L’Europe s’est construite en disant à 27 pays, petits moyens et grands : vous avez les mêmes pouvoirs. Ca ne peut plus marcher.This is not a particularly surprising view from a former French head of state. It enforces a view of Europe as a Franco-German duopoly imposing whatever bargain it achieves on "lesser" states. This will meet with resolute opposition, as it should. Sarkozy is right to claim, as he also does in this interview, that Europe has been slow to recognize its relative loss of status with respect to emerging powers. But he persists in his own failure to recognize that the Franco-German duopoly, for all its preponderance in Europe, is no longer the proper lens with which to view Europe's future. The continental economy needs to be rethought as a whole, with fewer national biases and greater emphasis on international complementarities. Europe suffers right now from inherent structural inequalities, but these inequalities can also be seen as an opportunity if industrial organization evolves to take advantage of them, and in the process to reduce them. It would take a much longer essay than I have time for to substantiate this point, but to my mind Sarkozy's remarks, though worth paying attention to, represent the perpetuation of a classic vision of Europe that is no longer adapted to the state of the global economy.
On ne peut pas avoir un système où 27 pays doivent attendre que le 27e soit d’accord pour que les 26 autres puissent avancer. Ce système ne peut plus fonctionner. Et qui peut mener ce leadership ? Les grands pays : l’Allemagne, la France, l’Angleterre, notamment, qui a toute sa place en Europe.
Mais l’Europe va devoir changer énormément sa façon de se construire et de décider. Ca sera le changement ou l’état de gouffre.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Sarkozy's Private Session in New York
Europe1 has obtained a recording of Nicolas Sarkozy's private meeting with bankers and businessmen in New York. His remarks can be read here. The most interesting is perhaps his assertion that larger European states must be given more power than smaller states: