Monday 6 October 2008

Let's solve multilateral problems unilaterally

Sometimes I ask myself why we have created a political, economic, and monetary European Union.

As EUobserver titles in an article, a mini-summit in Paris yesterday failed "to stop unilateral action by EU states". Sarkozy, Merkel, Brown, Berlusconi, as well as the two financial Jean-Claudes, Juncker and Trichet, had met in order to find common solutions, but as so often in European Union politics, their only joint action is to say that unilateral actions are prefered.


Sarkozy is cited:
"We have taken a solemn vow as chiefs of state and government to support banks and financial entities to face the crisis. Every government will use its own system for that, but in co-ordination with other member states."
For me its sounds rather like a "sole vow" than a "solemn vow". But at least they could have a nice meeting in Paris. Many people do that on Sundays, so why not our political and financial leaders?!

Number of solutions produced: ZERO.

Read also:

- the article by the Coulisses de Bruxelles
- Grahnlaw's related article on "EU: Excessive government deficits"


Anonymous said...

What a difference a week makes! I think that if sunday's Euro group decision will continue to work during the next days, this will be a great moment in the history of the open method of coordination. It's impressive that by agreeing on a "menu of options", EU countries managed to impress market in such an important way. Then of course, it's because they were expected to "put their money where their mouth was", and in fact today they put a million million Euros behind the "menu of options". Good to make a case study on this: OMC + huge amount of money = new governance model

Julien Frisch said...

Welcome to political science lessons. ;-)

It's true that within this week quite some things have happened, but in the end is just the realisation that everyone was unhappy with unilateral solutions because this would only have led to a distortion of the crisis but would not have solved it.

However, whether this is a special OMC case - I am not sure. It's just a problem setting that involves huge perceived time shortage. And the only solution our leaders see in this moment of scarcity is money, a lot of money, which replaces lenghy discussions that would actually be needed to take a more rational decision...