Europe’s economy has stalled yet again, with the Eurozone now at risk of a triple-dip recession. The latest economic figures published by Eurostat indicate that economic growth has shuddered to a halt in the Eurozone and is not much better in the economic bloc as a whole, with just 0.2% growth across the EU-28.

Even the typically robust German economy is starting to lose momentum, posting negative growth for the first time since 2012, whilst the French Finance Minister, Michel Sapin, has announced that his country will fail to meet its growth (and deficit) targets for 2014.

Some of our commenters argue, to put it bluntly, that Europe needs to start “making things” again if it wants to escape from a permanent economic winter. Nearly 18% of EU GDP was represented by industry in 2000, but that figure has now dropped to just 15% in 2014.

Vicente from Italy says:

They told us [that] Europe will be a service economy… I think now the EU Commission is realizing the mistake and already many economists are saying that we need to increase our customs tariffs and re-industrialize.

We recently had a video question sent in from Jorens, a student from Latvia, asking how MEPs saw the economic development of the EU progressing over the coming years. We took this comment to Evelyne Gebhardt, a German Social Democrat MEP, to see how she would respond. She thought that re-industrialisation was the key:

But can we really turn back the clock to the 1950s? We live in a globalising world with fierce competition from rapidly-developing economies, and perhaps Europe has permanently lost its competitive advantage when it comes to “making things”. We had a comment from Spyros arguing that instead of asking “should Europe re-industrialise”, the better question is: “CAN Europe re-industrialise”?

Spyros believes that, even if European countries wanted to bring back the manufacturing industries that have (with several notable exceptions) gone overseas, they either lack the raw materials that these industries need or they lack the necessary technical experience and skilled workforce. In addition, he argues that other sectors of the economy could be damaged by this approach. In Greece, for example, a renewed emphasis on heavy industry could spoil the environment and harm the country’s tourism industry.

How would Evelyne Gebhardt respond to this criticism? She argues that the EU has many competitive advantages that can compensate for higher labour costs, including excellent infrastructure, good education systems, strong rule of law and (more-or-less) functioning institutions.

Should European economies try to re-industrialise? Does Europe needs to start “making things” again if it wants to create jobs? Or would “re-industrialisation” be a futile attempt to turn back the clock to the 1950s? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Tim Abbott

101 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Mirko Celii

    that should be not a question, but the only alternative to preserve richeness and employment !

  2. avatar

    The Industrial sector should always be part of the economic strategy, a country that doesnt make anything will be heavily dependent on those that do, and it means that jobs that could have been in Europe will be somewhere else, and then comes the ecological question of whether it is a good idea to produce things far away and then ship them to your nation. But we must not forget that manual labour is not sexy anymore in Europe, most people today would prefer a nice cozy office job, so to get the indistrialization going this will certainly have to be addressed.

  3. avatar

    Europe MUST industrialize if Europe wants to be alive, because this economy policy of trade and services is killing European civilization.

  4. avatar
    Yulia Amariei

    With or without Europe the problem isn’t in making more things, what were you thinking?! Is creating a social system that works! Is about changing social paradigms is about acceptance of One Earth & its resources, politics should develope & forward those concepts. Help propagate those ideas…some of us already realising thus and screaming for – don’t loose time!

  5. avatar
    Al Beirão

    I dont think it is needed. Let all the industry in Germany and keep delaying the development in Africa. That has been proving to be the right policy! Ha, and let the chinese work, ok?

  6. avatar
    Borislav Valkov

    The best answer is another question! How we see ourselves in the near future and what is making us richer compared to nowadays?

  7. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    I support the “re-industrialisation” of Europe as I see it the only way out if the crisis. It is obvious that the Asian economies are doing better because they manufacture and export goods, rather rely on the banking sector, property bubbles and massive loans to sustain their economies.. A new green industrial revolution, introducing and inventing new green technologies should bring innovation and productivity back in Europe. Just like we did it before, we could lead a new way and be pioneers again, instead of followers!!

  8. avatar
    Máté Parászka

    do it ecological somehow, or else we all will move in the woods until there are woods in europe…..or until there is a europe.

  9. avatar
    Gatis Gailitis

    We need manufacturers and IT specialists. Most IT companies strive in US while Europe don’t have their search engines and social networks.

  10. avatar
    Petre Cristian

    May be is too late…UE people looking for profit in short time grow up another “places”.

  11. avatar
    Stefan Mrvaljevic

    Seems like the only countries doing well in Europe are those who actually produce… like you know… uhm, Germany ?

  12. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    What did MEP Mrs. Evelyne Gebhardt, a German Social Democrat contribute?

    1) yes, she speaks several languages-
    2) she disagrees with Jorens & confirms the lack of raw materials-
    3) she trusts/dreams that EU brainy evolution will solve all problems and create
    good jobs to finance the EU bureaucracy and her pension- so do we!
    4) did not present any EU plan, program or vision-
    5) actually said nothing- just bubbled, sitting in a comfortable office- paid for by us!

