Big government revival casts doubt on Europe


Crank up The power and lights that flow into the building shine brighter. However, if you do not upgrade the wiring, the fuse will blow quickly and smoke will come out of unexpected locations. The political structure is almost the same. The surge in electricity pleases everyone involved — until something completely unwelcome begins to happen.

The flow of politics is swelling all over the world. The role of the nation is expanding. The pandemic has eroded an already volatile consensus on the limits of government’s role in a liberal society. The National Athletic Meet, those ancient buildings, have ample experience navigating such soars and slacks. In European projects, improvised squeaky foundations and unstable expansion hotpots over the years, more state power requires a rethinking of institutional cables that keep lighting on.

Big government should be a familiar territory for Europe. The troublesome public sector is the standard at the national level, EU An institution that has long been ridiculed by critics for being terrible bureaucratic in dictating the curvature of bananas. In fact, European projects are more often a force of government restraint. From its origins in the 1950s, Brussels machines were no more Leviathan to direct new policies than voluntary straitjackets to detain national politicians. When the culmination of such contests is too often to include cross-border soldiers and bombers that flatten the city, why did the consensus go, should Europeans compete meaninglessly with each other? ??

The most striking achievements of the project (and the emergence of the latest iterations, EU, 1993) came when politicians around the world admitted that the public sector was bloated and mighty. Few country leaders have tried to curb it as much as Margaret Thatcher. However, many have outsourced the work to Euroclassy. Brussels has become an unexpected force in checking the power of the government. This is the source of an edict to a terribly obedient national politician so as not to do what might otherwise have escaped.

Founded 29 years ago, a single domestic market needs to remove all obstacles to the free movement of goods, people, money and services. EU For example, the country. It prohibits the construction of border barriers between Schengen countries.Trade agreement negotiated by EU Protective trade principles sometimes eliminate tariffs on popular continents. National aid rules prohibit politicians from investing public money in preferential industries, no matter how enthusiastic they are to promote national champions. In particular, the introduction of the euro in 1999 eliminated the possibility of devaluation and, at least in theory, tightly controlled the budget deficit.

Today, more government supporters dominate, from London to Washington and Paris to Berlin. Is the fluid distribution of power adaptable between Europe, more generally the national and federal levels? It’s not easy.for EUIt’s easy to ban things: you just have to decide what to ban. It’s hard to actually do things. You need to first decide what to do and then understand how to do it. Take public subsidies to the industry. Banning them, as Europe has done for a long time, involves simply blaming those who violate the rules. However, to create a new distribution, you need to choose which company should receive a large public agency and how much it will cost. Is it a microchip plant or a defense company? Who decides when to change the priority? Who pays?

Fabian Zuleeg of the European Policy Center, a think tank in Brussels, argues that there are two ways Europe can shift gear as the government expands. The first one EU It does not get in the way. Countries can easily resume what they were once told not to do. For example, the state’s aid and budget deficit rules have been suspended due to the rage of covid-19 and are unlikely to be fully restored. This gives governments more room to indulge in actions that were once forbidden. The downside is that it reverses the European project. The second way is for big government to happen at the European level.Some power is shifting to EU institution. In 2020, the European Commission, the executive body of Brock, was given the task of procuring vaccines for everyone from Finland to Portugal. Europe’s ambitious Green Agenda is mainly piloted from generation EU (NGEU) The € 750 billion ($ 846 billion) pandemic fund is the first step towards a federal budget. All of these are already on some of the strongest buildings, especially the well-operated European Central Bank.

EU turn if you want

This “more European” approach is EUThe current institutional wiring of is sufficient. The Brussels machine is a terrifying regulator and legislator, but does its enforcement skill depend on snuffs? If the vaccination episode goes by, the answer is no. Early fumble meant that Europeans got their first jab long after the Americans and Britons did.

More centralization also requires more monitoring. The committee is gaining vast new power.For example, it can be withheld NGEU Funds from countries that have failed to carry out the reforms they promised to get some of the cash. Such power should bring more accountability. But what’s happening in Brussels is rarely scrutinized beyond the bubble.The European Parliament should do its job, but often focuses on arbitrarily demanding a larger role. EU (And for itself).

Homeowners facing vast electrical projects often settle for a redo solution. Europe could do the same. No one is keen on the grand package of institutional reforms that can only be brought about by nasty treaty changes and the resulting EU The program here, the new fuse box there, does the trick for now. But it may not prove a permanent fix. ■■

Read more from Charlemagne, a columnist on European politics:

How European politicians began to think of themselves as Europeans (January 1)
Emmanuel Macron’s tricky Christmas gift (December 18th)
Angela Merkel, an invisible European (December 11th)

This article was published in the printed version of the Europe section under the heading “Rewiring Europe”.

Big government revival casts doubt on Europe

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