Document:GEAB No 84 Crisis Alert for European governance
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Crisis Alert for European governance – Risk of a Very Large Separation between EU leaders/European people
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Europe has chosen the wrong way at the crossroads
- 3 Europe's de-Americanisation hasn't happened
- 4 Poland and Italy: Some specific cases of being pushed in another diection
- 5 Strange French government reshuffle
- 6 A Germany pulled in all directions=
- 6.1 Fear of the future and tightening of the western camp
- 6.2 The westernization of international and trans-national organizations… or their explosion
- 6.3 From the west to westernism
- 6.4 From democracy to democratism
- 6.5 No, the tipp’s signature isn’t motivated by europeans’ interests
- 6.6 Straight ahead towards an escalation in eu-european tensions
- 6.7 Imposing a major transatlantic market on europeans that they don’t want: instructions
- 6.8 And if that isn’t enough, there still remains the option of demonizing the europeans
- 6.9 It’s time to be paranoic… so as not to sink into naïvity
- 6.10 Reasons to be hopeful?
- 7 References
In the GEAB N°1 of January 2006, Franck Biancheri (its coordinator until his death in October 2012) laid out the following sequence of the crisis’ stages:
- Crisis of confidence in the Dollar
- Crisis in the instability of US finances
- Oil crisis
- American leadership crisis
- Crisis in the Arab-Muslim world
- Crisis in world governance
- Crisis in European governance
The fact is that we now find ourselves at this last stage in this sequence of events anticipated by Franck Biancheri in January 2006. And, for several months now, the GEAB has been trying hard to draw attention to the political crisis now affecting Europe by describing the collapse of the post-Maastricht Treaty framework of governance and by trying to show that a way forward to resolve the crisis really exists and that it’s on Euroland’s side.
If you wonder why this list stopped at this stage of the European political crisis, the current situation gives us the answer: as much as the previous stages logically string together one after the other, according to the nature of the outcome of the last, radically different scenarios open up for the events that follow. Will the EU cause its collapse or will the rationale of a Euroland future succeed in finding its way?
Europe has chosen the wrong way at the crossroads
For several months as well, we have alluded to the idea of a Europe at the crossroads. In addition, LEAP generally has long advocated closer Euro-BRICS ties as a condition of a non-contentious cooperation between the different global centres. But today Europe has begun to lose the sense of its own destiny, its responsibilities and values… along with its independence and promise of peace.
In the previous issue we described the damaging consequences for Europe’s independence with the construction of a new iron curtain on its eastern border at length. One month later, cold war rhetoric continues to be exploited by all our politicians, media and the Brussels bureaucracy.
The hypotheses that we put forward a month ago remain: in the negotiations on the signing of a EU-Ukraine free trade agreement the West, led by the US, forced the Ukraine to choose sides in rejecting the constructive Russian proposal for tripartite negotiations (Russian-Ukrainian-European) which would have allowed an agreement satisfactory to all parties de facto involved to be found. Forced to choose, the Ukraine is divided, has lost its liberty and its status as a buffer-state guaranteeing smooth relations between Europe and Russia. From this situation the Europe-Russia confrontation logically ensues, accentuated by the US’ bellicose and authoritarian stance and its constant interventions, destabilizing European foreign relations and pushing the EU into the arms of the US and NATO. Returning to the front of the stage, the completely anachronistic reasoning of a cold war and a NATO characterized by losing speed since the fall of the Wall; considerable improvement in the chances of the signature of a TTIP already lost in the previous context; the opening of avenues in all directions in terms of a EU-US energy partnership, etc. Polarization of the world at the time of it becoming multipolar, Europe’s Americanization when the NSA scandals were about to take its misalignment is a fact, emergence of a new “Western” ideology contrary to all the much vaunted Western principles of globalization and gradually adopted by the rest of the world, an iron curtain is once again falling on Europe with the active complicity of most of our governments.
Europe's de-Americanisation hasn't happened
Because, contrary to what the “public debate” on the Ukrainian crisis seems to show, the real question is not to know if Putin was right or wrong in getting the Crimea back, but how can we accept that the US involves itself in European foreign affairs to such an extent ?
