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----- Original Message ----- 
From: secr <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2001 9:06 PM
Subject: [mobilize-globally] American Eurosceptics

------ Forwarded Message
From: "tam0shantar" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 08:09:15 -0000
Subject: [UK_Left_Network] American Eurosceptics

The American Right prefers the idea of an enlarged European free
trade zone to a political power that might help shape the globe

Will Hutton
Sunday December 9, 2001
The Observer 

What kind of world do we want to live in - and do we want to be able
to shape it? Big questions, but the juxtaposition of two events over
the next week make it urgent that we find answers. The demonstration
of the US's technological military superiority in winning a stunning
victory in Afghanistan has made the American Right never more
confident about the unilateral use of its power. Meanwhile, the only
potential countervailing power bloc in the world will next weekend
embark on the hazardous course of building a new constitution and
nearly doubling its membership. If unsuccessful, the meeting in the
Brussels suburb of Laeken will lead to a new era of complete American
domination. The stakes are high.
If few in Europe openly acknowledge the risks, be sure the
strategists in the Pentagon and State Department have planned the
scenarios scores of times. The US has always wanted a liberal, free
market Europe, securing capitalism and democracy, but with no
capability to become a partner in the exercise of Western political
and military power shaping the globe. That role must remain firmly in
American, unilateralist hands.

To secure its strategic aims the US has consistently pressurised the
EU Commission to enlarge the European Union to encompass not just the
eight applicants in Eastern Europe who want full membership along
with Malta and Cyprus - but Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey as well.
This has been supported by successive British governments who see it
weakening the EU. The positive aspect of this campaign is that it
should help secure key Western values in countries that ardently want
them. The negative aspect is that enlargement threatens to make the
EU ungovernable. 

Without robust institutions an enlarged EU could relapse into little
more than a free trade area. Europe must find a way to defer
enlargement until it is capable of assimilating the new members
properly. Otherwise we might as well give up on the European dream
and prepare to live in a world run by the American Right.

Consider the current EU. Ever since its foundation it has been, as
the great German political economist Fritz Scharpf characterises it
in his seminal book Governing in Europe , engaged in essentially
negative integration. It has been pulling down obstacles to the
creation of first a customs union and latterly a single market.
Outside this essen tially economistic, free market project its social
efforts have been spasmodically important - like introducing
information and consultation procedures into Britain - but in the
main little has been achieved. Nation states continue to guard their
sovereignty jealously.

The euro is an important advance, but what is missing is obvious. The
EU has a single currency and a European Central Bank, but it has no
fiscal authority that can deliver a Europe-wide economic policy. The
US Fed interacts with the US Treasury and the Bank of England with
the Treasury. The European Central Bank needs to interact with a
similar structure. And if it did, the next issue is obvious. How
would its accountability be ensured? The creation of the effective
economic governance of Europe leads inexorably to the need for more
effective political institutions for Europe - institutions with the
power, authority and legitimacy to start the laborious position of
building Europe up rather than tearing obstacles to trade down.

This is why next weekend's meeting in Laeken is so important; it is
the meeting that will set the course for the next phase of the EU's
constitutional development. A constitutional convention is to start
work next spring on how Europe can inject more democracy and
legitimacy into its operations - difficult enough for the EU of the
current 15, but nightmarish for an EU of 27. The Nice Council meeting
last year, working out how votes would be distributed between 27
member countries in both the European Parliament and Council of
Ministers, was fiendishly complex - and ended up with a process so
compromised that even Irish pro-Europeans found it indefensible.
Hence the 'No' vote in the only referendum on Nice so far.

Nor is that where matters end. The new entrants are so poor with such
large populations working on the land that they will stretch the EU
budgets on agriculture and regional aid to breaking point. Their
public sectors are woefully underpaid and riddled with corruption,
extending even to their judicial and criminal justice systems. One of
the more disgraceful documents the EU Commission has published was
last month's ringing endorsement of a big bang entry of as many as 10
countries before the 2004 European parliamentary elections. They are
not ready for entry, and neither is the EU ready to accept them. This
is the brute reality, but as Le Monde argued 10 days ago, nobody
dares to say it. 

The EU needs to get its priorities clear. It needs some successes. It
needs the euro to succeed, and that requires an extension and
democratisation of the institutions that economically govern Europe -
and a smarter approach to economic policy. It needs to bed down its
Rapid Reaction Force. It needs a constitution to transform its
governance from diplomatic horsetrading to a genuinely political and
accountable process.

In today's environment of euro-scepticism and rising nationalism, all
that is already hard enough. But enlargement on top threatens to
break the whole enterprise. This would be dismaying enough, but the
emergence of an ascendant American Right dominating a superpower
whose preponderance has never been equalled in world history makes it
a strategic calamity. The US was right to fight its war in
Afghanistan, and Europe right to support it - but Europe also argued
for a new framework of international economic and social justice that
would weaken the wellsprings of terrorism.

Conservative US, it is obvious, has no interest in the idea. It does
not believe in the idea of a social contract at home, let alone one
abroad. The only potential pressure for such a conception is the EU -
as it has been for an International Criminal Court or the Kyoto
treaty on global warming. If the EU collapses into dysfunctional
paralysis because of enlargement, everybody will be the poorer. So
yes to closer association. Yes to eventual membership on a case by
case basis. But emphatically no to big bang enlargement. The stakes
are just too high. 

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