pondělí 14. května 2012

Sikorski: Je osudem Evropy stát se superMonakem nebo supervelmocí?

Polský ministr zahraničí Radosław Sikorski je jedním z mála evropských politiků, který se i v časech krize nebojí jasně prezentovat svou představu o tom, jak by měla vypadat budoucnost Evropské unie. Naposledy tak učinil minulý týden ve Financial Times (9.5. 2012). Přepis v originále přinášíme níže:

Is Europe destined to become super Monaco, or superpower?

If Marx had been right and political relations were determined by the economic base, the EU would be a superpower.
We are the wealthiest market in the world, with half a billion rich consumers and an educated workforce. We account for the biggest share in international trade, have a vast combined military budget and we are collectively the biggest donor of international aid.
But the economic crisis has brought home the fragility of the European edifice. There is no guarantee of a happy progression to an ever more prosperous, peaceful EU. Instead, we are looking at several possible outcomes.
The first is disintegration. If the effects of the European Central Bank’s relief for the banking sector fizzle out and the financial crisis deepens, the risk of the eurozone’s collapse would become real – and if it were to disintegrate or shrink, the single market would be hard to salvage.
The impoverished and still uncompetitive countries pushed out of Europe’s core would be tempted to hit back with competitive devaluations or even trade barriers.
If trade policies renationalise, would labour mobility, or even the freedoms of the Schengen passport-free zone – already under pressure from populists across the continent – be exempt?
If a sense of common future and pan-European solidarity erode, how soon before countries cease payments for common agricultural policy or cohesion funds?
An EU in which community institutions atrophy would quickly slide into geopolitical irrelevance. The vacuum would be filled by a resurgent Russia and an assertive China.
The second and more plausible scenario is drift. The EU retains its current shape. Member states take decades to repair their public finances. We cling to our standard of living by imposing external barriers but fail to regain global competitiveness.
Reforms of the EU are delayed and community institutions continue to weaken. We acquiesce in comfortable decline. Europe becomes a continent-sized Monaco – a wealthy retirement home with a few tourist attractions.
The third scenario, sometimes proposed as an alternative to the first two, is the imposition of utopian federalism: a unitary supranational state with a central government and single parliament.
I call this “utopian,” but another word might be “impossible”. I cannot imagine the parliament of any member state, including Poland’s, voting for a treaty that would transfer national sovereignty to Brussels.
There is also a fourth possibility – Poland’s proposal – of a permanent political union that preserves national powers in many areas.
In a federal but not centralised Europe, matters of culture, religion, way of life, and principal tax rates would remain in the purview of member states.
While respecting subsidiarity, integration would be strengthened in all areas where economies of scale apply: completion of the single market in services and internet trade, the implementation of a competitive energy market, joint protection of the EU’s external border so as to protect the Schengen freedoms within, and joint representation at the G20 and OECD.
The European Commission should be firmly at the centre of decision making, so that decisions are the product of transparent discussions and not backroom deals.
The posts of president of the commission and of the European Council could be merged and elected by the European parliament, or even more broadly.
Only then would there be an EU president who could negotiate as an equal with the leaders of the US and China. Only then could we begin to punch internationally in proportion to our economic weight.
A European political union would need a serious defence policy too: you cannot wield power in the world if your diplomacy can never by backed by force.
Poland pushed for the development of a common security and defence policy during its EU presidency last year, but progress is too slow.
The US is scaling back its military budget and reorienting its defence priorities to the Pacific: Europe has to assume greater responsibility.
We need more co-operation and specialisation of defence industries. In compliance with the Treaty of Lisbon we should launch permanent structured co-operation.
There is nothing inevitable about our decline. We still have reserves of strength and areas of excellence that are the envy of the world.
But if we are to retain not just influence but leadership, drift is not an option and disintegration would be a catastrophe.

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