While waiting for the publication of his next book, “A brief history of the future United States of Europe”, as of today Elido Fazi will begin publishing his editorials again on eunews.it
It seems the European Commission (EC) is reservedly trying to have member states adhere to the Commission’s proposal. The member states should take charge of their banks’ losses and only at this point the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), Liesseemme, will intervene. But didn’t they say in June 2012 that a European Banking Union would have been needed to cut the umbilical cord between the banks of a country and sovereign states to avoid what happened in Ireland, which passed from a public debt of 25% of GDP in 2007 to 125%, after having been burdened with debts from their own banks, and later needing a bailout from the EU because of bankruptcy due to crisis which was out of their control, by private financial experts? But wasn’t it bureaucrats from Brussels who highlighted how the ties between troubled banks and otherwise healthy administration had been the most disruptive dynamics of the financial crisis that started in the United States in 2008.
What did the EC do? As usual, they gave in to the pressure of someone, probably Germany?
We have to finally admit that the Commission, which should have a monopoly on legislative policy in Europe, a decisive power, has almost disappeared from the crisis, overlooked by Merkel and BCE.
As European MP Daniel Cohn-Bendit describes, the Commission has become “the European Council’s baby: this is the vision of the President and Commissioners, even if the European Parliament gives its go ahead. There had been a strong Commission, the one led by Jaques Delors (1985-1994), because François Mitterand and Helmut Kohl had already delegated the power to build a single market and then the basis for a monetary union. Therefore Delors had the trust and support of the French-German team. But after the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, some states, above all Great Britain, protected by the years of Delors’ rule, in spite of this allowed themselves to be duped by the Super Neo Liberal Commissioners like Lord Brittan, who wanted a deregulated budget like the Americans. They preferred to have a weak Commission: the European executive branch slowly became the Secretary General. José Durao Barroso, the actual President, was suggested by a proposal from London, because he was the personification of the new role awarded to the Commission (as stepchild to the Council), to referee between the states. And after creating the position of President of the European Council in 2010, even this role is contested!”
Even Monti, like the English, deems that the role of the Commission should be as mediator, not to take initiative. In his book, written together with the European MP Sylvie Goulard, he plainly says: “Do it so all states, ‘big’ or ‘small’, respect the same laws and follow in the same direction with loyalty: this is the greatness and humility of the Commission’s job”. What Monti most fears is the openness of the political choices. “The Commission is accused of not being elected by the people, but if they took sides, they could continue to act as referees. How would a “left” Commission approve the policy of a Socialist government without being accused of favoritism? Or refuse the proposed budget of a government that is “right wing without being accused of partiality? And vice versa”. This is the heart of Monti’s view, strongly conflicting with Angela Merkel. Merkel is a political woman. She wants the EC President to be elected and be able to choose his own ministers. Monti is a technocrat who does not want the administration to be able to make these appointments.
By now the Commission has lost all power of its own initiatives if it doesn’t first receive approval from the more influential states, particularly Germany and France. They are already the states that possess the power to initiate proposals to the European Council. In short, whoever says the Commission relies on the European Parliament for more authority, letting them amend their proposals so that they have more clout before going to the European Council, says the right thing – that could however count only in the short term, until time for a direct election of the EC President by the European people. Only in this way can the President of the Commission become a true President of the EU and choose Left or Right policy, based on programs presented to the constituents, free citizens of the European Union. And, according to us, this should be done in a hurry, already beginning with the next European elections. We cannot postpone everything until the 2019 elections. It would be too late. The citizens would become even more alienated from European politics and even from the national ones, as soon as they realize that the powers were given to the Commission to control the national budget with the Six-Pack, the Two-Pack and the Fiscal Compact, just saying it aloud it is obvious where the idea comes from and in a decisive way limits the powers of the national MP’s without having been established by democratic checks and balances. Somebody must take the initiative of immediately presenting the European Parliament a solution that asks the Commission to present a proposal forthright for reform in order to have a European electoral list for the next elections. Giving the European citizens the possibility to choose from a platform with a precise program, the next President of the Commission will be able to insert democratic dynamics into the European administration. How can we entrust the next European Parliament with the possibility of imposing federal European taxes if the European Parliament remains the basic sum or juxtaposition of various national parties? Directly electing the EC President would be the big bazooka that would be an unparalleled improvement in Europe. It would become a Europe of the people and not of states, as it had become in the last few years. Of course, everything would seem to be the opposite in respect to what was done in the US, that is No representation without taxation, but this is unavoidable in light of the fact that first we created the Euro and now, inevitably, we must assemble a state behind it.
We are not certain that after the 2014 elections, as Monti sustains, it will be necessary for the European Parliament to inevitably declare constituents to draw up a European constitution. This attempt has already been tried and it failed miserably. The new constitution must be approved with a referendum by all countries. It would put us at risk, in a situation in which Europe is still seen by many people as the cause of our evil, rather than our good, of losing a certain number of countries along the way. It is better to try another venue. Already electing an EC President who chooses other MP’s, no longer chosen by single governments and who recovers the power of initiative which he should be thrilled, is more than an adequate step. The next Parliament should take charge of this, together with the Commission, to make more radical proposals than those completed on the December road map, for example, as soon as possible, the introduction of the Eurobond. The proposal of the Euro bill made by the European Commission seems too weak and would take too long.