There is, however, one huge deficit in the current debate and the recent reform efforts on the EU level, namely the complete absence of a political and economic vision as to where Europe is striving to stand after having overcome the current crisis. This deficit is in fact threatening Europe’s future, and is not addressed by Soros, though it would actually make his case even stronger. Such a vision beyond pure economics and beyond the crisis is needed particularly for the young all over Europe, who will be shaping the continent’s future. One of the most important preconditions to hold Europe together, i.e. to avoid a break-up, and to enable a degree of political and economic integration allowing the European Union in general and the Eurozone in particular to function economically is to avoid that the young become and/or perceive themselves as a lost generation. A vision for a sustainable Europe needs to incorporate a view on Europe’s most pressing problems. These do not only comprise the current record youth unemployment, the deficits in competitiveness in the so-called European periphery countries, the high indebtedness of the public and the private sector, and the dysfunctionalities in financial markets. In addition, such a vision needs to account for the ongoing climate change, increasing income and wealth inequality within and between European countries, as well as high and persisting gender inequality.
Margit Schratzenstaller is senior researcher at the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) and is currently coordinating, together with Karl Aiginger and Stefan Ederer, WWWforEurope, a four year research project within the 7th Framework Program funded by the European Commission.
The Tragedy of the European Union
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