    It is amazing that voters think that 751 EU politicians have answers to complicated problems! Thinking is outsourced! Let’s get more serious: “Re-industrialize”- using a picture of a welder at work- like in the 1950 or in Bangladesh or China today? OMG! O.K. maybe meant literally- but the EU wasted 20 years with natty gritty issues- like serious issues of black spots on oranges!

    At which point does job automation (software and robotics) begin to overtake the human workforce? Oxford University found that 47% are currently at risk to automation- with no need for any benefits, insurance, sick leave, motivation etc. Future Robots will work for ~0.30c/hr 24/7 & no Union or politician to stop them!

    World No 2 the Belgium-based think tank “Bruegel” found 51% of jobs in Germany are subject to automation in the next two decades and why British University Minister David Willets believes robots will “take over middle class professions” almost entirely in future. Some analysts go even further that technology has the potential to replace “workers for 80% of current jobs.” Just a hint to EU/ Evelyne Gebhardt: does she know, have a plan & provide for such a future?

    Foxconn plans to replace 1.2mio factory workers with 1 mio robots. Microsoft Robotic Studio- creating software for robots- is pioneering the next revolution!

    Please ask a think tank not a politician!

  13. avatar

    All that needs to be done is to introduce tariffs and to cancel all these free trade treaties.

    But who’se gonna tell the masses that they can’t have cheap gizmos and cheap clothes anymore? Good luck with that!

  14. avatar
    Natan Simonian

    Yes,it should.
    But re-industrialisation means also securing fair wages to the workers and employees,fighting unemployment,opening Europe’s borders to migrant workers and giving foreign capitals more rights for investments.
    There would be no re-industrialisation without social justice and equal opportunities.

  15. avatar
    Erich Scheffl

    We lost already so much knowledge because of the EU policy. Now you ask us, the people who suffer from your Lobbyism-greed. We sold our competencies to China over the last 25 years. We need http://www.WWSEEP.com in Eu and World Wide. It should not be necessary that people have hunger.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Erich Scheffl
      I agree with a lot of your ideas but its not just knowledge that the EU has lost because of its policy.

      The EU has lost its soul, its gravitas, its legitimacy – the French and the Germans [the BLOOD BROTHERS] are soooooo busy marshalling/wielding/exerting power that dying people in non-EU or non-potential-EU countries appear to be of NO importance to the EU.

  16. avatar
    Borislav Sotirov

    No reindustrialisation with high wages. Industry went abroad because there are people eager to work for peace of bread only.

  17. avatar

    A re industrialized Europe based on Russia’s oil and gas ? No, thank you. A re industrialized Europe with pollution caused by high volume production in some countries and the final assembly in others ? No, thank you. A $67/hour blue collar worker in some country and barely $3 in others, No, thank you.

  18. avatar
    Miguel Cabrita

    In a free market society that is not a decision to be made by political means, unless the decision is to make a 180 turn on the EU political path made in the last 22 years.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      That would be a good start…..

  19. avatar
    catherine benning

    Tell me this, what other ideas do you have up your sleeves in that EU leadership talking shop if bringing back manufacturing isn’t the prime front runner? Of course you have to bring it back and today would be a good time to begin.

    Not only manufacturing, but producing our own food from organic farming, start right way to be as self sufficient as possible. Close the door to imports that we can make and produce for ourselves. We do it better than anywhere else for sure. Get our people working.

    Throw out the TTPI discussion and legalisation of today, our people have been the front runners of innovation for centuries, take back that initiative, now. And close the door to mass immigration, our people need this work to survive themselves. Your duty is to them first, they pay your wages through their taxes and don’t you ever forget it.

  20. avatar
    Asbjorn Okkenaug

    Yes, I do believe that Europe should reindustrialize. Remember there is now substantial high-tech industries based on R&D. Comsumer goods (f.e. shoes) or huge ships could be manufactured in Europe if production cost was set to the level of f.e. the Bric-countries. Europe need to maintain and improve our economic status in the world. If not we may become the poor European cousin. On Norway as an example, without the oil and gass, our gross annual taxable income would have to be set down considerably.

  21. avatar
    António Rocha

    Ahhhh,so blind this people !!! So stupid,make this obvios answer question,so many years after this carnage !

  22. avatar
    António Rocha

    Ahhhh,so blind this people !!! So stupid,make this obvios answer question,so many years after this carnage !

  23. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    Yes BUT…

    The EU is too small geographically – it lacks resources.

    What countries would host the new industries?

    Should the Northern EU nations provide yet more SOLICHARITY for the Southern EU nations?

    The EU is too small demographically, it lacks people.

    The EU is too old demographically, it lacks young people.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive


      Yes BUT…..lets give it a go! If the going gets tuff- the tuff must get going- never say never, because a brave heart never dies!

      “The EU is too small geographically – it lacks resources”
      True- call in the Dutch dredgers to make more! European resourcefulness is endless!

      “What countries would host the new industries?”
      Quite naturally, the ones who are smarter, quicker and act on their feet- whoever that may be- don’t wait for the starters gun! Definitely not for the EC/EUP, their apparatchiks or slow movers!

      “The EU is too small demographically, it lacks people.”
      True- smart people design robots & program them to create 1 bio worker robots- pension provisions are everybody’s own problem!