In fact, we recall national governments’ resounding silence in the face of the war madness that gripped Brussels and our media last month. Today, the situation is worse: our governments are not only silent; they are actively participating in a division. France has requested the cancellation of the EU-Russia summit, the Baltic countries are requesting that NATO troops be stationed in their countries , Poland has reduced its Russian gas imports, Finland and Sweden give the impression of panicking at the idea of being invaded by Russia… The brainwashing is at its peak, henceforth led by many national governments, with others still silent…
The Chinese call to “de-Americanize the world” comes to mind. The warning has been acted upon in some countries: the serious diplomatic dispute between India and the US or the CELAC summit in South America is the death knell for US influence in these key strategic regions. The NSA surveillance scandal provided the opportunity to extricate ourselves from these circuits of American influence in our state machinery and had, moreover, been used in this sense up to the Ukrainian crisis .
Poland and Italy: Some specific cases of being pushed in another diection
However, we can follow the swing of other countries into the Western camp quite accurately.
Poland’s case is representative. At the end of the “very Atlanticist” Kaczynski brothers’ term of office, Donald Tusk’s election as Prime Minister in 2007 seemed to signal Poland’s exit from the post-Berlin Wall era. The new leader had a resolutely pro-European policy, anti American missiles and working to restore ties with Russia… until July 2008. On this date he refused, for the last time, to install the anti-missile shield that the US never stopped forcing on him. Because in August 2008 he capitulated and stated that “thanks to this shield, the US and Poland will be safer”. What arguments were able to change Donald Tusk’s mind on such a crucial point? A mystery. Whatever it be Donald Tusk’s Poland has played and continues to play a vital role in the escalation of Euro-Russian tensions .
More recently Matteo Renzi’s coup d’état in Italy, a real NATO aircraft carrier, certainly guarantees the US good cooperation with this country. Renzi is a man of the left cut in the cloth of Clinton, Blair, Schröder, Obama, Strauss-Kahn, etc.: learned from Anglo-Saxon inspired neoliberal theories, useful for passing anti-social measures which cause vehement protest when coming from the right. The LSE qualifies him as “a friend of America and pro-European”, a combination which now causes a shudder.
Strange French government reshuffle
Even more recently, the 180° turn in all François Hollande’s French policies is a real cause for concern.
The poor showing by the Socialist party in the municipal elections has clearly been exaggerated by the media (but with the government’s agreement because no voice has been raised on the left to point out that in the context of a major crisis and chronic unpopularity, the results for the Socialist party weren’t very serious) with the aim of forcing a cabinet reshuffle. We must therefore ask why this reshuffle took place and a careful examination of the CVs and the new organization is required.
What worries our team is Manuel Valls’ very Clinton-Schröder-Blair-Obama-Renzi profile who is already committing himself in favour of a tax reduction policy, indebtedness and the ECB’s “expansionism”  characteristic of IMF-Washington thinking and contrary to the conservative orthodoxy professed by a German-ECB of reducing indebtedness (we will come back to this analysis later).
There is also the surprising transfer of foreign trade from the Ministry of the Economy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs  which raises trade questions – such as the TTIP for example – which comes under the jurisdiction of national policy, without doubt allowing a better bypassing of its obligatory acceptance by the National Assembly and reinforcing foreign influence on the situation… without taking into account that Foreign Affairs remain in Laurent Fabius‘ hands whose atlanticistism isn’t a secret.
The third point which bothers us concerns the moving of the General Secretariat for European Affairs (SGAE) under the auspices of the Elysée . This change could be good or bad news: it removes France’s European policy from a Matignon which is much more independent than its predecessor and puts it under the direct and strengthened control of the head of state; but it also allows decisions in this domain to bypass the Parliamentary control to which the Prime Minister’s decisions are subject, unlike those of the Presidency. The kind of method suitable to bypass democracy to accelerate the TTIP’s adoption, for example… In this respect, our team believes that it is too early to judge whether, in particular, this latter measure is a combat strategy against anticipated pressure or, on the other hand, the symptom of a capitulation to them.
A Germany pulled in all directions=
On the German side, the situation is particularly unclear, probably also because of the lack of objectivity in the media’s interpretation of events. The head of the Bundesbank, Jens Weidmann, acknowledging the risk of deflation in the Eurozone, suddenly seemed favourable to an ECB quantitative easing policy on 25 March, only to explain the significant differences between the Bank of England’s QE, the Bank of Japan’s, the Fed’s and others, and stated on 10 April that the risk of deflation was in fact still very low... But that, if the Euro became too strong, it would be necessary to ease… We can guess the enormous pressure behind such inconsistency… in a German banker to boot! Schaüble, the German Finance’s Minister, is resisting and continues to fight for a stronger political and democratic control of Euroland, advocating the creation of a Eurozone Parliament.
Merkel, however, after having tried to raise her voice against Russian sanctions, is now increasingly inaudible. Steinmeier, from Foreign Affairs has, meanwhile, just surprised everyone by stating before an audience of business leaders strongly opposed to Russian sanctions that it was no longer possible to trade with the Russians like it was before.
