European Problems - Challenges of the European Union

The European Union’s Coming Challenges
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When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in , the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments. As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. The other member countries are divided into groups led by one country. Its official role is to ensure price stability by combating inflation within that Zone.

A simple suggestion: better applying the existing treaties

The 5 th July referendum, which the institutions rejected tooth and nail by blackmail and coercion such as forcing the Greek banks to close for five days preceding the referendum , did not bring them to make any concessions. On the contrary, totally ignoring all democratic principles, their demands became considerably more oppressive. Certainly, there are many measures that could and should be taken at the European level to stimulate the economy, reduce social injustice, make the debt sustainable and invigorate democracy.

In other words, the assets provide information about how the funds collected by the company have been used; and the liabilities, about the origins of those funds.

In , it replaced the European Financial Stability Facility and the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism, which had been implemented in response to the public-debt crisis in the Eurozone. It concerns only EU member States that are part of the Eurozone.

There are strict conditions to this assistance.

Challenge Europe

A lack of liquidities can force a company into liquidation and an economy into recession. The arbitrary power of the ECB and the banking union used these means to reinforce the coercive powers of the European institutions over Greece in to be sure that the attempt at progressive government would fail. In view of the upcoming European elections in May , several left-wing forces have put forward proposals similar to those suggested by Varoufakis, even though there is no chance whatsoever of their being implemented. For it only requires a few Eurozone governments to oppose them for such measures to be rendered impracticable, since they would need the approval of the ECB.

The treaties have become extremely restrictive on matters of debt and deficit. On the contrary, all the negotiating parties fiercely fought the Greek government even though it gave proof of great moderation to say the least. The mainstream media and numerous European leaders treated Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Varoufakis as rebels, or even radical anti-Europeans.

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The capitulation of the first Tsipras government was not enough to satisfy the IMF or the European leaders. Pressure continued to be laid on the second Tsipras government to apply ever more neoliberal policies, especially attacking common property and the welfare and retirement systems, and assisting big capital through the introduction of further judicial and legal measures that constitute fundamental structural regression and favour privatization processes.

Its owner a shareholder is entitled to receive an equal distribution of any profits distributed a dividend and to attend shareholder meetings. Furthermore, household indebtedness increased. When Greece officially left the 3 rd Memorandum on 20 August , the same budgetary constraints were nevertheless maintained. The Tsipras government made a commitment guaranteeing a primary budget surplus for the next ten years. All these new measures and counter-measures produced greater injustice and precariousness.

This is the first lesson: The Peoples and the authorities they have entrusted to break with austerity programmes cannot put an end to the Human Rights violations perpetrated by the creditors and the big corporations unless they take strong unilateral measures of self-defence. Some would argue that should a leftist government come to power in Madrid, it could use the weight of the Spanish economy 4 th largest GDP GDP Gross Domestic Product Gross Domestic Product is an aggregate measure of total production within a given territory equal to the sum of the gross values added.

The measure is notoriously incomplete; for example it does not take into account any activity that does not enter into a commercial exchange.

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The GDP takes into account both the production of goods and the production of services. Economic growth is defined as the variation of the GDP from one period to another.

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The European Union has bigger problems to deal with than Brexit last week highlighted the extent of the economic challenges Europe faces. The European Union (EU) is a unique partnership in which member states Amid these difficult issues, some are questioning the future shape.

What concessions? Relaunch production and employment through heavy public spending and deficits? The ECB and Berlin along with at least five or six other capitals would oppose such policies! Taking strong measures against the banks? What is also sure is that if the radical left entered into the government of a country like Cyprus, Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia or one of the three Baltic States, they would not have the weight, before an unyielding European Commission or board of the ECB, to convince these institutions to let them renounce austerity, stop privatizations, develop public services and drastically reduce the debt.

These countries will have to resist and take unilateral measures in the interest of their populations. Could several progressive governments of Eurozone countries form a common front for renegotiations?

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It is now part of a world that is increasingly shaped by the strategic rivalry between the United States and China. But we regard such potential developments as positive. In the current much more interconnected world, technological leadership depends on continuous investment and innovation and benefits from engagement and cooperation. The third, a rare delegation of legal authority in international relations, to an international tribunal for the respect of legal standards, may very well soon be brought to a standstill, due to obstruction by the USA. Failure to tackle climate change alone could lead to more conflict over resources and further divide states and communities. Companies receiving generous state support or tax privileges distort markets. License and Republishing.