      Yes- no “SOLICHARITY”- no bank bail outs- no more gambling!

      “The EU is too old demographically, it lacks young people”
      True- robots will make robots make robots make robots….enough now?

  24. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @EU Reform- Proactive
    Despite your crypto-speak and your penchant for the ubiquitous cliché and your occasional grammatical lapse [pretend-deliberate eh] methinks thou may have a point or two or three…

    1…Dutch-dredgers, hmm, yes, BUT not very green.

    2…Agreed, NO EU involvement in job creation.

    3…Hmm, robots yes BUT depends to a large extent on 2 perhaps?

    4…Agreed, the EU has wasted billions on trying to civilize/industrialize the likes of Greece [a country with a great ancient heritage BTW] and yet despite an initial flourishing its degraded back to a developing nation again.

    5…See 3 BUT why not also include working 5-year visas for peoples outside the EU. It would help old EU citizens and provide remittances for poorer peoples to help build up their own economies.

    BUT the EU needs to be drastically reformed as a matter of urgency – its not just the democratic deficit, its civil service needs to be over-hauled too to reflect pro-rata [with the exception of the micro-states] the size of the various EU countries – there are too many Spanish and Polish EU-crats when compared to the relatively few EU-crats from the much larger UK.

    The Latin/French influence on the EU must be denuded – the power of the FOURTH ESTATE must be magnified, checks on the political elite [all of whom volunteered to be a member of same] MUST be enhanced [at the expense of their privacy to reduce corruption], business-influence on policy must be curtailed.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive


      Aye aye, Sire- do I detect a preference for the old tyme’y way & maybe a rare hidden smile between the lines? Please excuse my offending, occasional grammatical lapses- will’ do my best my Lord!

      Admitted, I was no architect to the Codex Wormianus- nor contributed to any parts of the trivium of the seven liberal arts. I try to be a humble servant & co-participant in the FIFTH ESTATE! I suspect the fourth Estate has been infiltrated by the other three already and need to be kept in check!

      Unfortunately, I cannot (‘denude’) support any tribal based discrimination in Europe- only to support law and order in any country and condemn the HRC for interfering with authorities who are empowered to implement such laws. (Spain’s border)

      1…hmm, yes, BUT paint them green- or blast the bare rocky mountains of the north into the sea- even more stable!

      3….hmm- wrong- my robots don’t need that anymore!

      5…..see 3. But where people’s intelligence/skill is a requirement in the EU- give them a 3 year work permit, for semi skilled a 1 year should do. Citizenship never after 5 years- consider maybe 20- if they are able & pass a EU test and willing to ‘assimilate’. Crates of unemployed and unemployables- return to sender immediately- with an advisory letter to their president & cc the UN & HRC!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @EU Reform- Proactive
      “M’lud” and NOT “My Lord” would have been more apposite dear chap. :)

      It seems you are ANTI-EVEN numbers old chap, what’s wrong with same?

      Only 7 liberal arts? You are a tad limited dear chap – have you not heard of Manga or Marvel or DC?

      Codex Wormianus? I listened to a BBC WS programme about same recently – quite interesting as too was the high degree of ‘genetic similarity’ present in Iceland.

      One can decry and discriminate on the basis of culture without recourse to ‘tribal discrimination’ old bean; there is a subtle difference. FTR, pretty soon in Europe ‘tribal discrimination’ will be impossible as Europe will become a ‘coffee-coloured’ melting pot.

      BTW, your generation-long visa suggestion is a tad extreme and akin to indebted-servitude. Given my African heritage I cannot condone such an extremist suggestion, sorry.

      Nonetheless, some of your other suggestions do have merit in the context of the DE forum question.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive


      “…..not from the stars do I my judgement pluck”

      Even numbers are agreed- diner is never served twice M’lud.

      Artes liberals- limited to seven remains my number- the rest is comics and not classics- & proudly collect I do new European names M’lud!

      Still, the EU & Europe is the subject- recognition heuristic- agreed- “less has more effect?

      Like feeble age, I reeleth from the day, and close our EU dialogue- M’lud!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      EU Reform- Proactive
      No worries – I think we agree on a lot of matters even to a large extent the re-industrialization of Europe.

      However, would you please try to look beyond Shakespeare on occasion as you seem a bit limited literature-wise and indeed as you yourself have stated arts-wise.

      Might I refer you to Baltasar Gracián y Morales for elucidation, explanation and enamoration. ;)

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive


      Look in thy glass, and tell the face thou viewest- what think you?

      Die Menschen sehen wie sie sind – Dazu gehört ein scharfer Blick, Die Menschen nehmen wie sie sind – Dazu gehört ein eig’ner Schick, Und sie verstehen wie sie sind – Ist schwer – nicht Jeder hat es weg; Sie aber lieben wie sie sind – Braucht’s nur das Herz am rechten Fleck.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @EU Reform- Proactive
      Aha – vous êtes un Allemand!

      I thought as much, quite a few Germans and Swiss-Germans [they speak ‘da proper’ Deutsche IMHO] have tried to surprise me with their apparently random knowledge of Shakespeare and FAIL as I am aware that one of the nicer elements of German society/education/culture is their respect and love for William Shakespeare; indeed I have met many Germans in Stratford-Upon-Avon regarding same – much respect.