How long will Germany hold on?
Fear of the future and tightening of the western camp
At this point we need to understand what the motivation is for what resembles such a capitulation in the European elite (bureaucrats, politicians and journalists) right out of the middle of nowhere. In fact, all this politico-media class can’t suddenly become traitors to the European cause. Therefore, it must feel justified in its approach to such a radical strategic reorientation. But what can be the justification?
There are countless reasons for this motivation but those which interest us are those likely to have convinced the very top of the European pyramid. But our team has identified two developments which, put into perspective together, could have scared our leaders.
On the American side there is this famous « taper » which, as we showed in February, marked the failure of the previous policy of indebtedness and signaled the engagement of the Dollar explosion process. On the European side, there is this fear of deflation  which would reduce the Europeans’ efforts at good management these last few years to nothing.
This dual context has given the upper hand to the Brussels Westernists and Washington who have thus found the arguments to convince of the urgent need for an iron alliance between Europe and the US, an alliance which, sadly, can only be made against the rest of the world (a conclusion which, on its own, should have eliminated this so-called path to a solution): you Europeans are on the verge of exploding with your austerity generating a slowdown and deflation… if the Dollar collapses you won’t withstand it… so let’s join forces to save us all ! Let’s establish a huge Euro-Dollar free trade zone (or rather Eurodollar-Dollar then Dollar-Dollar, because it will be inevitably be a question of a Euro being an integral part of the Dollar zone) allowing the circulation of these huge amounts of money to continue! Let’s reorganize the energy market on the rationale of self-sufficiency at the core of the Western camp (with fracking throughout countries)! Let’s put a closed and “between friends” world into place, running on the known principles of the “world before”, far from the complexity of the multipolar world which would cause us to lose our touch (which is true for the US but not Europe) and their unfair competition!
And, in addition, we keep control over the means of restructuring our debt, that’s to say wiping our slate clean cheaply. It will escape no one’s notice that the West versus the emerging nations is also debtors against creditors. But give a dog a bad name and hang him, and he who no longer wishes to repay his neighbour makes him his enemy.
The westernization of international and trans-national organizations… or their explosion
Of course, only military logic can oversee this kind of development and that is excellent news for NATO which has been stagnating with boredom, uselessness and obsolescence since the end of the Iron Curtain. Moreover, it’s interesting to note that NATO and the EU, both made up of 28 member States, the majority of which are the same in fact, are both headquartered in Brussels with alleged Parliamentary assemblies which represent no one… seem to have combined their agendas. François Ruffin wrote a book on whether to blow up Brussels . He replied « no »; he was mistaken. Europe’s problem is that it’s really the ghetto of non-democratic, technocratic and monolingual institutions closed in on themselves and disconnected from European realities which just suck up to the member States’ embassies with its ideology of survival. Our team has personal knowledge of this, having worked on the concept of the EuroRings project from 2002 to 2006 , to germinate the idea of deploying EU institutions in a circle of major European capitals to open up the EU and allow its democratization and ownership by Europeans.
In military matters, last month we saw that the Ukrainian crisis could eventually serve to cancel the Pentagon’s recently imposed budget cuts. Our team regularly follows the news on this subject but, for now, it doesn’t seem to be a question of anything of the kind. What has appeared on the television, on the other hand, is the discussion on the renewed increase of US contributions to international organizations like the UN .
As we dwell on these questions we have discovered interesting negotiations which can be summarized as follows: the Ukraine, for example, has revealed a problem for the US, that’s to say it no longer has the means to support its policies. Preventing Russia from gaining influence in the Ukraine, yes; avoiding the country’s bankruptcy, no: who will pay? Europe? The IMF? In any case not the United States which, all in all, has offered $1 billion of the $35 billion that the Ukraine needs to pay its bills… to Russia moreover. As regards the Army, it’s more or less the same thing: the budget cuts have clipped the Pentagon’s wings. So a low-cost strategy would consist of (re-) gaining control of international organizations such as the IMF (to finance the Ukraine) or the UN (to regain control of peacekeeping forces). To do so it would, in fact, be good form to begin by renewing the increase in its contributions which have continually fallen in absolute terms (lack of resources) with the arrival of new members. The first problem: Congress would refuse. Second problem: to give these organizations other people’s money, money which is very useful for carrying out its politics, it must also give them power; but of course, the Russians or the Chinese aren’t going to accept funding organizations which run policies contrary to their interests. This attempt at recovering 21st-century Western-oriented organizations for the benefit of Western interests is doomed to failure because, inevitably, it will scare off the non-Western members and what remains, if anything remains, will no longer be international… without taking into account that it’s not the West in crisis which will give generously to these new-fashion organizations.
