torsdag, april 14, 2005

Franskt nej skulle vara en seger för liberalismen

Anatole Kaletsky, tidigare chefredaktör på Financial Times och numera partner på investmentfirman GaveKal skriver i dagens the Times varför ett franskt nej till EU-grundlagen skulle vara en seger för liberalismen.

"The alternatives offered to the people of France are not between the idealistic European multiculturalism of the 21st century and the xenophobic nationalism of the 19th. Rather they face a choice between two approaches: on one hand the liberal ideology of free markets and small governments that seems to be sweeping the world after its relaunch in Britain and America in the 1980s. The alternative is the 1970s belief that a centralised, protectionist and bureaucratically managed state could gradually be extended to the whole of Europe, preserving and enhancing the traditions of Gaullism in its glory days, when Chirac and Giscard were rising to power. [...] The collapse of the constitution would not just end Europe’s premature journey to single statehood. It would also dispel the pernicious illusion of French or European “exceptionalism” which this journey inspired: the idea that France or Europe has a “model” of social development which somehow exempts it from the laws of capitalist economics that apply to the rest of the world. Europe can make different choices on social services and welfare from America, but these choices can be supported only by a growing economy. The laws of the market — that people respond to incentives, that overvalued currencies destroy employment, that bureaucracy stifles enterprise — cannot be repealed by European idealism or political will.
A French “no” will force the people of Europe and the governing elites to face the fact that their living standards, cultures and influence in the world can be preserved only by improving economic performance, not by integrating, harmonising, enlarging or writing constitutions. Denied the illusions of “exceptionalism” and “ever-closer union”, Europe may have to think seriously about economic reform."

Klarsynta analyser av detta slag är ovanliga. Ironiskt nog är de som kommer närmast Kaletskys bild av EU-grundlagen dess främsta förespråkare – de franska politikerna själva. Chirac skriver exempelvis på hans parti UMP:s hemsida ”Denna text utgör kronan på verket för vad vi kan kalla Frankrikes vision för Europa, i motsats till den anglo-saxiska visionen om total frihandel, mellanstatlighet och självbestämmande. EU-grundlagen var Frankrikes önskan och den är till största delen inspirerad av Frankrike”