Friday, September 22, 2017


Bruegel: Europe’s fourfold union: Updating the 2012 vision

The depiction of the euro area/European Union (EU) as a ‘fourfold union’ (financial union, fiscal union, economic union, political union) emerged in the first half of 2012 at the height of the euro-area crisis. It was primarily shaped by the recognition of the bank-sovereign vicious circle and the need to break it to ensure the survival of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

The bank-sovereign vicious circle? Okay...

And the need to break it? Okay...

To ensure the survival of Economic and Monetary Union? Why?

This framing of EMU and EU integration is inevitably simplistic but its four-part categorisation remains relevant and useful when assessing current and future challenges to European integration.

Fuck European integration.

Political union, a more intangible notion, might have advanced further than many observers realise, even as national politics remain paramount for the vast majority of EU citizens.


A near-term agenda to strengthen EMU, for which decisions could be made in the course of 2018 and without any treaty change, should rest on a balance of further risk-sharing and enhanced market discipline, building on the significant risk reduction achieved over the last half-decade.

Without any treaty change.

And definitely without any participatory democracy.

Complementary initiatives should include, on the fiscal side, a reform of the accounting and auditing framework that applies to euro-area member states, and on the (structural) economic side, a new architecture of sector-specific EU authorities to enforce the single market in regulated industries.

Without any treaty change.

A more ambitious vision would have to include the European pooling of selected tax revenue streams to support an incipient fiscal union.

"Even as national politics remain paramount".

This whole thing is driven by wealth, praised by policymakers who can't solve their own nations' problems, and supported by a dying middle class desperate for economic recovery.

Economic problems demand economic solutions. You cannot solve economic problems with political solutions.

// See also: Delian League

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