From the west to westernism
Political anticipation is there to remind us that when a system is no longer able to adapt to underlying historical trends (and the emergence of new fundamentals is an underlying historical trend characteristic of the 21st century), time freezes and gets bogged down to make room for these stone ages to which history is accustomed, ideological totalitarian regimes of all kinds which usually unravel in blood to allow trends to renew their course.
What distinguishes the fall of State communism at the end of the 80s and the collapse of the American world of the first decade of this century is that the first was the end of an ideological system and the return of the regions involved to the real world, whilst in the second case it’s really the opposite which has happened: the American world was quite simply a dominant system, adapted to the characteristics of its time, surfing the actual dynamics of exchanges and relationships .
But the American world that sailed on the reality imposed by the planet’s bipolar character began to divorce from reality in general with the underlying change in this reality in 1991. In 20 years the system began to increasingly malfunction. The global systemic crisis unleashed in 2008 corresponded to a simultaneous exit from the system’s natural track (negative) and the emergence of new structural features (positive).
As for Europe, it easily found its place in these new features as we have often said, and it’s inclusion in the new paradigm was even likely to help the US, naturally the biggest loser in the transition to find its place in the new setup.
But the current route distances us from this scenario. In its place we are seeing an attempt to put a backward step in place, towards a bipolar world built on confrontation. And this time it’s the West which is in the wrong, which must establish an ideology, a “Western-democratism” (or something like that), to justify the erection of a paranoid closed system.
From democracy to democratism
If the word “democracy” is used at the drop of a hat, it’s de facto with a complete disconnect between people and the politico-administrative elite that are leading us into current developments. In fact, in many ways, the people now give the elite cause for concern:
- first of all, the deconnection isn’t new and the transfer of authority to the European level which hasn’t been accompanied by the transfer of political power crystallizes the divorce between the elite and the people since the Maastricht Treaty;
- since 2008 the crisis has further reinforced this sense of European citizens’ powerlessness in the face of the treatment given out to them by bureaucrats whom they haven’t elected or those they elected who no longer look after their interests.
But up to now political-administrative interaction was still appropriate. With the Ukrainian crisis we have changed dimension:
- the military posturing and the deployment of troops to Europe’s borders for “reasons (of State) that escapes the reason (of the citizen)” doesn’t happen without a certain feeling of abandonment taking hold of the average citizen;
- Washington is constantly interfering in purely European affairs, visible since the debate on the Ukrainian crisis, doesn’t fail to ask worrisome questions of Europeans on the independence and identity of those steering the EU;
- an ECB poised to opt for a resorting to US methods of quantitative easing criticized for the last six years and, in fact, whose ineffectiveness we can see today, inevitably causes strong suspicion;
- the manoeuvres used to expedite the signing of the famous TTIP (we will come back to this subject later), despite all advice (consumers, libertarians, business leaders, etc.), finished by filing the system’s machinations in the “betrayal” category of the most obvious European collective interests.
No, the tipp’s signature isn’t motivated by europeans’ interests
Let’s dwell for a moment on this TTIP from which the European Commission claims to have won us €120 billion in additional economic activity. The first thing that comes to mind is “how could the facilitation of trade with the sluggish market of 250 million American consumers at the expense of our access to the emerging countries’ fast-growing multibillion Dollar markets be a good deal?” Because here is the problem: we can clearly see that the TTIP cuts us off from the Russians to begin with, then the BRICS  which will strengthen the ties between them as a logical reaction to the West’s aggressive posturing .
Moreover, trade between the US and Europe has already long benefited from very low customs tariffs (rarely more than 3%) .
So, it’s not tariff barriers that the TTIP is attacking but the legal protection, those which Europe has built to protect its market from toxic products particularly. For decades Europeans have built a market, particularly in foodstuffs, meeting strict health standards reducing GMCs to a minimum, hormones, and all sorts of chemical products… standards which we apply to our own… and, of course, to imported products. It’s thanks to these standards that Europeans benefit from foodstuffs which are the most controlled and healthiest on this planet, that these standards are imposed on the rest of the world, that they therefore exert an upward force for the greatest benefit of consumers throughout the world, and that Europe has built itself a justified image of a producer of high quality food products which are therefore easily exported. The TTIP objective is simple: reduce standards to make them compatible with the US’… The consequence of this deregulation will be to give US products access to our market, products which are inevitably competitive in terms of price given their lower quality, which will pull the quality of European food production to the downside in the medium-term and collapse their qualitative competitiveness… we better understand why German business bosses, for example, have been against the TTIP from the outset.