It would certainly be very welcome if this could happen, but the possibility is remote, if only for reasons of electoral agenda. Should a French left-wing candidate win the next presidential election in France in , and his radical left coalition win the general election that follows, could a French left-wing government achieve a reform of the Euro?

It is reasonable to have doubts about that possibility.

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What would be feasible? It is quite within the realms of possibility for a French government to disregard the current treaties, but it will not achieve a far-reaching reform of the Eurozone. To do this would take simultaneous progressive electoral victories in the major countries as well as in peripheral countries. Having said that, the way out of the crisis is not a Nationalist approach. It is as important now as it ever was to adopt an Internationalist strategy and aim for a European integration that binds all the peoples opposed to the present form of integration that is totally dominated by the interests of big capital.

In philosophy, the term denotes what is shared by the members of one community, whether a town or indeed all humanity, from a juridical, political or moral standpoint. The weak links in the inter-European chain of domination are to be found in the peripheral countries, in France and UK. If Syriza had adopted a correct strategy in it could well have been a turning point. Other weak links where the radical left may gain power in the not so distant future are Portugal and Spain and perhaps Cyprus, Ireland and Slovenia etc. A new progressive advance would be dependent on the capacity of the radical left to learn the lessons of and thus make anti-capitalist and democratic proposals that rouse support.

Without doubt, the force of popular mobilisation will be a decisive factor. If the pressure for real uncompromising change does not invade the streets, the neighbourhoods and the work places, the future will be very grim. To avoid a repeat of the capitulation we saw in Greece in , here are ten proposals for social mobilization and actions to be taken by any government that is truly operating in the interests of the people, to be taken immediately and simultaneously. First proposal: A left-wing government must disobey the European Commission in a very transparent manner, with prior announcements.

The party or coalition of parties the example of Spain comes to mind which claims to govern should refuse to obey the austerity measures from the outset, and pledge to refuse measures for the sole reason of balancing the budget. Therefore, the first step is to begin disobeying in a clear and determined way. The Greek capitulation has shown us why we must shed the illusion that the EC and other European governments respect popular will. This illusion can only lead to disaster.

Suggestions to be discarded

We must disobey. Second proposal: Call for popular mobilization both at the national and the European levels. In , such an initiative failed in Greece and elsewhere in Europe. It is obvious that the European social movements did not achieve great success in mobilizing demonstrations, which did take place, but did not show enough solidarity with the Greek people.

And when the Tsipras government did call for mobilization by means of the referendum of July 5, , the popular will of the Remember that starting in late February and until the end of June , Yanis Varoufakis and Alexis Tsipras made statements aimed at convincing public opinion that an agreement was in sight and that the situation was improving.

Imagine that instead, after each important negotiation, they had explained what was at stake through press releases, statements to the media, and declarations in public places — in front of the headquarters of the European institutions in Brussels and elsewhere. Imagine that they had revealed what was really going on. It would have led to gatherings of thousands or tens of thousands of people, and the social networks would have relayed this alternative discourse to hundreds of thousands or millions of others.

The situations in the EU countries, and of course within the Eurozone, are diverse. In some European countries — as in Greece — it is a matter of utmost necessity and priority to suspend debt repayments, in order to make an absolute priority of meeting social needs and guaranteeing basic human rights. It is also a key element of a self-defence strategy. In Spain, in Portugal, in Cyprus, and in Ireland, it depends on the balance of power and the current economic picture. In other countries, it is possible to carry out the audit first and then decide on the suspension of repayments.

The specific situation of each country must be weighed before implementing these measures. Faced with the threat of reprisals from the ECB, the peoples of the member States of the Eurozone have a powerful weapon of self-defence.

Now the ECB holds large quantities of sovereign bonds of the Eurozone countries that it bought up from private banks in the context of Quantitative Easing. The suspension of payments would apply both to interest and to the amount due at maturity. Thus the government would have in its hands a powerful weapon of self-defence and pressure that it should not hesitate to use.