Delors’ interview from August the 18th: defeatism or wake-up call for conscience?

, by Nessim Znaïen, Translated by Quentin Boulanger

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Delors' interview from August the 18th: defeatism or wake-up call for conscience?
Jacques Delors Photo : European Parliament/Pietro Naj-Oleari - some rights reserved

“The Euro as Europe is on the brink” said bluntly Jacques Delors, the former President of the European Commission (1985-1994) who initiated the single market, to the Swiss newspaper “LeTemps”. This statement caused gnashing of teeth by pro-Europeans, accusing the formula to put oil on fire. However, if the formula is incisive, the following analysis is nonetheless lucid.

According to Jacques Delors, the “economic government” of the Euro zone proposed by Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy will be “of no help” as such and the idea of a Finance Minister for the Euro area is a “crazy gadget”. Delors proves it with the example of the creation of Catherine Ashton’s function, which didn’t change a lot the EU’s architecture.

As did François Bayrou on the news on TF1 the day before, he highlights the limits of symbols. Even if the expression is initiated, is an economic government that gathers every six months still a government? What is the difference with the hold habit of Summits?

According to Delors, European leaders are proposing incomplete solutions

Jacques Delors goes even further by pressing where it hurts. For him, Greece isn’t the only one being guilty and the main responsibility rests with the finance ministers of the Eurozone who didn’t ask for wages or required reinforced audits. The harm being done, he is neither for Greece leaving the Euro.

Going out of the Euro isn’t necessarily a miracle solution and a Greek money, even devalued, will struggle to find some balance. Moreover and more importantly, Jacques Delors reminds us that Euro isn’t a mere commercial and economic measure but a collective adventure.

Behind these words and through the first critical towards the governments of the Eurozone, he shows implicitly that Euro is the victory or result of an ideology and that this money primarily aimed to support, to bring the creation of a political Europe, which can’t be realised without an economic government.

The future, Delors’ solutions

First of all, we must act quickly. Jacques Delors explains that the world of finance can not wait until September and the next European Summits for European solutions to the problems of the Euro. Moreover, solutions must address the architecture of an Europe, which, on a economical point of view, lies upon a triangle : Competition that stimulates, cooperation that strengthens and solidarity that unites.

He sketches an alternative: either a new transfer of powers to the European Union, difficult to accept as he admits it, or a closer economic cooperation, more realistic according to him. One can probably regret his pragmatism that goes to the expense of a federalist ideology of which he was one of the fiercest heralds. Any cooperation is however good to take, even that of States and particularly when it is about saving such an important symbol of the EU.

More precisely, Jacques Delors wants to partially pool the debts of States, up to 60% among the countries of the Euro area. States would thus be covered by a partial guarantee from the Economic and Monetary Union, mechanically leading to lower interest rates. This solution has the advantage of being a compromise but still seems difficultly feasible as it is.

In the worst case scenario, today’s Europe will become a mere large free-trade area, which will certainly come with some benefits but that will be the sanction of the growing “problematic of individualism, that undermines collective adventures.” We must keep an inspiring project, a geopolitical vision by 2050 and not a mere short-term free trade Union.

If the shocking or severe formula could be perceived as going against the Europeanists’ interests, who, in those times of crisis, have no to exaggerate catastrophic situations, Jacques Delors’ analysis is fully and completely Europeanist

Your comments

Warning, your message will only be displayed after it has been checked and approved.

Who are you?

To show your avatar with your message, register it first on (free et painless) and don’t forget to indicate your Email addresse here.

Enter your comment here

This form accepts SPIP shortcuts {{bold}} {italic} -*list [text->url] <quote> <code> and HTML code <q> <del> <ins>. To create paragraphs, just leave empty lines.

Follow the comments: RSS 2.0 | Atom