Monday, May 30, 2011

EU Dynamics: 19.5 years after (the mistake in) Maastricht!

It was roughly 19.5 years ago when the leaders of the then EC12 met at an Intergovermental Conference (aka IGC) to agree on a new EU Treaty, the Treaty of Maastricht (signed in early 1992).

It was then that the Economic & Monetary Union project was decided and the relevant Treaty articles drawn. It was there and then that "The Mistake" occurred:

A currency union was decided without the foundation of a political union. The leaders of the 12 reshuffled the 3 ECs into one and called it European Union but without the essence, ie the political union (united Polity) the name implies.

Some 40 years after the defeat of the European Defense Community in a French General Assembly vote and the later (alternative) creation of the EEC and the Euratom, European leadership still lacked the will to announce the end goal of the European project: Political Union.

The effort to bring, European countries closer politically via the EEC ie via trade/biz/economics (the common and then (1993-....) single market) was successful, but it seems, at least now, that it had then, in 1991, reached its limits, as a method.

Instead of establishing a Economic & Monetary Union (EMU, the Economic was later kinda forgotten) as a way of preparing the way for Political Union later (how much later one can ask, 19.5 years later), Political Union (with or without EMU) should have been established.

Why?

Because maybe there is a reason why the intellectual works of Ancient Athenians and other Ancient Greeks, that shaped much of Western civilisation, were mainly philosophical and political. I am not aware of any economic or financial theories made in Ancient Greece. That is because politics (in the positive sense of the term) and Democracy, despite what many (including GW Bush,, but that is another story) thought, come before, way before, economics and "Agorocracy".

That "Mistake", made at the Maastricht IGC, seems to have come (back?) to haunt the EU (which has grown from 12 to 27) like a bad dream (a nightmare, called "ephialtes" in Ancient & Modern Greek)

For many decades, the Asian Mercantile Startegy (by Japan, then the Tigers, then China) and the US Dollar Reserve Currency Strategy (by the US) have dominated the "game" (see Gordon T. Long's excellent analysis here). EUrope self-confined itself to an "observer status" it seems, and now to a role not very different than that of Ifigenie (or is that part reserved for one of its members?).

Finance is "all Greek" to many people around the world who have been watching, listening to and reading the current affairs global reality show of the last few years, originally Crisis: NY. then the spin-off series (2009-...) Crisis: Euroland .

Unlike Bill Clinton's, this epoch calls for "It's the Polity, stupid". Better late than never, the EU needs its one (federal) Polity foundation. For the common currency and the rest of the policies to be based on. The walls that will save Europe are not literal (ie ones that keep immigrants out) but as in the case of Salamis, a metaphor, and in this case Political: Political Unity. That (political unity) which if the Ancient Greek city-states had established between them, the History of the last 2500 years would have been quite different.

Can the EU Europeans (named after a daughter of Zeus, Europe), especially those of the Eurozone or the Europlus, absorbed by their national affairs and "interests", afford to say that the above is "all Greek" to them?

If they do say so, then they better start learning Chinese, the future official language of a dysfunctional Europe.

The battle between Global Fin-Agorocracy and European Democracy is being fought at New Thermopylae. Beware of any modern Ephialtes, btw.


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Nick

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