Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

The EU Future Is To Become 'United States Of Europe'

Ralitsa Kovacheva, January 31, 2012

In the end of 2011 euinside has decided to broaden its analytical arm and to "export" it towards experts outside the medium. We started a cooperation with the owner of a Coffee Roasting Boutique in Sofia, Dimitar Ashikov, who happens also to be a macro economist, very much keen on debating the eurozone crisis issues. We meet every Saturday and video record our debates in which other experts and analysts take part too. These debates we named euoutside. However, we are unable so far to provide translation of these debates in English, therefore what we are now offering to you is just a small summary of the conversation. We hope that at a later stage we will be able to provide English subtitles too.

In the first edition of euoutside for 2012 and on the eve of the European Council on January 30, euinside`s journalist Adelina Marini and macro economist Dimitar Ashikov commented on the future of Europe. In the context of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the topic inevitably has fallen within the broader context of the discussion on the future of capitalism. It is now clear that today state intervention cannot happen the same way as it did several decades ago - the super state is not a panacea, nor is over-liberalisation, Dimitar Ashikov said. According to him, the European Union is still dealing with the quantitative aspects of integration, such as budgetary discipline, but there are also qualitative aspects: the arrangement of rights and obligations in a hierarchy.

That is precisely what the so called Fiscal Compact is trying to do, which has been agreed by 25 EU member states. Because there are currently severe imbalances, as national authorities have too much power given that there is a common currency. So inevitably the conversation went from the philosophical views on capitalism to the problems of the eurozone. And like capitalism as a concept, sovereignty must also be redefined to reflect the actual situation, Adelina Marini noted. Because you cannot be in the EU and even less- in the euro area and make decisions without these to affect everyone else.

What does territorial sovereignty in the Schengen area mean, Dimitar Ashikov asked rhetorically. Actually, it means nothing but instead, when it comes to the fiscal process, national sovereignty is strongly defended by the Member States. According to him, the logical path for Europe is towards centralisation and federalism. The question is, Adelina Marini noted, that if we are going towards a centralised governance of the EU, it must be legitimate because now people think that we are going towards a European "Soviet Union". Currently, an elitist vision of Europe dominates, which is produced in closed political circles without looking for public support, Dimitar Ashikov explained. According to him, however, this vision would be counterproductive in the long run because in times of crisis and high unemployment it is important to seek voters' opinion.

euoutside is being realised with the support of Domani Coffee Roasting Boutique, Sofia, 4 Dimitar Hadzhikotsev St.