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GEAB N°76 (15 juin 2013) - Sommaire

Alerte second semestre 2013 – Crise systémique globale II : seconde déflagration dévastatrice / explosion sociale à l’échelle planétaire

Un choc de type Lehman en 2008, départ symbolique de l’incendie et surtout prise de conscience généralisée de la situation, n’a pas encore eu lieu. Ce n’est pas vraiment une bonne nouvelle car avec le temps la situation ne cesse de s’aggraver et ce n’est plus un choc auquel il faut se préparer mais une déflagration dévastatrice… (page 2)

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UE 2014-2015 : après les élections au Parlement européen, le bras de fer entre Parlement et Conseil européen favorise la montée de l’Euroland

L’architecture institutionnelle de l’UE a toujours été, depuis le début du processus d’intégration européenne, fondée sur le sable mouvant de la réalité politique. Si l’on ne fait que regarder un instant donné, on pourrait être amené à croire que la structure est solide, bien ancrée dans les traités européens. Mais la réalité est tout autre… (page 11)

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Le monde en 2030 – Diversification / infrastructures / éducation : anticiper la capacité de rebond post-crise d’une économie

S’il est nécessaire d’avoir une vision des événements à court terme pour naviguer dans cette crise d’ampleur séculaire, il ne faut toutefois jamais perdre de vue le panorama général des transformations du monde, tel que nous le rappelons régulièrement dans le GEAB. C’est la raison pour laquelle il est important de ne pas oublier les tendances de fond qui façonnent une société sur le long terme, c’est-à-dire sur plusieurs décennies (20 à 30 ans)… (page 15)

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Gouvernance Mondiale – Le rapprochement Euro-BRICS au service de la mise à niveau du système ou comme matrice d’un nouveau modèle ? Les institutions de la gouvernance globale théoriquement en charge de gérer la crise qui affecte la planète depuis maintenant 5 ans sont-elles structurellement capables d’engager les réformes nécessaires pour créer les conditions d’une amélioration de leur efficience ?… (page 27)

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Recommandations opérationnelles et stratégiques

Cash / pétrole / bourse / obligations… (page 30)

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Le GlobalEurometre - Résultats & Analyses

Le questionnaire de ce mois reflète une inquiétude élevée mais plutôt constante quant aux indicateurs économiques, à l’exception notable près du risque de faillites bancaires qui se précise à nouveau… (page 33)

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The geographic reorganisation of EU institutions – The Bonn-Berlin move as an example
by Ralf Teschner
15/04/2002


Secondary European capitals like Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxemburg are inappropriate to represent the EU as a strong, confident and forward-looking global player that it so desperately wants to be. They appear remote from the citizens and breed incestuous behaviour.

Moving the Council, Commission, Parliament and Court of Justice to the centers of power of the member states (as proposed by Europe 2020) would demonstrate that every-day EU matters are not separate from, but part of national politics.

But wouldn’t a relocation of thousands of EU civil servants to other cities disrupt their lives, their families’ lives, the social fabric of the Brussels political community and incur huge costs ? Yes, but housing, infrastructure and transportation investments deliver economic benefits and the discomforts of a cosy elite may not matter much in comparison with the long-term goals : making the EU more effective, bringing it closer to its citizens as well as having a stronger physical and moral authority in Washington, the Middle East, the Far East and many other partners in the world.

But wouldn’t an EU run out of Paris, London, Frankfurt, Brussels and Amsterdam appear too self-confident, even arrogant ? Wouldn’t an EU without a single centre of power seem unfocused and confused ? And wouldn’t a fragmentation of the EU’s core into wider Euro-Rings of cities symbolise a departure from values of the past ?

Amazingly, most of the above issues are reminiscent of another big geographical reorganisation of political institutions that took place not so long ago. Ten years ago, the likely arguments for and against a geographic reorganisation of EU institutions featured prominently in the debate in Germany about the proposal to move from Bonn to Berlin most federal institutions, particularly the German parliament, government and ministries. In the high-profile debate, conservative forces were pitted against visionaries, bean-counters against investors, low-profilers against strong-men, historians against reactionaries.

The outcome is well-known : In June 1991, a narrow majority of the German Bundestag voted for the move to Berlin. It did so mainly because it wanted to live up to the reborn pride of a united nation, because it desired to be seen as a responsible government and because it wanted to get into the microcosm of a multi-cultural city more representative of the reunited Germany.

Bonn was perceived as cosy, hidden, almost rural and with no history of government before the post-war compromise. In fact, Bonn had been chosen as ’temporary’ capital, partly because it was inoffensive to its neighbours.

Wolfgang Schäuble, then leader of the governing christian democratic party, held the decisive speech in the parliamentary debate, challenging his colleagues to see the historical significance : "Today is not about Bonn or Berlin, but about the future of all of us, about the future in our united Germany, which still has to find its inner unity, and about the future in a Europe, which has to fulfil its unity, if it wants to live up to its responsibility for peace, freedom and social justice."

The costs of moving some 16,000 civil servants plus their families as well as truckloads of files, hardware and furniture over the following 8 years were substantial (Euro 10bn), but were regarded as bearable in light of the historical objective of building the new Germany.

While Germany saw the move as a step towards becoming a ’normal’ country, outsiders suspected it was an indication of a more aggressive Germany to come. Neighbours like France were worried the move eastwards would redirect political priorities from the EU towards eastern Europe.

Should the EU embark on a geographical reorganisation of its institutions, many of these arguments would reappear. The debate would be extremely lively. It would be fought not just by politicians but citizens as well. It would highlight some of the defects of the current system. Washington would watch cautiously. It would revitalise the debate of the goal of the EU. Side-effects that would be very welcome.



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