printer printer Click on the green icon on the right
www.cadtm.org/The-European-Union-against-Europe
The European Union against Europe: Disobeying and Walking
by Daniel Albarracín
16 January 2017

The purpose of this presentation is to contribute with some elements of the debate, focusing on the strategies that the progressive political forces in Europe has been developing. Debating with them we will try to build a useful proposal to open a path to break with the straitjacket of the Euro System and the Europe of Capital.

It is convenient to highlight some points of the new political context. Just to mention, concerning the socioeconomic situation:

Regarding the social and political situation is important to highlight:

These are just a few points to take into account. Even there is a temporary and mutual blockade of the political responses. The consequences are opening the path in the middle of this paralysis of the establishment.

From this point of view, we can identify several stances within the elites and, on the other hand, the progressive forces. Our task today is analysing these strategies, the tension among them, and contributing to find a proposal able to fight against the adversaries and also able to release the paralysis of the left. This lead us to make a political programme for the international and revolutionary forces in Europe, an alive political programme capable to maintain a fruitful relationship with the working and popular classes in an emancipatory perspective.

Of course, our political strategy should be based in the promotion of the popular self-organisation, but also should be thought which governmental measures, in such a case of ruling, could be done.

For the time being, the elites are divided. We can find two lines within the extreme centre, in other words, the establishment forces. On one hand, a technocratic approach, federalist and neoliberal, which is proposing recentralised power for making a European State intervention possible. This line, represented by Juncker and France, try to put order in the markets, stabilising the private financial sector, against the working classes. On the other hand, an ordoliberalist proposal, led by Germany, to keep the EU under its intergovernmental scheme, defending the advantages of the Member States with permanent external surplus. The third player is the emerging far right, which is presented as anti-establishment, and likely is prone to exit of this EU, in order to create a transitory national refuge policies, reordering the globalisation framework in a more regional way and based in the stigmatisation of new “internal and external enemies”.

Nevertheless, these three lines of the elites have a lot of in common. We cannot discard that any possible conflict, could be overcome reaching some agreement in order to reinforce the paper of the State, in a supranational or national shape, with policies which ensure that the capital works more protected, charging against the popular classes the structural crisis of the current capitalist crisis and the failure and the perverse design of the EU. This could reorganise the architecture of the current EU, creating new clubs of countries, for example, using all those instruments and agreements reached outside the EU Treaties to create a Nordic Area or consolidating an institutionalised multiple speed and a more established hierarchy in Europe.


What about the progressive forces in Europe?

On the table we can find at least two poles of the discussion within the left forces.
On one hand there is the stance in favour of reforming the EU. The main points which characterised it are the following:

In sum, it is a paneuropean approach quite naïve. Beyond the short reach of the measures posed, we cannot await for the unanimity in the Council to change the EU institutions and the Treaties, and we cannot await for a negotiation based just in a blockade strategy within of the EU institutional proceedings. If we reach a government, in such a hypothesis, we need to make our political programme from the minute one.

In the other hand, we can find another strategy, based in the Eurozone exit, and in some cases the exit of the EU. Basically, they raise that:

This strategy is clearly against the design of the EU and particularly the Eurozone. The problems that we see with it is that, just exiting the Eurozone is not enough to defy neoliberalism and the crisis of the global capitalism; the room of manoeuvre of a single country is quite low in the long term; and that the instruments of the Nation State doesn’t provide different tools to make something quite different of a Keynesian and national policy. Besides, the international solidarity conceived by this strategy normally does not go beyond of a bilateral approach.

Thus, what to do then?. We think that there is an alternative strategy, capable to bring the best of the ideas within the left forces into a new perspective. We believe that a strategy based in “disobeying and walking” could be possible. We consider that:

What to do first in the case of reaching a government

The next steps would related with how to respond to the reaction of the EU. Meanwhile it could be interesting open a negotiation, in order to get time, although also putting in place or get ready the following measures:


Daniel Albarracín

Es economista y sociólogo, consejero político en el Parlamento Europeo y miembro del Consejo Asesor de la Revista Viento Sur. Miembro del Truth Committee on Greek Debt.