      FTR, “Mein Deutsch ist S##eiße”, however my Igbo “dị mma”.

      As regards your quote, I don’t personally suffer from dextrocardia [a friend of mine does, though he isn’t in pain, he just has a wrist tag to inform the medical authorities JIC] and I think that your glass is neither half-full nor indeed half-empty; methinks thou has dropped said glass old bean . :)

      PS: I thought you’d terminated this particular thread?

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      @ Tarquin

      Kedụ ka ị dị- Amerigerian Igbo than- respect M’lud!

      ……terminated? …No!- only our “EU dialogue” M’lud. Overlooked?….. as memory shalt wane- agh shame! Dextrocardia situs inversus- no- no- thou viewest?

      Sawest good manners? Thy manners must be wicked; and wickedness is sin.
      Allemand? Maybe, or not- for thy to guess for me to know!

      Jee nke oma!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @EU Reform- Proactive
      Why bring-up Amerigerians mein [possibly] Deutsche freund?

      FTR, did you know that Nigerians are the largest non-USA Ph.D cohort in the USA and same have the highest academic attainment of ALL racial groups in the USA?

      Your second paragraph is contradictory old bean for the conversation doth still run and run and run; it is clear thou hast lost thy bottle, or is that battle?

      Let us hope that you can regain your Teutonic senses – Anglo-Saxon culture is not wholly wicked my knave, it doth on occasion have virtue and merit on a par with [but often exceeding] Deutschland’s methinks?

  25. avatar
    catherine benning

    You have to face facts, politicians have ruined our once abundant and thriving European economy and how have they done this? With idiot bureaucracy and politically correct shams pushed at us, rather than well thought out and tested policies that for a decade or two had worked in favour of the people. That is the tax paying people of these great lands we live in.


    Facing up to your favoured nonsense and shutting the door soundly on its face and on those who forcibly leaned on us the way they did and do, is the only way to save our glorious civilization. You do nobody any favours keeping it, not even yourselves, because you will rot with it, just as we will.


    The reasons we are in the mess we are is simple. The first big mistake was doubling the work force without the industrial force to sustain the wealth of the country and those who worked within it. The idea that getting women leave the home to carry out slave labour that men did for a pittance, in order to reduce the wage of the household and not,, as sold to us, to raise women’s prospects, was a mistake beyond comprehension. Look at the chaos it created beyond measure. The growing poverty of both women and children throughout our collective states is horrific. Not to mention the orphanage demeanor of the abandoned children we see on our streets as they fall dangerously close to the feral disaster of the third world.

    Then you followed this devilish practice up by outsourcing the manufacturing and IT jobs off shore, to villages where they further reduced the cost of labour to the point the average household can no longer afford to purchase cheap sub standard imports, that enter our high streets either legally or through the back door, thereby reducing further the need for ‘our European’ workforce, skilled or unskilled. Which further forced the European people into an unsustainable debt crisis. Exacerbated by the financial and banking sectors who grew wealthier with every single slave ridden bankruptcy under their belts.

    To add insult to injury, you then started an overwhelming swell of human importation on the grounds of, ‘we need a ‘trained’ and skilled’ additional workforce from abroad as our human resources are no longer yielding enough taxes to keep our infrastructure in tact and our social services thriving. With all this going on you, somehow, at the same time, closed your eyes to the growing need to train and skill our own home grown youthful citizens as you handed our resources to the endless supply of welfare needed to keep these mostly ‘unskilled’ people alive. Uneducated, illiterate men and women, as well as sick and disabled old people, coming into our shores by the millions, most of them in dire need of basic human requirements is not a skilled workforce that will be able to ‘purchase goods’ we produce or come to that import. Or, had that simple equation missed you clever people altogether? The ‘do do’ now has finally hit the fan so you can’t go on pretending this policy has not been a disaster. Because it is and until you put a stop to it it will worsen the lives of us all. Destroying everything the European people, over centuries, have worked and fought for with tenacity.

    This lunatic experiment has failed on every level. When will you face up to what you have done and allow us to save ourselves and our culture. And, at the same time, allow others to save themselves from their own self made plight in the lands of heir origin.

    And these links are an explanation of how you keep it going. there are many parts to them, here are the first two.



    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Catherine Benning
      Some interesting points and I agree with some of them too!

      The UK is fed-up of taking on board unskilled EU foreigners.

      The UK is fed-up with companies off-shoring UK jobs to poorer EU countries.

      The UK is fed-up of giving SOLICHARITY to EU basket case nations who fail to be grateful if not polite about same.

      IF the EU basket case nations could sort themselves out the UK and other Northern EU nations COULD re-industrialise again.

    • avatar

      1. free migration is a mark of teh EU – remove it, and it is no longer the EU.
      2. You may complain unskilled labor is “tekin aur jibs!” but in reality:
      a) outsourcing took your jobs
      b) if you don’t want unskilled labor to come, we don’t want your businesses in our country sucking our resources – fair trade?

