Thursday, October 13, 2016

What Europe needs

While still recovering from the shock of the UK referendum result and trying to deal with the UK's demands re its post Brexit status, the European Union of 27 rest is trying to figure out its future.

I have often described the EU as road construction and maintenance work in progress.. The EU is a project that has been under almost continuous construction since its founding (as EEC). The result is that it has never reached a completion stage.

Eurosceptics not only in the UK but also in the other 27 would argue that the EU has gone too far and needs to either move backwards or dissolve - call it quits.

Public opinion around the EU has in recent years become more eurosceptic and there is good reason for that.

a) Although it involves many people from the member states, either government officials or representatives of business, trade unions and other interest groups, for most of the citizens and companies Brussels is indeed a remote Bubble. Add to that the very complex and lengthy legislative processes of the EU (directives and regulations).

b) Fiscal austerity proponents at national levels as well as the EU level have promoted an agenda that has greatly affected people's lives. Brussels gets blamed for much of that, directly and indirectly.

What the EU needs in growth and growth. And, of course, competitiveness. In theory, that is a win-win proposition. Growth benefits everyone, business, employees, media (ad revenue), other parties and of course politicians, especially the ones in government. In practice, not. Many benefit from troubled times.

How is Europe going to have more growth?

By having an EU structure that works better, not at the EU level only, but at all levels.
A structure that makes more economic and employment sense. If that happens, then the EU will gain much more popularity than it enjoys today.

Is that type of EU more federal than today's EU? Hm. Yes and No.

I will come back to ways the EU can make more economic and employment sense.

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