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The Battle of Paris with Berlin for the superstate of the EU

The Battle of Paris with Berlin for the superstate of the EU

1 2018 June LJ cover – Битва Парижа с Берлином за супергосударство ЕС
Tags: France, Germany, EU, Politics, Analytics, Economics, Army

In the future Supereurope, Germany labels in the presidency, France - in the ministers of finance

Brexit actually confirmed that the membership of Great Britain in the EU pursued, first of all, the goal of maximum inhibition of the processes of political development in Europe, in order not to allow Berlin and Paris to bypass, and, especially, outclass London. As soon as the British in Brussels "did not become", the critical lag in the political development of the structure from the level of its economic integration became obvious.

Almost immediately, Berlin launched the idea of ​​a "Europe of two speeds" into public circulation, which at first many, and not without reason, perceived as a declaration of reforming the EU into a colonial empire, in which the Germans are tagged into the metropolis, and all other, especially the eastern and southern members will be colonies . Further development of the project showed that, in addition to fears in Europe, there was still a vacuum of goal-setting.

Everyone there talks a lot about integration, but for two decades nobody has really tried to formulate at least in general terms what type of political system the integration process should end up with. On the other hand, many Eurosceptics have emerged that have noted the frankly negative role played by the "collective farm" in Brussels, where the powers of the majority of EU members are much higher than the real size of their positive contribution to the overall result.

The "White Paper" on the issue of "multi-speed Europe", published by the European Commission in March 2017, should play a decisive role in the development of the final goal of European integration. Although there are five variants of the design for general discussion, in fact, with the exception of a number of details, they all boil down to the division of the EU members in terms of the level of political authority for "main" and those "who move slower."

Although criticism is there that, in general, the trend is logical and natural. In any community, sooner or later a narrow circle of "decision makers" is formed. In state unions, the process usually looks like a redistribution of power powers "upward" with the subsequent withering away of links that have become intermediate. The fact that they are national governments, does not matter.

As it usually happens, the "main" are those who have economic superiority. They have already taken shape in the so-called "Big Four", which began to hold its meetings separately from Brussels. Formally, it includes the first four largest economies of the EU - Germany (nominal GDP 3,6 trillion dollars), France (2,5 trillion), Italy (1,9 trillion), Spain (1,3 trillion.) - in fact, the main ones are only Berlin and Paris, since Italy is already struggling to balance on the verge of financial collapse, and Spain is generally in the regime of external crisis management.

Thus, all the initiatives declared in the White Paper ultimately lead to the formation of a single European superstate (it is sometimes called the United States of Europe) initially under the general administration, first of all, of Berlin. As always, this time the policy is determined by the economy and follows from it.

In general terms, it is not just a matter of redistribution of powers within the European Parliament and the European Commission, but also the formation of common for the whole Europe: the prosecutor's office, the highest judicial bodies, the transformation of the ECB from a simple euro-currency generator into a full-fledged main state bank of Europe, creating, similarly to the IMF, The European Monetary Fund and even the issue of unified Eurobonds of domestic loans. Naturally, the idea of ​​creating a single European army was not ignored. The EU has already approved a list of 17 projects of permanent structured cooperation (PESCO), as well as a plan for their implementation.

Although it is considered that the main obstacle to the German idea of ​​the "Europe of two speeds" is 22 (from 26), countries recognized as "integration brakes", in fact the key problem is the divergence of views on the result between Paris and Berlin.

The French are well aware of the extent and prospects of their economic backwardness from the Germans, because Macron is now trying as quickly as possible to realize as long as the remaining trumps from Paris. Because the idea of ​​the Germans, France supports actively, while it still looks like "number two in the EU", but the French elite wants to immediately ensure a new place in the new Supereurope is a key place. Which, as usual, considers control over all EU finances.

Paris actively pushes not just the reformatting of the ECB and the establishment of the EUF, but also a program of unified internal Eurobonds. They will allow France and Italy to significantly reduce the cost of state borrowing by almost a third, thereby shifting some of their financial problems to the still successful German economy. In addition, the status of the "chief finance minister of Europe" will allow both to extract their direct financial preferences through the "sale" of their favor to the financial applications of the remaining two dozen "petitioners", which will undoubtedly add to Paris geopolitical weight to compensate for its lag in the economic weight from Berlin.

In addition, the French support the idea of ​​the all-European army with all the strength to calculate not just to build it around the French armed forces, but also in the hope of gaining the direct control of the armed forces of the other members of the future Super-Europe. With all the reservations, the idea is not so fantastic. In the conditions of a single passport of an "EU citizen", it will be possible for all interested persons to complete a common armed forces. And they, most likely, most of them will be volunteers from poor suburbs, for example, Eastern Europe. While other countries will be asked to save on national military expenditures, simply deducting money to the EU's overall military budget less than they used to go to their own MIs before, but at the same time receiving the same or even higher level of "general military protection" .

The top of the political structure of Supereurope "for Macron", should be a separate parliament of the countries of the Eurozone in terms of structure and powers fundamentally different from the European Parliament in Brussels and even surpassing it in importance.

A certain disagreement between the Germans and the French plans is not surprising. Berlin does not want to pay at his own expense the ambitions of the French, especially since they recognize equality in power. In this sense, the German approach is more conservative. New powers of the ECB - yes. The euf is yes. But no internal eurobonds. Decisive voices, not only in political, but also in financial structures, SuperEurope should be distributed "according to bought tickets", that is, in proportion to the economic contribution. A separate budget for "Europe first speed" is also interesting and even logical, but with the mandatory observance of the above conditions. As well as the question of a unified army. Forming it for themselves, the French will be able to, only retaining its full subordination to this new parliament.

And in order to remove unnecessary questions, while debates are taking place around the White Paper, it is necessary to deepen even more the financial and economic integration in its existing form. In other words, to achieve even more economic dependence of the EU members on the German economy.

Although at the moment the project is actively discussed by all EU countries, in fact, with the exception of just a couple of participants, they are all simple extras in the political party between Berlin and Paris, the outcome of which depends on the final result.

Alexander Zapolskis
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