In issues of attacks against the TTIP, the ISDS ( Investor-State Dispute Settlement) gives a huge advantage to businesses in the States in the case of litigation . On the European side, there is still a little time, when asked that this clause should simply be removed from the agreement but, on the American side, there is no question. From now on, the Europeans have given in and should set about “convincing” the general public of the ISDS’ benefits as part of a very transparent consultation/explanation .
Many other reasons are mobilizing citizens’ associations, consumers and business people against the TTIP . But according to our team, a feature emerges from the foregoing which, in fact, condemns this Treaty which is, that above all, it clearly appears as a tool at the service of American exports. Obama, with his attempts to short-circuit Congress with the use of « fast-track » mechanisms in fact says a lot about the TTIP’s vital nature for Washington, much more than for Europe. Moreover, we can easily imagine the powers at work behind this Treaty, first and foremost the enormous Monsanto .
Straight ahead towards an escalation in eu-european tensions
The growing sense of a betrayal by the European elite, working more in the interest of foreign powers or multinational economics, therefore inevitably exacerbates Europeans’ discontent. The recent bomb explosion in Athens in front of the Troika buildings , anti-austerity demonstrations in Brussels  and the TTIP with slogans as explicit as « Europe: owned by wolves, governed by dogs », increasingly brutally repressed demonstrations and henceforth outside the law  particularly in Spain… reveal the panic of a civil society which literally feels at its wits end. And, in fact, that’s the whole problem: that which the media interprets and orchestrates as an anti-European sentiment matches the gradual realization that complaining to our governments doesn’t offer much chance of success… less from the latter’s deafness than from impotence. But to whom should we complain? Europe? “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” !
But the threshold which now seems to be in the process of being crossed is this: that the EU leaders and member States, in search of levers of power but unable to find them with their “citizens”, are henceforth resolutely turning away from those citizens and are closing in on a new lever of power: Washington, which is giving them a common direction, instead of the collective European interest, competent to organize them and restore their sense of can-do (in this instance the “can-do to create a huge transatlantic market”, the “can-do to find themselves an enemy”, the “can-do action of military force”…). One feared seeing the extreme-right fill the European political void. Well, initially at least , we will have a system of « collaboration » which without doubt teaches us about the forces at work in the temptation of the European elite during the Second World War: when the ruling class were disconnected from their people, it’s only collaborating with the strongman of the day that they can recover the intoxication of power… a feeling that no mid-level politician can resist .
The member States’ leaders in partnership with the Brussels bureaucrats therefore are lining up in close ranks under Washington’s leadership. And we will now see how this lovely world has planned to impose their attractive collaboration treaty, the famous TTIP, on Europeans (and Americans).
Imposing a major transatlantic market on europeans that they don’t want: instructions
In fact, with the TTIP, the split between the EU and civil society is almost complete. It is taken for a fact in terms of trade policy by the Lisbon Treaty and the pattern of the TTIP negotiations themselves .
Moreover, to the question “should one consult civil society or carry out feasibility study on the consequences of the transatlantic market?” Parliament has simply and without any debate said “no” .
On one side we have non-elected policymakers, the European Commission and its horde of negotiators, which have full and wide-ranging powers to negotiate on trade matters  (including, in this case, on the provisions which fall within the exclusive power of the State ), unaccountable to any supervisory body (the European Parliament as well as the Council  only having knowledge of the treaty once signed by the European Commission when it’s submitted to them for validation ), not free of conflicts of interest , working under the pressure of industrial and financial lobbies and, it must be remembered, always with a lifetime’s immunity for acts performed in the course of their duties .
And on the other side we have the pseudo-democratic institutions which, in fact, don’t control the decision-making process at any point in time, negotiations by the European Commission are almost secret, the text will only be revealed once the agreement has been signed, the European Parliament’s consent prior to the Council’s decision, considering the major political balances in Europe and the preponderance of parties which support the TTIP , will be a given , the Council itself’s only latitude is, in fact, to validate the signing of the agreement or not, room for manoeuvre which is reduced to “take it or leave it” .
Ultimately, therefore, it’s of little interest to address the question of the European Parliament’s role as regards the TTIP’s acceptance or not. Without the issue of blocking the US fast-track procedure which prevents Obama from bypassing Congress, the agreement would be on the Councils table for validation without a doubt.
