Tuesday, 12 April 2011
"Let me use this opportunity to say a few words about something I know better, about the continent from where I just came, about Europe. The developments there bother me. I don’t see any reason to describe the current Europe in a propagandistic way, or using rosy colours or rosy glasses. Many of us in Europe are convinced that Europe faces a serious problem, which is not a short-term, or medium-term business cycle phenomenon. It is not an integral part of a recent global crisis either. It is something very European. As an economist, I would call it a structural problem which will not – by itself – wither away.
It used to look quite differently in the past. The post-World War II reconstruction was a success and even in the following decades Europe was growing, was peaceful and stable, and was relevant. What happened in Europe and with Europe? What went wrong? Why is Europe less successful and less relevant today?
I am deeply convinced that it is a result of two interrelated phenomena – of the European integration process on the one hand and of the European economic and social system on the other.
I will start with the first topic because I repeatedly see that the people on other continents do not have a proper understanding of the European integration process, of its effects and consequences. It is partly because they do not care, partly because they believe that a regional integration is – regardless of its form, style, methods and ambitions – an exclusively positive, progressive, politically correct development. They probably accept the conventional wisdom that the weakening of nation states and the strengthening of supranational institutions is a movement in the right direction"
You can read the entire speech here
With thanks to The New Nostrodamus of the North