Reformist Muslim

Exploring possibilities for the future of Islam and other thoughts

Location: London, United Kingdom

Thursday, June 09, 2005

A Sane Article on Europe

Picking up on a theme from his book 'The Future of Freedom', Fareed Zakaria in this editorial in Newsweek argues persuasively that the reforms which Europe needs to implement in order to bring about progress are exactly the ones which seem to have been rejected by the French and Dutch people.

This does not mean that Zakaria argues for pushing ahead regardless as some figures within the EU seem to want but rather sees this the whole situation as a tragedy. It seems to me that the problem is that the EU has the ability to provide tangible benefits to countries that have solid economic foundations for instance Ireland, Sweden and the U.K.

However if the economy has deep structural problems which can only be remedied by national economic policies then the EU is seen as contributing to the economic ills by having usurped sovereignty and not managed it according to that particular countries need. In most cases though member states would not have a lot of this sovereignty even if the EU did not exist.

Of course there is one area where the lack of sovereignty may have had a big impact which is the common monetary policy as a result of the Euro. Anatole Kaletsky writes persuasively about the problems with the Euro in The Times. Without it, France for instance would most likely be able to keep its stringent labour market in the short run while maintaing growth through lowering interest rates.

Although it has become quite cliched I do think that the only way there can be a better discourse about Europe is if the population has greater information about what Europe actually does and does not do. The challenge is to do this without peddling propaganda.


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