The flaw in the Monetary Union

Jurgen Habermas has an interesting article which has been reprinted in Social Europe. He assesses the problems of the Eurozone and their basis in the top-down administrative approach taken by European unification. The continued kicking of the economic can down the road is mirrored by the haphazard attitude to political integration. This fosters the growth of national resentment and increases the likelihood of a Euro-zone break-up. Habermas does not assess what tools for a common economic policy are needed, but this is a useful and interesting article.

The rapid succession of crises in terms of finance, debt and the Euro has revealed the erroneous construction of a huge economic and currency area, which lacks the tools for a common economic policy. Eurosceptics like Angela Merkel have been reluctantly compelled under these systemic pressures to move towards integration. With the decision by the European Council of 25 March this year, the error should be eliminated on the informal path of ‘open coordination’. This compromise has, in the view of those involved, the advantage of letting sleeping dogs lie. On the other hand, its effect, insofar as it functions at all, is undemocratic and conducive to fuelling mutual resentment among the populations of the various Member States.

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