Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On the EU Single Market, on the occasion of the relaunch of the SMA on April 13

Some 3 weeks after the Europlus Pact agreed at the March 25 European Council and less than a week after the raise of the Euro interest rate from 1.0% to 1.25%, comes the Relaunch of the Single Market Act on April 13.

Some thoughts:

1) Does anyone look at the EU as a single yet complex "system"/space and wonder how this system can work better for people & firms, all parts (regions) of the system?

‎2a) How low do POR, IRL, ESP, GR, ITA etc salaries have to go to be competitive with eg Chinese ones when a) Euro is high b) China is in WTO (ie no tariffs and quotas allowed for the EU)?

2b) And how can one expect POR, IRL, ESP, GR, ITA et al workers to be as productive as eg GER, NL ones, when working in POR, IRL, etc?

3) Another example: EU Single Market: What strategic planning at EU level was done eg to address Irish exports' access needs (and costs) to the rest of the EU? Portuguese? Greek? Finn? Lithuanian?

4a) These are the types of inter-policy strategic issues someone in the EU should be looking at before one claims that the EU's or Eurozone's periphery is uncompetitive!

4b) "PIIGS" being "weakest link" is a myth. In EU & Eurozone systemics, the grandstanding by GER, FRA, UK is the "weakest link.

5) EU Single Market Act relaunch: This is one area where the typically British (anti-red tape) approach is needed (as opposed to FR dirigism(e))

6) EU Single Market cannot depend eg on bilateral (OECD based) double taxation avoidance agreements between member states!

7) EU Single Market Relaunch: Professional ID cards? Is this another red tape joke?


8) In short we need an EU that is, acts and feels like a real Union, for the people & firms that are in it. Such a real Union with common regulations/laws doesn't mean that all regions are copycats, eg Catalonia can still produce different products/services than Attica or Brabant or Baden-W├╝rttemberg etc!

9) Except for some "complex" manufactured products, how can Eurozone manufactured goods compete with utra cheap Chinese & mid price US ones?

10) In spite of EU2020, Europlus Pact etc, the EU & the Euro+6 lack a real strategy for competitiveness, growth & employment/ For example how can the Eurozone tourism industry compete in the EU, Europe & the world with an expensive Euro?


11) Bottom Line: IMO a real single market and a real single currency need real political union (a single "state").

12) Food for thought: Is it time for plan B: The "economic Fortress EU" option?

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