacity of the Eurogroup to govern democratically.
It also sees the solution to the “democratic deficit” in the guise of “Transformation”, which would fundamentally alter the architecture of the Eurozone by creating a federal fiscal capacity and aligning those responsibilities with fully elected positions at the European level (“a new parliamentary assembly for the euro area”).
I considered that solution in detail in my 2015 book – Eurozone Dystopia: Groupthink and Denial on a Grand Scale.
While it would allow the common currency to function with the in-built austerity bias, the chances of it emerging are nil.
Germany will never cede its authority on these matters to a federal body.
Which is why the Europhile reformers come up with all these ‘dancing around the shadows’ type reforms – for example, a European unemployment insurance scheme and other similar changes.
None of which will redress the democratic deficit or alter the stagnation bias.
The Transparency International EU Report concludes by noting that for the “‘rule takers’ – the citizens of the 19 EMU countries” to accept the legitimacy of a European fiscal capacity” they must also have:
… a belief in collective identity – Max Weber’s Gemeinsamkeitsglaube – and trust in the benevolence of fellow European citizens.
And, there is the rub.
There is no collective identity. National divisions, cultures, languages, historical enmities and all the rest of the differences persist and dominate.
At best, the EU should be disbanded and reconstructed as a body for intergovernmental agreements on matters deemed to be too large in scale to be solved by each Member State individually.
Fiscal policy and full employment policy is certainly not at that scale.
(ii) Europar super estatu bat?
Bill Mitchell-en A progressive European superstate will never come to pass
Europe (the EU) is not a state. It has no ‘fiscal’ capacity to pursue the “radical environmental and economic change” that is needed.
The Treaty that establishes the EU is pure neoliberalism that is the antithesis of the ‘radical’ economic changes that are needed.
The Eurozone is not a state. It also has no fiscal capacity and is the most developed expression of the EU’s neoliberal imperialism.
The Europhiles seem to think that a bit of tinkering here, and a reform there will alter the show and push it in a progressive direction.
They are dreaming.
The whole concept has to be abandoned, national sovereignty restored and a new intergovernmental dialogue opened to work out what a ‘European’ cooperation might look like to ensure there is political action at a scale commensurate with the problem.
The operations of a currency in a region that is differentiated by historical enmities, major cultural and language differences, and differences in infrastructure needs and demographic structure, is not of a scale that a ‘global’ or ‘Pan European’ is required.
Progressives should support small scale democracy – where the polity is closer to the people and depoliticisation is less possible.
Trying to achieve the opposite – a “European superstate” – which not only “will never come to pass” but in the process “the attempt to get there must have disastrous consequences, for both democracy within participating countries and the relations between them.”
That is the point the Europhile Left cannot get their head around.
They speak of reforms – and a new idea pops up on a regular basis to much fanfare – but meanwhile, the neoliberal project continues and further undermines the democratic desires of the citizens.
And when the citizens protest, the state brings out the troops and breaks heads!
Wolfgang Streeck finishes on an eloquent note:
In conditions like these, the German saying applies according to which a sparrow in hand is better than a pigeon on the roof, and we may add: especially if that pigeon may turn out to be a starving imperial eagle.
(iii) EB neoliberala da eta korporazio interesen menpekoa (eta Brexit)
Bill Mitchell-en The EU is neoliberal to its core and captured by corporate interests
Whatever the origins of the European Union (and I analysed that in detail in my 2015 book – Eurozone Dystopia: Groupthink and Denial on a Grand Scale), the modern incarnation of the Union is neoliberal central.
Neoliberalism is built into the Treaties. It is a core aspect of the Union not something around the edges that can be dispensed with and then we move on to utopia.
The so-called “democratic deficit” in the European Union, often denied by Europhiles, arises not because of lobbying behaviour, but because only narrow interests are served by this behaviour.
The money involved in maintaining missions in Brussels or venturing to Brussels means that organisations that might represent the interests of the poor and the fragile, and who are typically cash-strapped, are absent.
Progressive reforms mooted such as an European unemployment insurance scheme will do nothing at all to change this endemic cancer.
The fact that the progressives want to just tinker around the edges must seem like gold to the corporate interests who have captured the EU decision-making structures.
As long as the progressives ‘count the number of socks in their drawers’ they are not focusing on the main game.
And the fact that the Europhile progressives are so wedded to maintaining the EU architecture means they will never challenge the basic structure that nurtures the neoliberal capture.
So the corporations go about their merry way and the democratic deficit widens.
That is the EU reality in 2019 and has been so for some decades now.
No nation should desire to be part of that neoliberal miasma.
Brexit means that the British government will be able to escape that sort of neoliberal tyranny – should it have the will.
And Brexit …
(Ikus Blog-eko hurrengo sarrera: Brexit-ez beste behin)
The CEO Report is just another contribution that tells us how sick the EU has become.
While the authors think that some changes at the Member State level can retrieve the situation, I am less convinced.
The neoliberalism of the EU is core. The whole house has to be torn down, the block cleared, and new foundations laid.