After interviews with the leaders of the centre-right EPP group, the liberal ELDR party and the social democrat PES party, it’s now the turn of the European Green Party. There are two official spokespeople for the European Greens, and we approached both of them for their comments on some of the discussions taking place on Debating Europe. First up, we asked Monica Frassoni about the Eurozone crisis. Is the Euro “dead” as one of our commenters suggests?
The achievements and shortcomings of the old Economic and Monetary Union should be our guide. We need a real economic government, supported by a strong and democratic institutional order, which will make working together easier and not, as is the case now, more difficult. The institutional development of the EU has been stopped short of its completion. And, like a vicious circle and as all federalists predicted, if the EU project does not go forward then it goes back: the less powers, cohesion and resources, the less relevance and capacity to act.
Next, we asked Green MEP Philippe Lamberts about the debate on a “paradigm shift” raised by Peter, a commenter on Debating Europe. The current economic “paradigm” has lifted a billion people out of poverty over the last decade, particularly through the rise of developing economies such as China and India. If we change paradigms now to focus instead on wellness and sustainability, won’t there be a problem of a lack of equality between those countries that have already developed and those that are now “locked out” of developing?
If you have to live within the physical limits of your environment, then the question of equality blows up in your face. If you live in an infinite world, then some will get rich or increase their wellbeing faster than other, but ultimately everyone will get there in the end. But if resources are finite, then you cannot just say “all will get there eventually”, because the issue of equality becomes one of utmost importance. That is part of the paradigm shift necessary in the Western world.
What do YOU think? Is our current economic model broken? Do we need a fiscal union to save the Euro? Will YOU vote for the European Greens? If not, why not? Let us know in the form below, and we’ll take your comments to policy makers and experts for their reactions.
The United States of Europe is broken.
Every time it was “broken”, it emerged stronger
And it is the Europe of States, not the US of Europe
Our current economic model needs restucturing. Fiscal union is a must for the Euro to be alive. European Greens, to my view have a good theoretical plan in general. However thinking of the current situtation in Europe, we would rather need a proper financial oriented political guidance with Green Shaded substrate than a solid Green Policy that needs a lot of practical solutions that cost a lot.
I am with Mr Michael Tsikalakis…Totally agree..never voted for the Greens..so far at least..In theory all is great with them…But while their contribution and existence in a Parliament is crucial to balance out and push for any environmental issues, i do not see them as leading a country or having the majority in a Parliament…at least not with our current political structures and economic model…if things change perhaps………….
actually to be honest it is the German European Empire suported by a French colaborator and Puppet Governments in Italy and Greece. What will History say?
Probably something a little more nuanced than that Steve.
In this moment politicians HAVE NO REAL COHERENT PROJECT for Europe. They have a REACTIVE reaction and do not have a STRATEGY for medium and long term. For example more leaders told us that multi-culturalism is broken in Europe, but NO ONE bringed any solution to the problem. The democracy values are NOT WELL DEFINED. Where begins and where finishes democracy and where is the place of Europe’s values in democracy ?
My theory looks like so: the freedom gived by democracy it must be in the limits of European Values. Now EU because of democracy is destroying own values. EU becomed a MIX of ALL CULTURES. If we will apply this system to ALL countries in the world we will WIPE OUT all cultures. This IS NOT MULTICULTURALISM, it’s a WORLD CULTURAL DISASTER. Every nation must conserve own culture. So, human rights MUST RESPECT this principle. I must not build orthodox church in the middle of Cairo. Maybe ! at the margin of the city. The problem is that Romanians are not emigrating to Egypt or Siria, but they are emigrating to Romania. In Romania the problem is not so grave, because the phenomenon it’s only 20 years old, but in UK, France, Germany, Italy etc there are serious problems. If you emigrate you must ACCEPT the customs from that country and NOT TO MODIFY IT as you like. If you are guest in my house and you are starting to change everything ? I just don’t agree. If you come into my house, you must respect MY RULES ! IF my customs are not good enough for you, you are free to search in other place, better conditions. I was kind and let you to live in my house because is better then yours and I have enough space. This not means that you can start to modify my house and destroy my traditions etc. It’s mine’s. If you can live with my traditions, FINE. If you can’t, find another place to have a better life. All this things MUST BE PUTTED IN EU CONSTITUTION.
