Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Vaclav Klaus

Yes, I know, it's not often that we think that the President of the European Union has good ideas. However, the post has just been taken up by Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic. He's got a great piece in the Financial Times today.

Aggregate demand needs strengthening. One traditional way to do this is to increase government expenditures, probably in public infrastructure projects, on condition these are available. It would be much more helpful, however, to have a great reduction in all kinds of restrictions on private initiatives introduced in the last half a century during the era of the brave new world of the “social and ecological market economy”. The best thing to do now would be temporarily to weaken, if not repeal, various labour, environmental, social, health and other “standards”, because they block rational human activity more than anything else.

As regards the EU’s “constitutional” stalemate, the Czech government will – hopefully – not lead Europe to an ever-closer union, to a Europe of regions (instead of states), to a centralised, supranational Europe or to an increasingly controlled and regulated Europe masterminded from above. It will keep stressing its EU presidency slogan “Europe without barriers”, which means the advocacy of further liberalisation, removing trade barriers and getting rid of protectionism.

Our historical experience gives us a clear instruction: we always need more of markets and less of government intervention. We also know that government failure is more costly than market failure.

It's worth reading the whole thing. However, we do need to remember on huge caveat. That however hard we try we know that this isn't the way that the Project is going to develop. It just isn't going to be possible to negotiate from within, we need to leave so that we can build this desirable end point for ourselves: the EU is never going to become what we desire.

No comments: