Thursday, May 2, 2013

Habermas Speaks Out on EU

Jürgen Habermas envisions the future of the EU in a speech at Leuven University:

Habermas emphasises that solidarity is a political act and is in no way a form of moral selflessness. It is an attractive concept because it pays off in the long term. Habermas likens the concept to one’s ethical obligation to family: If a distant relative calls to ask for a favour, you will agree to help only if you can count on that relative to do the same for you in a similar situation. In other words, solidarity works according to the principle of “predictable reciprocity”. This, according to Habermas, can be extended to political communities bound by shared goals.

‪Habermas concludes that the monetary union can only be saved through solidarity: “‪Providing loans to over-indebted states is not enough. What is needed is a cooperative effort from a shared political perspective to promote growth and competitiveness in the euro zone as a whole." Such an effort would require Germany and several other countries to accept short- and medium-term losses, confident in the conviction that solidarity is in their – and our – long-term interest.

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