All this rules will make Europe to be a STRONG STATE, a state capable to compete with US, China, India etc. All this rules will LIMIT the ultra-nationalist feelings and problems. In the crisis the ultra-nationalism is becoming the GREATEST THREAT against democracy and human rights. The solution is a MODERATE European nationalism.
If we don’t install this rules, Europe will become a war zone between irritated Europeans and ethnic minorities. The economical problems will make all situation WORSE. We MUST keep Europe in PEACE. In Africa and middle-east there is a lot of instability. Russia seems to become unstable too. In this conditions Europe MUST REMAIN PERFECTLY STABLE to try to avoid long term WAR. It’s a huge security problem and must be solved PROPERLY.
If we analyze what bailed out countries have in common, it’s very high oil dependency.
European economic policies should focus on reducing dependency on foreign products, such as petrol or natural gas, since they are very un-elastic and don’t respond propperly to aggregate demand changes.
If Member States don’t want to archieve a “federal economic system”, then at least try to build a european super-grid wich will give all these countries a more resilient economy.
An important first step would be to acknowledge long-term ecological effects in the estimation of “cost” and “profit” – neo-liberal economics seems determined to have both of these concepts only contain short-term elements that are readily measurable: the hourly wage of a worker, the energy consumed to acquire a resource and produce a half-fabricate, etc.
Long-term effects (environmental, health, social, …) are thus automatically negated, as there isn’t really a place in the current economic paradigm within which to value it (also, they clash with the prevalent idea of “infinity”) – they are disposed because of being “immeasurable” and/or “subjective”. I believe this to be the consequence of making our cultural disposition and understanding of the world subservient to raw economical logic (even a flawed one of “unlimited growth”). Yet we must not forget that economic thought is in itself for a large part a product of cultural thought, as any economic historian will be able to tell you – it may disguise itself as mathematics or physics, “unchangable” natural laws; but that is far from true especially when going beyond the basic behavioral laws of economics (thus: beyond supply-demand, diminishing returns, etc.) into the workings of financial credit-mechanisms, fiscality, etc.
I predict that if we manage to place a high socio-cultural value on long-term elements (among which the natural environment in which humans will need to survive), we could influence and change the economic paradigm just as easily as neo-liberalism did, and early Smithianism once did, and mercantilism before that, and religion’s view on intrest before that, and so on.
Note: it will probably not do if we just “assign a random guesstimate”-value at ecology, health, and other long-term elements in our current economic paradigm, since that will be at odds with the prevalent short-term focus. But maybe I’m wrong about that.
23/10/2017 Paul Allin, co-author of the book “The Wellbeing of Nations” and a visiting professor at Imperial College London, has responded to this comment.
23/10/2017 Alessandro Magnoli Bocchi, founder and CEO of Foresight Advisors and a former senior economist with the World Bank, has responded to this comment.
I reagrd myself as pro-european as an Englishman who has lived in Spain, Germany and now Ireland. But the way our potitical leaders has lead the Euro area into diaster reminds me the time of Kings of Europe use to send troops to fight large unwinable huge battles becaus eof their egos. We have the franco-german alliance who clearly do not understand the markets and even think they can rule them with regulation – sending out our ecomonic troops to a war that cannot be won! The entire euro project is desirable but the implementation has been foolish – aslast weeks EU meeting cleary demonstrated.
Greens do have a real coherent project! (In response to Miscarea).
About Political Economy they have the new Felber’s “Economy for the Common Good”, which has a heap of measures towards a more re-distributive economy.