      3. Most of your videos are bunk. The author tries to argue we should compete with countries like China that employ slave labor at CHINA’s level.
      Turn ourselves into slaves.
      It also pushes the tired old propaganda that “oh dear corporations aren’t thriving because of too much regulation and environmental protection”.
      Bollocks and you know it!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      1…Free migration is a laudable EU tenet BUT there needs to be limits. Just like SLAVERY was struck-out from the US constitution so too must the aforementioned unworkable, outdated tenet as it is destabilising the whole net-contributing EU countries.

      2…The whole of the EU is a geographically small, demographically low and resource-light bloc compared to the RoW’s current, putative and potential blocs BUT you do have a point regarding the ‘wage race to the bottom’ which as you have detailed is an erroneous and flawed POV.

      3…Agreed, although your recourse to profanity is unnecessary despite your target’s past track record of abuse, delusion and inexactitude.

      The EU must re-industrialise BUT the world of work must change too – 4-day- weeks now, 3-day-weeks in 20 years time perhaps?

  26. avatar
    Maria Violeta Reut

    Yes. It would create jobs for everyone. Would increase real GDP. It will grow economie and consumption. It develops communities, regions, countries ..

  27. avatar

    In my opinion re-industrialization is necessary to keep our european countries stable and relatively wealthy in the future

  28. avatar
    catherine benning

    This link to the economist, Richard Wolff, explains in full how we got into the economic mess we are in and the resulting destruction of our system. He also elaborates on how we can turn it around and bring back the wealth to the whole of our society the way it once did.

    The video is an extended content and goes on for around 2 hours. So to watch all of it in one sitting you will need to be in an environment conducive to your freedom to learn.


    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      Richard Wolff is a ‘charismatic preacher’ & belongs to the Marxist school of heterodox economists! This school also includes socialism, post Keynesian and the Austrian school. To spend 2 hours listening- in a church hall without an audience- is wasted time and only a self promotion effort by Wolff. If one is fixated strongly left with inflexible thoughts- his dogma might sound like music.

      One should rather remain open minded and critical to any economic theory in finding “THE” solution. Searches & arguments for solutions are raging on since the 19th century, are complex & not yet resolved!

      My choice would rather be to investigate other heterodox economic models like e.g- “The Austrian school” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austrian_School and search for the many available YT- video’s there!

      However, no economic system on earth will work, because it depends on the implementation by humans. Historically- homo will always be corrupted by any system sooner or later. This needs to be addressed and solved first! The reason of failure of any such system or theory is: nobody yet demanded strict honesty as a first and foremost condition! Not even the papal state has a solution for that- how can others? Some belief, angels exist not even in heaven!

      There is a saying in economics: Follow the course opposite to custom and you will almost always be right.”

    • avatar

      You should link to his channel directly, everything the man says is amazing.

    • avatar

      I think Europe would rather PASS on your ‘austrian economics”…also known as LIBERTARIANISM in the USA.

      A horrid system that basically says corporations are the good guys and the govt is the bad guy. And if we only got rid of the govt and safety nets for the poor then the world would be happy.

      In reality we would end up like Somalia.
      A shit hole.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      @ Crayven

      So Wolff & his dogma is your choice? That’s fine- go for it! Lead& install your first “democratic workers Cooperative/Kolkhoz” business- where ever you live. Please invite me after the first financial year end- to celebrate!


      However, small examples do exist all over the world- a serious global economy could hardly function on such basis! There are always some groups who want to re-invent the wheel (a failed system like Marxism- or any shade of)! They should go ahead & invest their own money. Sorry, I wouldn’t! These “working democrats” usually “argue” for 4 days- and work productively 1 day a week- or sleep-work for 5 days! Good luck!

  29. avatar
    Rui Franco Silva

    “We need to increase our customs tariffs and re-industrialize”.
    I agree one hundred percent.
    Re-industrialize but with precautions environmental.
    In the Europe we have cientific knowledge enough to make this compromise.

  30. avatar
    catherine benning

    @ Proactive: EU reform and the Richard Wolff discussion.

    First of all, Wolff does have some credentials in economics, do you? Do you have anything to assure us you know of which you write?

    From reading your reply post to my Richard Wolff discussion you expose your lack of optimism on any human change or economic reform that does not go along with whatever organization you are connected to or wish to follow. I wonder, could that be a Capitalist group, who have everything to lose by being stopped from robbing the poor. Or, is your group openly afraid of the indoctrinated masses, who put up with this unadulterated robbery, may get wise to the theft of their earnings and could therefore make changes to the system we have in order to make life better and more profitable for themselves?

    Just a thought, as, I don’t see you offering anything at all as an idea or a person, or, doctrine that isn’t going to result in a continuation of exactly what we already have. Why don’t you bring forward something new, something ‘you feel’ will be of benefit to European citizens rather than simply junk what you don’t want others to hear or read? Being ‘proactive, means just that. Get to it big boy. Show us your ideas and spread your advanced point of view. Otherwise, you will become an empty vessel not worth the time of day. Here, on this open forum, is an optimum opportunity to sell your ideas on how EU politics should work in our favour.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      I reserve my (private) rights & choices to remain open minded and not smitten by the story of a Wolff or similar! The same rights are afforded to everybody should they desire to use & explore same! I do not pretend to speak on behalf of Europe or anybody else, but myself!

