"The EU ought to develop into a great power in order that it may function as a fully fledged actor in the world."
~Paavo Lipponen, Prime Minister of Finland, London, 14 February 2002 ~

The Debate Is Warming Up

A European mini-Kyoto, including a system of intra-European emission trading, constitutes a major threat to our free enterprise system, maybe even the most serious threat since communism. Whether this may be true or not, one thing is certain: a European mini-Kyoto adds a new dimension to the already existing “Eurosclerosis.” It will introduce a new layer of regulation with the concomitant bureaucracy. Fuelled by increasingly ambitious environmental objectives it will undoubtedly give rise to ever-tightening control of government over private enterprise, thus fundamentally changing the relationship between the two, clearing the way for economic centralism and dirigisme. More »
03-03-04 | 10:20 |

EU Finance Ministers Vote to Turn Euro into Eurotrash

That’s a headline you won’t read in any newspaper, either in Europe or in the United States. But “eurotrash” is an apt description of what the Finance Ministers of the 12-nation European Monetary Union seem to have in mind for the euro. If enough countries flout the Stability Pact, investors will begin suspecting that the politicians can’t be trusted to keep a disciplined fiscal policy underpinning the euro’s value. This could cause the value of the euro to fall quickly, since, unlike national currencies, it is backed neither by gold nor the power of a sovereign government to tax its citizens. More »
10-02-04 | 13:40 | 1 comment

Good Unintended Consequences

According to the European economic growth agenda agreed to a few years ago in Lisbon, by 2010 the European Union should become “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world.” Unfortunately, business regulation in Europe is increasing, in part because of the relentless barrage of new rules emanating from Brussels. The continued regulation of the labor market contributes to pitiful economic growth rates and the perpetual scourge of high unemployment in Europe. Yet, to paraphrase Karl Marx, a strange spectre is haunting Europe and that spectre is falling tax rates. Ironically, the unwitting hero of the European flirtation with sound tax policy is the bureaucracy in Brussels. More »
04-02-04 | 12:09 |

One Europe, united in fiscal misrule

In the realm of public spending, many of the European Union’s new entrants are faithfully living up to the standards of the union’s founding members. Oh dear More »
27-01-04 | 12:12 |

EU battles fraud image

Almost two thirds of European citizens believe that fraud against the EU budget is a common occurrence, an EU poll revealed on Wednesday. The European Commission’s Eurobarometer survey also showed that only 21 per cent think that the EU institutions are fighting effectively to root out the miscreants and bring them to book. More »
16-01-04 | 12:09 |

The History of an Idea

The idea of a united Europe stretches back thousands of years. The early enthusiasts were seldom as high-minded as their modern successors. More »
05-01-04 | 13:15 |

E.U. Unconstitutional

Late last week European Union member nations failed to adopt a much debated constitution for the EU. Aside from the fact that this bureaucratic document failed to mention Europe’s religious heritage or even God, it went down to defeat because of the smaller nations’ fear of the voting power of the larger nations, especially Germany and France. More »
16-12-03 | 11:26 |

Constitutionally Incapable – Victory in success

To Chirac and Schroeder, the growing Euro-scepticism is only more proof that the EU should have damned the unruly masses and moved ahead even more quickly with the master plan to unite Europe into one empire-sized nation — something that might provide enough buoyancy to float their leaden economies and save their miserable careers. But the problem, my dinner companion argued, wasn’t the vision of a mega-bureaucracy. The problem was the cowardice of politicians who were afraid to make decisions their countrymen might despise. Asking the citizens of these countries what they want is a mistake, he said. “Voters are stupid. They always vote their prejudices.” The European leaders were happiest with no decision at all. More »
15-12-03 | 20:51 |

Brussels considers imposing currency controls

The European Commission is examining the legal basis for 1970s-style exchange controls to stop the euro surging to destructive levels. A team working for Pedro Solbes, economics commissioner, claims Brussels may lawfully impose “quantitative restrictions” on capital inflows, clearing the way for a crisis response if the dollar continues to fall. Industry leaders in Germany and France say the euro has crossed the “pain threshold” and risks aborting the euro-zone’s fragile recovery. More »
09-12-03 | 12:56 |

Future Development Of Europe

The basic features of politics do not change with technological change and economical growth. ‘Poverty’ is historically relative; unemployment is always shifted toward higher levels of labour conditions. There will always be a factual divide between rich and poor, no matter how rich the poor are. There will always be an establishment interested in stable power relations. There will always be a clash of interests between employees who can be replaced without losses and employees that are crucial for profitable activities. More »
06-12-03 | 12:57 |