It’s easy to get an op-ed in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, or the New York Times.
Well sort of. All you need is a high profile stature. No matter how inane the post by Paul Krugman, Larry Summers, or in this case former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a major media outlet will publish it, without rebuttal, and without any serious comments.
With that bit of a rant out of the way, please consider Remake the Union to Heal Europe’s Rifts by Nicolas Sarkozy.
On June 23, the British people decided to leave the EU. I am sorry they did because I believe the UK belongs in Europe. But I respect their choice. I can think of nothing worse than suggesting their decision might be disregarded.
The approaching political talks will be tough and the associated technicalities complex. Article 50, the mechanism for departing the EU, provides a two-year timeframe to reach an agreement, and failure to do so will result in automatic exit. The question is whether the UK and its 27 partner nations will have enough time to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement enshrining most of the bond they already share, or be forced into a much harsher break-up. Nobody knows the answer yet.
The Europe of the euro needs to deepen its integration, under sound economic governance, once and for all. The foundation for this was built during the crisis in 2010-11, when the European Stability Mechanism was created and eurozone summits began. This Europe needs to take a few steps further, providing more permanent leadership for its eurozone summits, setting up a central secretariat to serve as Europe’s treasury, and turning the ESM into a fully fledged European monetary fund.
This enlarged Europe also needs to review the commission’s prerogatives, to prevent it from bypassing European and national lawmakers, and unilaterally stifling our entrepreneurs and our citizens with the technical constraints it inflicts on them.
Lastly, Europe needs a new immigration policy. It needs a new Schengen, shared immigration and asylum policies, and consistent employment laws regarding foreigners to end social dumping. Foreigners should not receive non-contributory benefits until they have completed five years’ residence. We need to protect Europe’s borders effectively. We need to join forces to send those who have entered illegally back to their country of origin. We need to rank co-operation aimed at stemming illegal immigration among our foreign policy priorities. Countries that refuse to co-operate should be denied EU aid. This must be combined with a European “Marshall plan” for Africa.
In the meantime, I believe we should put accessions on hold, even in the case of countries that have grounds for joining, such as the Balkan states. And, as I have said before, I categorically oppose Turkey’s accession.
Once Europe emerges from its overhaul, it will be up to British leaders to decide whether to ask their people about joining the union again. The choice will be the British people’s to make, and theirs alone. Europe must not reform because it hopes to bring the UK back to the fold: it must embrace reform because its future and its survival depend on it; because reform is as urgent as it is vital.
Sarkozy’s Fantasyland Proposal
As is sometimes the case in these high-profile op-eds, the writer gets something correct while missing the big picture.
Sarkozy has one valid idea: immigration reform. But he totally blows it with a European “Marshall plan” for Africa idea.
Good grief. Does the average unemployed youth in Greece, Italy, or Spain give a rat’s ass about a Marshall plan for Africa?
Hell no! They want a Marshall Plan for Greece, for Italy, and Spain.
Sarkozy’s Marshall Plan for Africa idea shows how much out of touch these politically correct buffoons are.
Beppe Grillo in Italy, Marine le Pen in France, and AfD in Germany feed off nonsense such as Sarkozy proposed.
Mob Rule Irony
That is not the only point Sarkozy missed in his nannycrat rant for more Europe.
Sarkozy says “The question is whether the UK and its 27 partner nations will have enough time to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement enshrining most of the bond they already share, or be forced into a much harsher break-up. Nobody knows the answer yet.”
Got that? It takes 27 nations to agree on when and how a nation can leave the gang. That’s not quite mafia material, but it’s close.
Quite literally, 27 nations have to agree to do damn near anything in the EU.
One nation can handcuff the others, as does France with its inane agricultural tariff policy. A majority of nations are fed up with France but nothing can be done. France has a veto. In fact, every country has a veto.
As for his “Marshall Plan” idea, all 27 nations have to agree. Sanctions on Russia? In this case (and thankfully), all it takes is for one nation to say no, and the sanctions are off.
Pleading for more Europe, Eurobonds, or treaty changes requires unanimous approval.
If Sarkozy had an ounce of sense he would be calling for a complete overhaul of EU rules and Eurozone rules as well.
A couple of people are doing just that: Marine le Pen and Beppe Grillo. Inane ideas such as a Marshall Plan for the Africa further their cause.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock