The euro’s founding father has warned that Europe’s latest plan for an EMU-wide finance ministry is a dangerous attempt to smuggle through political union, and breaches the basic tenets of modern democracy.
Professor Otmar Issing, the chief architect of monetary union through its early years, said it would be “dangerous” to transfer control over tax and spending to the EU federal level before full political union has been established first on democratic foundations.
Such a quantum leap in the constitutional structure of Europe – effectively the creation of an EU superstate, with a parliament comparable in power to the US Congress – is unthinkable in the current political atmosphere.
It would require referenda across Europe, and a two-thirds majority in both houses of the German parliament. “The chances of political union are close to zero,” he said, speaking at the Ambrosetti forum of world policymakers on Lake Como.
If Europe were to jump the gun and force the pace of integration, this would lead to a rogue plenipotentiary with unbridled powers over sensitive issues of national life. “It is hard to see how it could be given democratic accountability,” he said…..
…….Prof Issing has always been open to an authentic United States of Europe similar to the US federal democracy. What he objects to is a deformed halfway house where supra-national bodies take decisions behind closed doors.
The euro may survive “for a period” under its current structure, but it will break apart if the principles of monetary union are permanently violated. “Pacta sunt servanda (Agreements must be kept),” said Prof Issing.