Sunday, February 5, 2012

Let Us Hope That The Euro And The EU Do Collapse

Home Blog Let us hope that the euro and the EU do collapse
Let us hope that the euro and the EU do collapse

Written by Tim Worstall | Sunday 5 February 2012

Now yes, agreed, I am known for my euroscepticism, both of the very EU system and of the currency, thinking them both thoroughly bad ideas from start to finish. But I'd like to point out that there are those not as entirely crankish as I am on the subject who think that the toppling of one or both wouldn't be so bad: could even be desirable.

The claim that the downfall of the euro and the EU would produce chaos and war may be interpreted to be just a strategy necessary to get support for helping the highly indebted nations such as Greece, Portugal, Spain, or Italy with ever more financial support. However, conversations I have had with persons from various European countries suggest that many people really believe that Europe will disintegrate and that wars are looming if the EU dissolves. I hold this view to be seriously mistaken.

Good, just to get that out of the way.

The individual countries in Europe will quickly form new treaties among themselves. Collaboration will be maintained in all those areas where it has worked well. Some countries will remain in a newly formed and smaller Eurozone, for which the appropriate treaties will be designed. A similar reconstitution will take place with respect to Schengen, which will then encompass different members. Only those countries that find it advantageous will join a new convention on the free movement of persons. In contrast, those nations that do not find such new treaties attractive, or that are not admitted to them by the other members, will not join.

The result will be a net of overlapping contracts between countries, which the various nations will join at will. These contracts will not be based on a vague notion of what ‘’Europe’ may mean, but rather on functional efficiency. Crucially, the individual treaties will be stable because they will be in the interest of each member.

What is being suggested is a multi-speed Europe, a contractual one or, if you prefer, a liberal conception of inter-state cooperation rather than the building of new over arching state. And it's a vision that I find very attractive indeed. I see no need or, no reason for, a new State of Europe while I can see the obvious benefits of cooperation across the continent.

But let's have that cooperation freely given, freely negotated and split out into its component parts. As Bruno Frey (for it is he) points out:

The essence of ‘Europe’ is variety and diversity rather than étatisme and bureaucracy.

So why in hell is anyone at all trying to constrain such variety and diversity under one set of rules and one set of rulers?

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