      Further, I refuse to participate in any discussion which purposelessly deviate from a subject and end in emotional, acrimonious personal mud throwing- witnessed between yourself & Farquar frequently- ended by the Moderators eventually!

      Should you wish to get answers to the origin of a rainbow please consult with your chosen political MP in your area. I admit to be of no help further to you or your problems!

      Please change your debating style & tone- or ignore me in future- otherwise I will!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @EU Reform- Proactive
      Kettle, pot, black!

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive


      hope our peace treaty holds my fiend? Amandla!

  31. avatar
    Rui Franco Silva

    The theme is “re-industrialise and start “making things” again?”, so, each country on Europe can be the motor of his economy, but with a big participation of public states, otherwise there is no enterprise can advance without thinking only in the profit.

    And we now some countryes on the UE are target of the finances speculation, and under a wild liberalism, so his economies are fall, the consumption are fall and the businesses fail.

    We need to make things;
    We need more money injected in the economy;

    Believe only in the market (finance), is believe in the poorless like a virtue!

    • avatar

      Why in heaven’s name aren’t we doing what the USA did during the great depression !?
      Let the government go in..and BUILD things.
      Infrastructure, education, there’s plenty of things to do in Europe.

      If the private sector cannot or WILL NOT employ people..then the GOVERNMENT will and should !
      Let us build, roads, high speed rail tracks, hospitals, schools, invest in OUR future.

      And the money, who pays for all this? where is the money?
      Why where the money is ALWAYS to be found in capitalism…in the hands of the corporate leaders of course.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      @Rui Franco Silva

      Yes, to “re- industrialize”- is a well meaning slogan. But please explain to me how you understand the “HOW”? The “motor” is you & me & others & cannot be purchased simply in your local supermarket! How much from a budget of the collective taxpayers money should be used where, how prioritized & where to be spent? Let us check your own government budget! Instead of “each country”- use (yours?) “Portugal” & see what it makes & trades:


      Please suggest what you would produce (“trade”) “more” of, by looking at the stats sheet? Cry, beg, plead, shout for more money? From whom? Government? Rob a bank? Father X-mas or borrow with interest from a bank who demand sureties or your family who trust’s you- to repay them one day?

      Go through the motion of who realistically has the human capacity, the monetary capacity (capital), the staying power (cash flow) & would be happy to take all the risk, the head aches, be compliant to books of legal conditions- to, in the end produce something worthwhile- afterwards find a market to sell that stuff to enough willing or maybe unwilling buyers. Maybe throw it away again & close shop because nobody wants it or you get boycotted or outproduced? Today, governments are not elected to do business- but to govern just & efficiently!

      Historically, enterprises once started small- “in a village” (remember the family businesses, the carpenters, the tailors, the shoemakers, the saddlers & the first clever traders…..?) =“cooperatives”- who had entrepreneurial spirit & guts- & grew ever bigger thereafter. This “village” has become the whole world today. Who is at fault? You- me- Juncker- Obama- Putin- the US, the EU, the Chinese?

      Governments (“the people”) in a dictatorship do & are able to enforce any law (see USSR past /N-Korea…)- which they deem fit, but democracies- with their many political parties & opinions are not. Democratic governments need to create the environment for private enterprise to flourish, levy taxes on their profit, on earnings of the employed and ‘dream up ever more taxes, levies, surcharges, penalties etc.. on every body- to spend or waste for the presumed “good” of the community- not so? Like a “citizens Life Insurance’! Are you a one man tax paying proprietor, employed, a SME, or have a small family business (“coop”)? Most will have developed different attitudes towards trade & life!

      Nothing much wrong with governments- who are still invested in small measure in certain state-owned enterprises–as long as they are not greatly loss making, mop up the unemployed, remain efficient & not corrupt!

      continued & split up………

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      @Rui Franco Silva………..continued

      What are the choices: either dictatorships of the past with their human disasters or democracies in any shape with different challenges? How did Chine transform & behave nowadays, after leaving a gruesome struggle behind them?


      Surely, it is the EXCESSES in our present systems- which have to be debated, addressed & legislated. E.g.: ratios of highest & lowest paid- what should be a fair number? 1:6, 1:60, 1: 160 or over? A just, progressive taxation of the super earners. No tax havens to hide anymore & many more….! These conditions need to be accepted by the whole village (world) to be effective. Will it & could it? One does don’t throw the baby out with its bathwater- would you? Yes, some would!

      It seems there are ~125 million companies in the world today of which 99% are SMEs, between our 8 bio earthlings. Estimates are ~45,508 companies listed in stock exchanges. (My figures needs verification) & the UN lists 192 member states. Not a small task to talk to everyone democratically, nicely & convincingly?

      Transform all of them into coop’s? What impact would make even a few thousand successful ones- there maybe more- I have no figures never mind a dozen!

      What would be easier? To fix the global village/world? The ever expanding EU? Each member country? Each family business? All are inter connected somehow! Reverse the whole evolution of global trade history?

