- September 29th, 2011
- Posted by 7thmin
Jose Manuel Barroso (picture) has taken up the doctrine of an integrated and more powerful European Union to handle demands of the 21st Century.
The vision of a â€œreal economic unionâ€, political and social as well, was reiterated in his State of the Union address to the European Parliament at Strasbourg, 28.9.11; unsurprisingly, from the champion of the Lisbon legislation at the heart of the most recentÂ expansion of joint powers, (see EUAustralia Online, â€œEU puts Lisbon â€˜noâ€™ votes behind itâ€, 30.12.09).
Not that there was room for shilly-shallying by the EU over the â€œbiggest crisis in its historyâ€.
Confronting dangers and opportunities presented by this crisis, most urgently over banking and sovereign debt, he called for stronger political will to get through joint decisions.
In the short-term, it was Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the executive European Commission, urging-on the parliaments of the 17 â€œEurozoneâ€ states within the EU, as they worked, fulminated and fidgetted over the passage of agreed support measures for Greece, (See EUAustralia Online, â€œWeek of decision on debtâ€, 27.9.11).
More towards the middle term, his address demanded coordination and blending of state instruments for financial and economic management:
- An extension of the support funds for state borrowing, expressly for weaker national governments, the European Financial Stability Facility; â€œwe have to build on the EFSFâ€.
- Endorsement of the Eurobonds proposal that emerged from joint efforts on handling sovereign debt, to share and balance-out risk from country to country.
- A common financial transactions tax, as both a revenue measure and a governor on frenetic speculation. Part of a suite of regulatory proposals for markets now proving volatile by habit, it was advocated this way:-Â â€œIn the last three years, member states have granted aid and provided guarantees of 4.6-trillion Euros (A$6.397-trillion; xe.com, 29.9.11) to the financial sector; it is time for the financial sector to make a contribution back to society.â€
The tax idea produced immediate knee-jerk opposition from folks in the City of London (echoed by confreres and consoeurs on Wall Street).
As an enormous financial market, it would have the most to pay up, and some doggone resistance has emerged, right through to cringe-worthy gags; one bloke declaring on television, â€œno-way Joseâ€.
Seen otherwise, bucking its heavy dependence on the EU, and integration within it at several levels, would have Great Britain biting the hand that feeds it; as-it-were, a UK tail having a go at wagging an EU dog.
In the meantime, the parliament of Finland, which had seen some equivocation, cleared the path for special assistance to Greece (28.9.11), and similar was likely in Germany.
â€œThe German parliament is expected to approve enhanced powers for the Eurozone’s bailout fund on Thursday as plans to set up a fully fledged European monetary fund (EMF) gather paceâ€, said The Guardian.
See detailing of main points in the State of the Union address from Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/28/us-eu-barroso-idUSTRE78R0WG20110928, (29.9.11).
Background on EC President: EUAustralia Online, â€œEC Presidentâ€™s visit: Carrying the bannerâ€, 6.9.11).
European Commission, Brussels, “Renewing Europe: Commission President JosÃ© Manuel Barroso sets out a EU strategy …”, 28.9.11.
Jack Ewing and Stephen Castle, â€œExpansion of European Bailout Fund Clears Hurdleâ€, NYT, NY, 28.9.11.
David Gow, â€œGermany poised to vote in favour of European financial stability facilityâ€. The Guardian, Manchester, 28.9.11.
Francesco Guarascio, Rex Merrifield, â€œEU’s Barroso State of the Union speechâ€, Reuters, London, 28.9.11. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/28/us-eu-barroso-idUSTRE78R0WG20110928, (29.9.11).