ISSIRFA NEWSLETTER N° 3 2016 July-September



The recent outcome of the British referendum on the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union has caused a situation of general discomfort and evoked unprecedented dangers; the stock exchanges wavered; the promoters of the referendum themselves were visibly concerned; the heads of the European Chanceries came together but then took different stances and finally, the European Institutions, except for the ECB, remained silent.

It is evident that the Brexit runs the risk of being the tip of an iceberg; the signals that emerged in recent years reflecting an anti-Europe sentiment largely confirmed in the 2014 elections of the European Parliament cannot be ignored. The two largest European parties - the People's Party and the Socialists -- had assumed the European political system to be largely bipolar and had hence presented a candidate each for the presidency of the Commission, but they were compelled to join forces even with the liberals in order to face the anti-Europe part of Parliament.

In actual fact, discomfort in the European Union is deep and is linked to the international financial crisis and to its repercussions on the European system. Indeed, while in the United States the signs of recovery are quite evident, in Europe - in spite of the efforts of the European Central Bank - there seems to be no end to the crisis.

And it is not only to be attributed to the weakness of the EU Mediterranean Countries (Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal) and to their sovereign debt, but rather and above all it is the result of the unusual combination of rules and behaviours of the Union and of its Member States: the Union cannot develop an anti cycle economic policy for the lack of a global tax system but it can impose on the Member States a budget policy based on curbing public spending that prevents recovery.

The Member States, in turn, comply with the European rules with great pain but are unable to impress on the European Union the political thrust that would give new momentum to the political integration process. The selfishness of the Member States and flaws in the design of Europe are therefore consuming the most important contemporary effort to build a federal reality.

After the crisis ensuing from the Maastricht Treaty and the failure of the Constitutional Treaty, Brexit may be the opportunity to rethink the European model in order to avoid the dissolution of the Union and the scatter of the cultural and political heritage it has built up over almost seventy years of history.

An idea that could give renewed momentum to the European integration process is that of an accomplished supranational democracy with a cohesive and solidarity-based institutional system where national parliaments would have a different position and with a true unified tax system that would provide the groundwork for an effective European economic policy.

As not all the Member States are ready for such a project, a first core of States could come together and work on a true sovereignty project designed to "Accomplish the aim of a perfect European Union".

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