Given this wonderful people that rush to the door, one can judge that the matter is important. No less than seven European Commissioner’s are standing for election next May which, like Karel de Gucht, the Trade Commissioner, or Ollie Rehn, in charge of the economy, monetary affairs and the Euro, all have an industry, trade or finance profile .
It’s a menu of the coalition of mammoths, lobbies within the Parliamentary groups, an exercise to which all these Commissioners are perfectly honed…
Whatever the new make-up of the European Parliament, the Council will be the decision-maker, and we will then end up with the same as those who unanimously gave the mandate to the European Commission in July 2013. There will be no more changes in the ministries in the meantime. Renzi  is obviously all in favour of the TTIP and, in France, Fabius the pro-Atlanticist Minister for Foreign Affairs, has picked up the foreign trade portfolio for his ministry (with the Presidency’s blessing ).
The Secretary of State, Fleur Pellerin, moreover, hastened to support the TTIP the day after her nomination .
Note here that the Franco-German pair converge perfectly on the TTIP, between the French and German Ministries of Foreign Affairs: Steinmeier of the SDP and Fabius of the Socialist Party – and the external trade portfolios: still Fabius even after the reshuffle, and Gabriel of the SDP . Even if unanimity hasn’t quite been reached, the qualified majority is sufficient.
We see the politico-procedural-legislative effort at work to obtain, at all costs, the signature of a treaty which, more than ever, is rallying European civil society and not just the anti-globalization organizations as we have seen above!
And if that isn’t enough, there still remains the option of demonizing the europeans
But if all this isn’t enough to pass the TTIP under the nose of European public opinion, it isn’t inconceivable any longer that the Council plays a downright anti-democratic card. Exacerbated by a European Parliament which decides to oppose the TTIP as part of an electoral campaign partly supposed to reconnect with the citizens, the Council might be inclined to go further in finding that the EP has no legitimacy in this subject and adopts the TTIP alone.
On this point, the alleged extreme right “wave” in Europe, combined with an explosion of social unrest, all in the context of a near-break out of war with Russia, would admirably serve the very pure intentions of our European leaders/EU technocrats who could use the excuse of a serious risk to European democracy to interrupt, if only temporarily, next May’s electoral process. Since February, suddenly, the time seems, in fact, to have become ripe to interrupt the Democratic processes in Europe in the name of democracy, to protect Europe from Europeans who have become mad by pretending to avoid a scenario like Germany in 1933… History repeats itself but never in the same way: the establishment of a totalitarian regime in Europe could take place under the pretext of a repetition of the Nazis’ seizing of power… where the far right parties are a very useful red cape. Conceptual shortcuts are already blooming: racists = anti-democrats = democrats = anti-Europeans = anti-austerity = Euro critics = pro-Russian = soon, anti-TTIP = all “terrorists”! Here is the enemy within that it will soon be justified to amalgamate and fight.
It’s time to be paranoic… so as not to sink into naïvity
Our readers know that it’s not our custom to be alarmist regarding Europe. And the fact is that, until last February, Europe was following, chaotically but surely, a way which, little by little, was leading it onto the future paths of balanced relations between its historical US ally and the new hubs of world power made up of the BRICS, balanced relationships guaranteeing its independence and importance in the global 21st-century game. A strong Euro, a powerful economy, balanced trade, working for the structuring of a Eurozone economic-political governance, naturally connected to the emerging markets on an economic level, Europe held all the cards to emerge stronger from the global systemic crisis.
The attack to which it was subjected last February has derailed it and our team has difficulty in seeing where the grab rails are to get it out of the rut into which it’s been thrown. Without doubt, these are to be found at the junction of civil society, “normal” economic forces (which are seeing their investment in the opening of new markets currently going up in smoke), small progressive parties and, perhaps, some European organizations (like the Court of Justice which has just recently rejected a Commission measure for telephone and internet surveillance ).
But the whole world isn’t organized at European level, potential partners aren’t easy to find, new means of political action are struggling to invent themselves… If the member States, bad but unique guarantors of the collective interest, let their citizens go, there really is cause for concern.
Reasons to be hopeful?
On this particularly alarming scenario, of which we are aware, we refer to last month’s recommendations which still constitute an exit route from the crisis. Furthermore, we have mentioned Obama’s difficulty in getting his fast-track proposals accepted by Congress. Finally, could hope come from where the attack came, namely the United States? Or even the BRICS who would find a way to bring everyone to their senses by force of conviction or some other means…
It’s unlikely that the European elections will provide the basis for a quality public debate on these issues. The major parties are too busy claiming ownership of the scarce common programs that they have painfully manage to concoct as a 28 ; the anti-democratic parties will satisfy themselves being “anti-European” in the name of national sovereignty; the smaller parties, from whom some hope could spring, will probably be unable to unite their meager forces at trans-European level.
