Rethinking Europe
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Rethinking Europe
A collection of most innovative ideas on how to re-engineer the European Union
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Democracy in a state of emergency: Greece, the EU and the Eurozone debt crisis

Democracy in a state of emergency: Greece, the EU and the Eurozone debt crisis | Rethinking Europe | Scoop.it

Good article in Open Democracy on how this European Union is using the sovereign debt crisis as an excuse to shed of the last illusions of it being a democratic and social project for its citizens.

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A Modest Proposal from Berlin: End Democracy in the European Union

A Modest Proposal from Berlin: End Democracy in the European Union | Rethinking Europe | Scoop.it

"The Fiscal Pact mandates that all national governments in the European Union should achieve a “structural deficit” of no more than 0.5 percent of gross domestic product. I shall not again demonstrate that this concept is nonsense and, even were it not, 0.5 percent would be absurd, implying continuously deflationary fiscal policy. If the Pact is foolish, combining it with a “fiscal czar” (Merkel’s term, not mine) is authoritarian madness. It would abandon the pretense of electoral democracy within the European Union."

 

Good critical analysis by John Weeks of recent developments in European governance structure. Pro-Europeans who welcome this as "more Europe" are either terribly naive or have a hidden agenda.

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The end of the European dream

The end of the European dream | Rethinking Europe | Scoop.it

"Nations states will have to do it, therefore, either together in some grand conference, or more probably alone, after the crisis has put some radical into power. When this will happen, the European Union will simply vanish as the USSR did after the August Coup and the Belavezha Accords. Those who still nurture the dream of a political Europe, whether it be the Europe of Regions of my own political family or the Europe as civilization of the volkish far right will have to accept, as I did, that Europe has become an hollow shell and that time has run out. It is around nation states, not necessarily the ones we know by the way, that Europe will have to face the long descent, until they too dissolve."

 

Pessimistic analysis by French blogger Damien Perrotin explaining why the end of growth will also mean the end of the European Union.Worth reading.

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Europe’s Failed Course on the Economy

Europe’s Failed Course on the Economy | Rethinking Europe | Scoop.it
Austerity measures clearly are not working, so why are leaders still forcing it on Greece and others?

 

Very good opinion piece on Europe's myopic austerity policies in the NY Times. "Why are Europe’s leaders so determined to deny reality?"

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How Democracy Can Save Europe

How Democracy Can Save Europe | Rethinking Europe | Scoop.it

"... the solution must be a new Constitutional Convention, whose members are invested with the authority to begin again from the foundations and produce a lapidary statement of basic institutions and rights—rather than the ponderous EU treaties Europeans tend to vote down when given the chance in national referendums."

 

Absolute must-read article by Timothy Snyder in The New York Review of Books on the need for Europe to re-invent EU democracy if it is to prevent further meltdown of the European project.

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SPIEGEL Interview: 'It Is a Mistake To Pursue a United States of Europe' -

SPIEGEL Interview: 'It Is a Mistake To Pursue a United States of Europe' - | Rethinking Europe | Scoop.it

"In an interview conducted as he heads into retirement, German Constitutional Court Judge Udo Di Fabio explains why he believes the high court's recent decisions on the European Union will not necessarily hinder further European integration..."

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David Cameron's 'no' is bad for Britain and for Europe

David Cameron's 'no' is bad for Britain and for Europe | Rethinking Europe | Scoop.it
Timothy Garton Ash: The EU will never be the same again.

 

Although I agree that the 'no' is bad for Britain and Europe, I disagree that the EU will never be the same again. It is more the same than ever before. It is still hooked on its belief in socially unjust austerity to save the myth of the "free market" and still believes "economic growth" will get us out of the sovereign debt mess.

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The eurozone crisis: a terrifying race to become a diminished world power

The eurozone crisis: a terrifying race to become a diminished world power | Rethinking Europe | Scoop.it
Timothy Garton Ash: To see off the bond markets, the eurozone has to create a credible sovereign – but that may divide the larger EU...