      Why not start fixing what needs fixing in the EU with the help of your chosen local MP/party- or anarchistic revolutionary terror army aka “EUSIS” for the more adventurers. Hopefully the want get away here?

      My name remains “EU reform- proactive” & not destructive or whinning! Who ever replies, please observe some minimum debating protocol- otherwise do not!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @EU Reform- Proactive (AKA ‘mein feind’?)
      You have made some reasonable points. In general, I too prefer and proffer a sensible evolutionary approach to EU re-industrialization as opposed to a revolutionary one as espoused by “Oh please mister bar-room brawler, don’t hurt me or anything like that” and “Eva Braun”.

      However, I have at least one issue to raise, viz. I think you hold too much faith in the present ‘dimocracy’ that is part and parcel of the EU to believe that it can be successfully diverted from its present ‘Titanic-esque’ course.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive


      …sorry, ….(aka) mein (Igbo?) “Freund “- of course not “Feind”- just wicked!….it was late, my eyelids dropped & due to speed I missed the “r” -for your amusement!

  32. avatar

    @Chatherine & EU Reform:
    1. Wolff’s ‘dogma’ is already WORKING.
    The man reffers to silicon valley’s “small coops” of REPUBLICANS who got tired of the top-down corporations and are organizing in – and i quote him “Benny’s garage” !
    2. MONDRAGON Basque country – another WORKING example given by Wolff himself. If you would pay attention to his lectures EU Reform ( ironic name given the fact you want to drag Europe back into the stoneage with your liberTARDianism ) you would see his point.

    This “libertarian” POISON is coming from across the ocean from that filth called the Tea Party.
    Basically what these bozos think is that if we took out govt then corporations would be regulated by “the market”.
    In reality this is fucking idiotic if you have a modicum of economical training and it is pushed by privileged white upper-middle class clowns who haven’t worked a day in their life and rich assholes who want to rule us all.

    Libertarianism is not a “new” and “innovative” philisophy, it is an OLD and DISCREDITED idea, debunked and killed in the first part of the 20th century.
    Corporate bastards and rich people have RESSURECTED it to serve their needs.

    Check WHO FUNDS these “libertarians”.
    *cough* Koch bros. *cough*

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Crayven:

      Not sure where you are in your thinking. Split down the middle it appears to me in your writing. On the one hand you tell us it’s the ‘rich pigs’ taking advantage and on the other its communism. How odd. However, I will give you this, you’re thinking and trying to pin down where this mess we are in is taking us. We ‘the people’ are all that matters. Without us, the ‘rich pigs’ you site are nothing. We are the power behind them all because we are the working force. They can do nothing without our undying support. They need to keep us on our knees begging with the idea that without their largess we will rot and die. Which is why they keep us out of work, it makes the population frantic in their search for a living. It creates intense fear. Hire and fire is a game played by those who sit on their arses all day waiting for the proletariat to kill themselves in their employ and bring home the bacon for them to feast on.

      It doesn’t matter where or how our salvation comes from, or, indeed, how old or young it is in concept. Al that matters is that it works to relieve the majority of the population from the dire straits it currently finds itself in. And without the general support of all of us who see what is happening, those ‘pigs’ are going to win this game.


      You will see from this link it isn’t only economists of Wolff’s mind set that understands what is going on and why.

      A coule of lessons from Iceland.




      The BBC documentary tells us how it is done.


      And the story the IMF and the Capitalists who are running us into the ground don’t want you to read or know about. Iceland and its move toward social freedom from debt and corruption in a very unlikely planetary environment.


    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      @Catherine Benning

      Congratulations! This time around all 6 links make sense and give some intelligent & true insight & directions what the public could learn, avoid & strive for! It would be wrong to always lament & heap vitriolic blame only on the ‘other side’ (the’ winners’ or ‘crooks’ like: greedy banksters- financial gamblers- corrupted politicians & their serfs)- and not recognize the naivety and missing smartness inherent in the gullible majority- who by neglect of self education, self interest, common sense & by their own made choices- fall for the devised honey traps- set up by the ‘smarter class’ supported by devious and ill informed politicians. What should be done? Open your mind! A fitting metaphor: Separate the “Wheat from the Chaff”- then turn the handle long & hard:

      …….devise appropriate laws & deal with transgressors similarly!

      I would contribute part of such widespread ignorance & blind trust of being cocooned for too long in too much socialism or worse, complacency & belief in a ‘nanny state’ creating a wrong feeling of security & becoming less critical by not recognizing how insecure and cynical the whole system has become.

      The reversal & democratic solutions are for everyone to see and figure out for themselves- without the use of another nanny!

    • avatar

      I’m sure we’d all be better off if a bunch of mutually appointed or unelected progressives with their liberal arts degrees lord over us without our getting a say in it, after all progressive lefty types know better than all of us because they are so ‘educated’.

  33. avatar
    Rui Franco Silva

    Is curious you say “Portugal” is my country, because i do not refer a word about this.

    Who is you, under the name “EU Reform- Proactive”?

    Why you are attacking Portugal and her citizens?

