Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Juppé and "European Federation"

Has the euro crisis nudged key political leaders in Germany and France closer to a fiscal union? Perhaps. Jean Quatremer notes Alain Juppé's favorable mention of a "European federation," while Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister, seems to be on the same page. (h/t Henry Farrell)

The only problem: I suspect that substantial majorities in both country would oppose the idea--unless, of course, the financial system were to be on the brink of collapse, in which case it will probably be too late.

Juppé and Schäuble may be moving closer, but Sarkozy and Merkel are not.


Tacitus said...

Is it the case that the French are more willing to move towards a European federalism than the Germans or are both groups equally hesitant?

I do not have a good sense of what the average French citizen thinks about this crisis, partially because Germany's largest economy seems to attract greater attention in the U.S. press.

Tacitus said...

Excuse me, I meant to say "Germany's larger economy...", not largest.

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Tacitus, as usual, there is a deep gulf between the French political class, including journalists, and "la France profonde." The former, tacitly in favor of federalism in its majority, has kept the issue in the background, knowing that the latter is made deeply anxious by the idea, as the 2005 referendum on the EU treaty revision demonstrated. If the issue were forced and there were another referendum, as there would have to be to alter the treaty in fundamental ways, French opposition would surely become vociferous. The success of Marine Le Pen is one symptom of the hostility to closer European cooperation. On the left, Montebourg and Mélenchon also work this theme.

Tacitus said...

Thanks for prompt, informative response. It leaves me wondering whether or not a majority of French citizens could embrace the idea, perhaps in better economic times.

Julien S said...

4mer is over-rated. He has censored perfectly well articulated links to pots of mine (*) that turned out to make headlines months later. So french conformist.

(*) Such as this one: http://euro-deux-point-zero.blogspot.com/2011/08/audition-du-futur-gouverneur-de-la-bce.html

Look at the date : 2011/08 (I then worked more on it in October, still before Marc Roche "broke the news").