Yet it’s probably this last route that would be Europe’s best chance.…
- ^ Source : Communiqué public GEAB N°83 , LEAP/E2020, 15/03/2014.
- ^ On this subject, read the article "the Ukrainian Crisis, a dramatic blow to Euro-BRICS rapprochement and the emergence of a multipolar world" published by LEAP's Euro-BRICS network. Source : LEAP/Euro-BRICS , 04/04/2014
- ^ It's the US which has anticipated and guided the whole of the European reaction to the Ukrainian crisis: they were the first to take offence at Yanukovych's choosing of the Russian agreement, pushing our leaders to sanctions (Financial Times, 30/03/2014), insulting us when we didn't comply quickly enough (The Guardian, 07/02/2014), deciding on the date for the signing of the EU-Ukraine treaty (EU Business, 13/03/2014), stationing their troops in place of NATO's on the EU's eastern borders (ABC, 09/04/2014), etc. The US is fanning a war in Europe without any European government answering back.
- ^ Source : Deutsche Welle, 20/03/2014
- ^ Source : Financial Times, 09/04/2014
- ^ Source : The Economist, 04/04/2014
- ^ It's an American newspaper which was forced to bring them to their senses. Source : Washington Post, 09/04/2014
- ^ Source : Reuters, 13/03/2014
- ^ Source : MercoPress, 28/01/2014
- ^ Source : Deutsche Welle, 20/03/2014
- ^ For proof, just Google « Tusk + Ukraine ».
- ^ Source : LSE, 29/11/2013
- ^ In any event our team isn't questioning the honesty and independence of François Hollande’s policies during his first two years in office. In economic terms, France has actually been a true counter-model balanced between the policies of austerity and indebtedness (on this subject, read the article « The Plot against France » by Paul Krugman, published on 10/11/2013 in the New York Times) based on equal taxation; as regards its foreign policy, especially African of course, conducted in an equal partnership between regional political and military forces, was a real hope of renewal in the management of this type of crisis; moreover, it's this French way which justified the media and poll fury, the famous "Hollande-bashing" which the French president, considerably weakened politically, seems to have finally given in to last February.
- ^ For example: « Manuel Valls: a smart operator in the Blair mould », The Guardian, 01/04/2014
- ^ For example: « Manuel Valls promises further €11bn cut to French taxes », Financial Times, 08/04/2014
- ^ Source : MNI, Deutsche Börse Group , 08/04/2014
- ^ Source : Reuters, 03/04/2014
- ^ Source : Libération , 08/04/2014
- ^ Source : Reuters, 25/03/2014
- ^ Source : La Tribune , 26/03/2014
- ^ Source : Bloomberg, 11/04/2014
- ^ Source : ForexMinute, 14/04/2014
- ^ Source : Financial Times, 27/03/2014
- ^ Source : EUObserver, 10/04/2014
- ^ Source : GEAB N°82, LEAP/E2020, 15/02/2014
- ^ We are dealing with this deflation risk topic in more detail in this GEAB issue.
- ^ Moreover, we note the return of the anti-Euro rhetoric recently (this article "kill the Euro to save Europe" in the Vif-L’Express of 01/04/2014 gives a good indication of this renewed trend) knowing that if one thinks about it twice, taking account of the fact that it's impossible to instantly revert to national currencies, a Euro exit would have the sole solution (at least temporary) to make Europe adopt the dollar… sovereignists on all sides who proudly defend this idea could have the intellectual honesty to carry their idea through to the end… But it seems that in Europe these days being a sovereignist and leaving Washington to manage European affairs isn't a problem…
- ^ You didn't know, we didn't either, but yes: NATO has a semblance of democratic legitimacy: the NATO Parliamentary Assembly! Source : Wikipedia
- ^ Source : Faut-il faire sauter Bruxelles ?, Amazon
- ^ Source : Europe2020, 15/04/2002
- ^ Source : CNSNews, 02/04/2014
- ^ Source : Bloomberg, 06/04/2014
- ^ Source : Xinhuanet, 15/01/2014
- ^ Contrary to what some claim, capitalism isn't an ideology, it's a timeless reality capable of producing the best (when the wealth created serves the interest and well-being of the common good) as the worst (when the grabbing of this wealth by a minority predominates).
