France : emergency A strategy for tomorrow Publication date : January 3, 2013
Christian Saint-Etienne is a chair professor of industrial economics in France’s National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts and a member of the Council for Economic Analysis. He is the author of Guerre et Paix au XXIe siècle (2010), La Fin de l’euro (2011) and L’Incohérence française (2012).
For many years, European construction was built on promises: a promise of peace; promises for the future with the European Economic Community and later with the EU and the single market; a promise of stability with the introduction of a single currency which was meant to protect Europe from financial crises and crises arising from the financing of member States. The overall goals were to stimulate growth through competitive markets and to strengthen financial stability. None of these promises were kept. Europe started losing ground in the global economic competition with the introduction of the single market, and its relative economic decline accelerated with the euro.
The European Union today is synonymous for economic stagnation and financial instability.
What happened? Was it just “a stroke of bad luck” that will soon be righted and then things will go back to the way they were?
Christian Saint-Etienne argues that the European project was built on a fallacious concept from the start. The premises were false and Europe has become the world’s “soft underbelly”.
He contends that it is urgent to build another Europe: not one that retreats into itself, which would be another form of stagnation or even quicker regression, but an offensive Europe capable of offering opportunities to its member states and its citizens.
But for this to happen, Europeans must conceive of and implement a new European political model. This is the only solution if Europe is to exit the current crisis.
• Going beyond technical discussions about exiting the crisis, the author gives us an in-depth scrutiny of the errors that led Europe to the present deadlock and offers his vision of what Europe has to become if it is to offer pathways to the future.
• Why the crisis should be seized as an opportunity for Europe to rebound and why the solutions to the present economic problems are primarily political.
• A powerful contribution to today’s crucial issues.