 

Great article by one of the best commentators on EU policies. I like his comparison with Wagner's Nibelungen Ring but he forgets to mention the last act: Die Götterdämmerung (the demise of the gods).

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Europe's creditor protection dogma and a fiscal black hole

Europe's creditor protection dogma and a fiscal black hole | Rethinking Europe | Scoop.it

"One of the most striking and least well recognised facts about the crisis is that those who have ultimately benefited from public EU bailout funds are not the governments or citizens of periphery countries but international bondholders. The degree of financial concentration in the world today is unprecedented; bondholders belong to the richest five per cent of people in the world. Yet public bailout money has been used first and foremost to ensure that bondholders are paid in full or with minimal losses. This amounts to a fiscal transfer from taxpayers to private creditors. The cost for the rest of society is enormous: austerity measures in distressed countries have caused unemployment to surge and decades of welfare achievements to be scrapped."

 

The LSE blog has this good analysis of how rich creditors profit from the bail-outs while taxpayers are paying the bill.

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Euro-tsar to have veto powers on national budgets, Schaeuble says

Euro-tsar to have veto powers on national budgets, Schaeuble says | Rethinking Europe | Scoop.it
The EU should have its own "currency commissioner," according to an ambitious new plan set out by German finance minister Schaeuble.

 

This "new" idea by German finance minister Schäuble demonstrates the silent but persistent undermining and erosion of Europe's democratic system.

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Europe proposes banking union to ease debt crisis

As Europe's debt crisis intensifies, top officials say the continent urgently needs a central authority with the financial muscle to fix its broken banks.

 

The flight forward for EU leaders: a "banking union". Finally full recognition that THIS European "Union" has always been a Europe for capital, never for labour and citizens. As long as things went well, we got the crumbs from the tables of the rich, now they send us back to the poor houses and debtors' prisons.

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Stronger Europe or democratic sovereignty? Yes please

Great analysis in Open Democracy about the false choice between EU federalism and intergovernmentalism and the need for genuine European politics.

 

"The incumbent task for citizens is thus clear: to confront the political question directly. The era of ‘output legitimacy’ is over. How boldly Europe embraces new forms of input legitimacy - in which we will have to supply the ideas and the future of Europe ourselves, democratically as citizens - will determine whether and how we overcome the current sovereign debt crisis, as well as our deeper democratic malaise."

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An unhappy anniversary for the euro

An unhappy anniversary for the euro | Rethinking Europe | Scoop.it
John Grahl: If the monetary union does survive, in the form now planned by EU leaders, the cure could turn out to be worse than the disease...

 

Good analysis of the perverse policies to save the Euro and create a "fiscal union" which is in reality indeed a "surveillance union".

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New fiscal compact does not solve European Union’s existential crisis

New fiscal compact does not solve European Union’s existential crisis | Rethinking Europe | Scoop.it
Is this it? Have the Euro and the European Union been saved? In all the media noise about the splendid isolation of Britain, one might forget that the EU is facing not one but several crises and that the “fiscal compact “summit might well have postponed or even killed the more essential debate on its political future. This could have been the crisis which the EU should never have wasted.
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New EU deal faces multiple referendum threat

New EU deal faces multiple referendum threat | Rethinking Europe | Scoop.it
Within hours of arriving at a fragile treaty deal for the eurozone and nine other EU states, the agreement delivering deeper integration is already confronting the spectre of multiple referendums and a host of legal barriers.
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What Can Save the Euro?

What Can Save the Euro? | Rethinking Europe | Scoop.it
It is increasingly evident that Europe’s political leaders, for all their commitment to the euro’s survival, do not have a good grasp of what is required to make the single currency work.

 

Joseph E. Stiglitz expresses his doubts about European leaders' effectiveness in finding a solution to the Eurocrisis

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