Are we about to see a huge push for a “United States of Europe”? As the sovereign debt crisis in Europe continues to spiral out of control, suddenly this term is popping up in the New York Times and in major newspapers all over Europe. So is this by accident? Surely not. The truth is that there is an overwhelming consensus among the political and financial elite of Europe that a “United States of Europe” is what would be best for the eurozone. However, they are likely going to need a massive financial crisis in order to reach their goal. Right now, the citizens of the countries that make up the eurozone are overwhelmingly against deeper European integration. Without experiencing a massive amount of financial pain, they are unlikely to change their minds any time soon. So who is going to win in the end? Unfortunately, the clock is ticking because Greece is on the verge of defaulting on their debts and several other countries are not that far behind. If Europe does not decide on a course of action soon, the euro is going to collapse and financial institutions all over Europe are going to come crashing down.
Up until now, EU leaders have been handling this crisis by putting out one fire after another. This has been going on for a couple of years, but these bailouts cannot go on indefinitely. Instead of fixing things, “kicking the can down the road” has only delayed the pain and made things even worse.
The EU as it is currently structured simply does not work. The political will for more bailouts is rapidly drying up and politicians in Europe are only going to be able to “extend and pretend” for a little while longer.
Something needs to be done.
But instead of admitting that the euro was a massive mistake and returning to national currencies, most of the top politicians in Europe believe that “more Europe” is the answer.
Mario Draghi, the incoming head of the European Central Bank, is totally convinced that Europe needs to integrate much more deeply….
“To cope with this, we must have a treaty change. The aim of this effort should be a quantum leap up in European economic and political integration.”
Do you notice that he is not just advocating small changes in the way that Europe works. What Draghi wants is “a quantum leap” in European integration.
His predecessor feels the same way. Jean-Claude Trichet, the departing head of the European Central Bank, is also very much in favor of much deeper European integration….
“The crisis has clearly revealed the need for strong economic governance in a zone with a single currency”
Of course one of the biggest proponents of a “United States of Europe” has been Herman van Rompuy. In a recent article, the Telegraph made the following eye-catching statement….
Herman van Rompuy is ready to run for a second term as EU president, at the head of a “United States of Europe”
Of course he would not be doing it for “personal glory”. In the same article, he is quoted as saying he wants another term because “the work is not finished” and that he needs new powers in order to get it done….
Mr Van Rompuy has announced he is willing to take on the “unfinished” euro zone debt crisis with new powers setting an “economic government” in Brussels.
Top politicians in the UK are even promoting the idea of much deeper European integration. Even though he insists that Britain will not join the euro, UK Prime Minister David Cameron is now publicly endorsing the idea that the eurozone form a “United States of Europe” in order to save the euro according to a recent article in the Daily Mail….
David Cameron was branded an EU ‘enthusiast’ by Tory Eurosceptics last night as he said Britain must let eurozone countries move towards a United States of Europe with a common economic policy.
The Prime Minister admitted he was not sure whether Germany and other countries had the political will to prevent a break-up of the single currency, but insisted they must be allowed to try – even if that meant closer integration.
It is funny how whenever there is a crisis in Europe, the answer that we are always given is that “more Europe” is the answer.
For example, Antonio Borges, director of the International Monetary Fund’s European unit, recently stated the following….
“To put the crisis behind us, we need more Europe, not less. And we need it now.”
In the past, European leaders were always very hesitant to use the words “United States of Europe“. But now it seems like that term is flying around all over the place.
It is almost as if they want to start getting us conditioned to the idea.
For example, just check out what former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said recently. He has been one of the biggest cheerleaders for a United States of Europe….
“From the European Commission, we should make a government which would be supervised by the European Parliament. And that means the United States of Europe.“
So if all of these top politicians want this, why can’t they just do it?
Well, there are some problems.
Right now, the EU treaties don’t really allow for a “United States of Europe”, and the recent decision by the German Constitutional Court has put up some huge roadblocks.
For example, the German Constitutional Court seemed to kill off the possibility for any kind of “fiscal federalism” in the near future when they made this statement in their recent decision….
“The Bundestag’s budget responsibilities may not be transferred through open-ended appropriations to other actors. In particular, no financial mechanisms can lead to meaningful fiscal burdens without prior approval”
Not only that, but the court also clearly rejected the notion of “Eurobonds”….
“No permanent treaty mechanisms shall be established that leads to liability for the decisions of other states, especially if they entail incalculable consequences”
By using this kind of language, the German Constitutional Court has put up some massive roadblocks in the way of a “United States of Europe”. It is probably going to take a new treaty in order to get it done.
But right now, the citizens of Europe don’t want anything to do with a new treaty that would allow for a “United States of Europe”. If such a treaty was put up for ratification at this point, it would be soundly defeated.
For example, a recent poll found that 76 percent of the German people are opposed to any further German financial aid for Greece.
In addition, another recent poll found that German voters are against the introduction of “Eurobonds” by about a 5 to 1 margin.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is having a hard enough time just keeping support for the current Greek bailout together. According to reports, there are 25 members of her own coalition that plan to vote against the revamped EFSF. At this point it is unclear whether it will pass or not.
As noted above, the political will for more bailouts is dying. But without more bailouts, Greece will default and several other eurozone nations will follow. It could also mean the potential for at least a partial collapse of the euro.
But if there is a massive financial crisis in Europe, it may start changing the minds of the voters about much deeper European integration.
You see, once people start feeling severe pain, often they will start considering things that they would not have considered before.
But let us hope that European voters never change their minds. Deeper European integration may stop the current financial crisis, but it would also mean a tremendous loss of national sovereignty.
A Daily Mail article entitled “Rise of the Fourth Reich, how Germany is using the financial crisis to conquer Europe” contained the following sobering assessment of what deeper economic integration for Europe would mean….
This would entail a loss of sovereignty not seen in those countries since many were under the jackboot of the Third Reich 70 years ago.
For be in no doubt what fiscal union means: it is one economic policy, one taxation system, one social security system, one debt, one economy, one finance minister. And all of the above would be German.
Right now, the EU is a terribly undemocratic institution. Individual voters have next to no power over the control freaks that run things in Brussels. Every single day, the EU becomes a little bit more like the former USSR.
The last thing that the people of Europe need to do is to give the EU more power.
But that is exactly what the elite of Europe want.
They want a “United States of Europe”.
And they may just be willing to allow a massive financial crisis to happen in order to get it.