Never Do Today…

…. what you can usefully put-off till tomorrow. There is still a lot of confusion surrounding what has, and what hasn’t been decided in Brussels. On the Constitution Treaty it seems there will now be an open-ended ratification period. What this will mean in practice is hard to see. The answer you give to this question seems to depend on whether or not you think that the French might change their minds after 2007. I wouldn’t be very optimistic on this front. Amongst economists the winds of globalisation are now reaching gale force, but on the political front, amongst voters, protectionism (both in the EU and the USA) is clearly gaining ground. Since I think this latter issue is every bit as important as the remoteness of the politicians when it comes to how people vote, and since I think the calls for protectionism may grow louder, I don’t anticipate that 2 years from now the general climate will be any more favourable to a ‘Treaty-like’ project, in fact, in all probability, quite the contrary will be the case. Globalisation will not be ‘rolled back’, it has already gone beyond the point of that being a viable possibility, but the process off its ‘ratification’, or if you like extension, may well take a “time out”.

The EU is to ?pause for reflection? for up to two years in a bid to resolve Europe?s constitution crisis. Europe?s leaders will next revisit the issue in Spring 2006 as the EU?s constitution deadline of November next year gets kicked into the long grass. Luxembourg?s Prime Minister and EU presidency holder Jean-Claude Juncker hinted that a new constitution deadline could be over two years away. ?After the ?non? and the ?nee?? the November 1 date? is no longer tenable. Those that haven?t ratified won?t be able to do anything until mid-2007,? he said late on Thursday night.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".

4 thoughts on “Never Do Today…

  1. The constitution is dead, buried. Period. Even Germany has a majority against it now (a poll from yesterday). People feel good in their democratic nation states, they don’t see the need for a “ever closer union”. And they are right so. The bureaucratic monster called EU is a construction that undermines the democratic nation state.

  2. The EU has a bureaucracy of some 20000 individuals, that is less than most big cities in Europe. Oh,BTW, there is nothing in nation state that makes it democratic. All big nation states were born on the oppresion of a greater number of nations, in a much less democratical way that whatever oppression the EU is doing.


  3. It’s right that the bureaucracy of Brussels is very weak.
    20 000 Eurocrats for 400 Millions people it’s very few.
    The city of Paris has 20 000 civil servants for 2 millions people.

  4. I suspect that pure number of bureaucrats is a very poor measure of bureaucratic power. EU bureaucrats can and often do leverage the bureaucrats of other nations or entities into doing their will.

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