    Now, about the theme of this debat “Should Europe re-industrialise and start “making things” again?”, i repeat i agree, and we (UE) must apply tax for all products made out of this space, to give a chance to a small and medium enterprises produce and survivre.
    We need a big impulse of each country, from without that, the economy in the Europe go down.

    The crisis start with Bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in the USA!
    That means, bigger banks have those fingers in this crisis, and who pays his errors?
    Not the guilty ones, but the citizens, the small and medium companys of course.

    I agree with Crayven when he say; “Let the government go in..and BUILD things.
    Infrastructure, education, there’s plenty of things to do in Europe.
    If the private sector cannot or WILL NOT employ people..then the GOVERNMENT will and should !”

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Rui Franco Silva
      I believe [the fiendish?] “EU Reform- Proactive” ‘guessed’ [given your handle] that you hailed from Portugal – his use of a question mark is a clue perhaps?

      The EU should re-industrialize [which in itself covers a multitude of possibilities] BUT some of the lesser, more corrupt beggar EU countries should do so at their own behest; enough money has been spent and wasted already on [said] countries that seem averse to finding their own way in the EU and indeed the world without recourse to begging – oops I mean SOLICHARITY.

    • avatar


    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Eu Reform – Proactive.

      Bravo, it does take some people a long time to adjust to the idea of taking parts of scenario and using it to link to another in order to form their own free thinking analysis. However, you have finally managed the task.

      The content from one unit does not have to fulfill an analysis in the round and another does not have to contain a full acceptance of all its content. The brain, in an intelligent mind, selects parts of an idea and places it into another. Then, as you have suddenly realized, a light goes on. So, if my selection of contributions do not appear to ‘join up’ or sit happily together, it’s because they are snippets of a whole which ultimately lead to a completion of logic.

      You should be congratulating yourself rather than me. I found my way to this useful evaluation at a very early age.

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      @Catherine Benning – thank you!

      Great to hear that you found your way! The debate however revolved around Wolff being marketed as the “enlightening way”. I had no intention to make this debate another of your battles between yours or mine- like yours with Tarquin- simply between Wolff & others- which means you only got part of my message.

      You’re labeled yourself as “very left”- which did not escape me. I labeled myself in turn as EU-reformist- which could not escape you either! Your support for Wolff is understandable from your perspective, is tolerated but remains disputed!

      So let’s end it here and there and agree to disagree on that matter- since I have no desire to be part of your special and lengthy sociopathic deliberations ending in personal acrimony! Good luck!

  34. avatar
    Rui Franco Silva

    @Tarquim Farqhar

    Yes the corruption is a big, big problem, maybe the principal.

    But is important remember some countries have admited rules from Europe, like obliged destroy structures industrials, boats, and the agriculture in exchange money from de Economic Communitee European.
    Now we have almost only services!

    That’s why i insist, in “Re-Industrilaze” without special conditions to some rich countrys, like the price of the money.

    We believe in the Europe, but with fair rules for everybody.

    I think we must back a one Europe more Social, like before, when it was a example for the world.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ EU Reform – Proactive:

      In order for my label to be cleared by myself and not you, I will briefly clarify.

      I tagged as economically far left, as opposed to the all enveloping far right we are currently living with. ie: Bank control by the unelected, funding domination and world rule. If you want to check that out, look up what most individuals have no idea to what we, in Europe, run by those in the USA, are caught up in.

      The most important section of which is the UN Agenda 21 on population control and World Government.

      However, socially, I am very traditional a non PC supporter. A believer in the family unit, the right to Direct Democracy, and so on. And yes, with a leaning toward the social change professed by Richard Wolff in many parts of his analysis.


  35. avatar
    catherine benning

    @ Debating Europe:

    Why can’t this forum devise a system where there is a simple edit button? You would think we are living in the dark ages of IT advancement. People who have trouble with their eyesight, for example, often find it difficult to spot mistakes until after it has been loaded on here for all to see. Then, there are people like me, who come to this forum tired and miss the warning signs.

    Why don’t you help us all out and fix this nonsense once and for all. the world must think we are a backward group of idiots who are afraid to face they can’t work out a solution.

  36. avatar
    Rui Franco Silva

    not @Tarquim Farqhar
    but @Tarquin Farquhar

    My apologies

  37. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @Rui Franco Silva
    It was gracious of you to correct yourself, bravo.

  38. avatar

    Europe should concentrate on producing things in which they are technologically advanced in ; eg. green technology

  39. avatar
    Martin Unterholzner

    Definitely. But is should not be in isolated strategy. It is also important to develop strength in the IT-business. We can’t go ahead with all big players in the US.
    However, the most important thing is the energy policy. We must become independent of fossil fuels. Even those who don’t believe in climate change should see that switching to renewables pays for itself: We are vulnerable to geopolitic impacts. And when you look at the huge amounts that Europe pays for importing fossil fuels each year (90 bn EUR only for Germany) you can immagine how quickly it would pay off if we kept that money in the EU to create jobs in the green energy industry.

  40. avatar

    We need a widespread and sustained government push towards environmental technologies. Manufacturing them, installing them and maintaining them would create jobs and it would keep energy related expenditures in Europe as opposed to importing energy.

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