- ^ Source : Deutsche Welle, 06/04/2014
- ^ It’s important to make the effort to look at the situation which we have put ourselves in from the BRICS angle. This watcher’s clear conclusion is that the West is no longer reliable, that the US has become highly dangerous and that it’s necessary to pull away from their remaining influence as quickly as possible.
- ^ Source : ArteTV, 17/02/2014
- ^ Source : Euractiv, 22/01/2014
- ^ Source : Commission européenne, 27/03/2014
- ^ We note that the other major free trade treaty – the US-Asia (TTP, Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership) has difficulties itself to convince… Source : The Japan Times, 10/04/2014
- ^ This organization’s interests are expressed for example, when, at Washington's request, they agreed to cut back on their intensive lobbying in Brussels… so as not to risk upsetting the negotiations… Source : CBCNews, 03/06/2013
- ^ Source : Reuters, 10/04/2014
- ^ Source : EUObserver, 04/04/2014
- ^ Source : The Guardian, 21/11/2013
- ^ Famous phrase attributed (probably mistakenly) to Henry Kissinger. Source : Wikiquote
- ^ Faced with such a betrayal by the elite, democrats of all colours will find a new, particularly favourable, playing field and the technocrats, in search of a lever for the people and order, will probably choose, in a second step, the alliance with such forces.
- ^ Another short Henry Kissinger quotation : « Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac ». Source : Wikiquote
- ^ Source : Négociations UE-USA, la procédure
- ^ Source : no-transat.be
- ^ According to article 207 §3 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union which states that "The common trade policy is, applying article 3 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), under the exclusive authority of the European Union". Source : Représentation Permanente française auprès de l’UE
- ^ The Council gives the green light to start talks with the US with a view to concluding a free trade agreement. Source : Council of the European Union
- ^ Even the member States can't find out what's in the TTIP before it's signed by the Commission. Source : Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, 08/03/2014
- ^ Source : Prawokulturi.pl, 26/03/2014
- ^ See the list of TAFTA negotiators (another name for the TTIP… anything to lose the citizen, including having multiple names for this free trade treaty), noting all the industry, food, financial groups, etc. Source : Quadrature du Net
- ^ Source : Newropeans Magazine, 23/03/2004
- ^ Vote of the EP resolution supporting the negotiating mandate (April 2013):
. Yes: 78 % ; no: 18 % ; abstentions : 5 %
. By EP political group:
-People's party: yes (204/217)
- Social-Democrats: yes (125/43)
- Liberals: yes (59/66)
- Greens: no (43/47)
- Radical left : no (30/30)
Source : Les enjeux du TTIP
- ^ Article 218(6), paragraphs (a) and (v) of the Lisbon Treaty adds an additional criterion requiring that the EP gives its "consent" (before it was "agreement") if an agreement covers the areas to which the ordinary legislative procedure (PLO) applies. As trade is now covered by it, this seems to confirm the thought that the EP must henceforth "consent" to the adoption of all trade agreements. Source : ICTSD, December 2009
- ^ Sources : European Commission; and TTIP : Une négociation à la Pirandello, EPC, 23/01/2014
- ^ Sources : Wikipedia ; What’s the deal with fast-track authority?, UNC, 07/02/2014
- ^ The Italian Antonio Tajani, industry ; the Finn Olli Rehn, in charge of economic and monetary affairs and the Euro, and Public Accounts Chief Inspector during the European term ; the Pole Lewandowski (financial programming and the budget) ; the Croat Mimica (consumers) ; the Belgian Karel de Gucht (trade)… Source : Challenges, 03/04/2014
- ^ Source : IlSole24Ore, 09/04/2014
- ^ Since his invitation to visit the US the opening day of the Olympic Games in Sochi, Hollande has become a fan of the TTIP. Source : Euractiv, 12/02/2014
- ^ Source : Challenges , 12/04/2014
- ^ Source : Deutsche Mittelstands Nachrichten, 24/03/2014
- ^ Source : EUObserver, 08/04/2014
- ^ « Ukrainian crisis : Eight strategic recommendations ». Source : Newropeans Magazine, 31/03/2014
- ^ In fact, they are very proud of putting true democratic progress into practice… which should have been done 20 years ago… by appointing a head of the list (whilst European democracy is a matter of teams and not individuals) and to develop a common programme by getting everyone round the table (although it's necessary to work in small groups to get a subsequently negotiable content). As good students, the EPP, ESP, European Greens, etc. worked on the task and will therefore defend their consensual programmes, therefore inept, and completely deconnected from the real issue of the day which is, of course, the Euro-Russian crisis.