Survival of the European Union — Reform Away From ‘One-Size Fits All’ Policy

Originally Published: 31/December/2016

This is an expansion on the Celtic Phoenix article, specifically on the need for EU reform to make the EU idea work and pull away from the potential of driving off the economic cliff that will end up destroying the hopes of the people and ease of trade in the future. To paraphrase the paragraph that has given rise to this article, and to preface what is going to be discussed;

“Yes, we are currently indebted to Europe with repayments and currently have very limited independence with decision making, but once repaid the seeds that should have been sown years before can begin to be nurtured and grow. The need for a Future Affairs Ministry to also talk with Europe about reform is needed to decentralise decision making away from a one size fits all policy. It will need to be discussed as a matter of urgency so the E.U will to not fail as a trading block, but thrive as decisions that are taken to counter the current state of the business cycle in one part of Europe will have a bleeding effect on other countries. By adding to their current business cycle status and pushing them into the one size fits all policy, this will have an even greater effect in super cooling or overheating economies in the future and be detrimental to the citizens when their economy eventually tanks.”

Personal Opinion on EU

The EU, which has grown for the EEC, is a great idea, within reason, with the purpose of cross country integration through a single market, single currency, and globalisation agenda. We can put the 4 freedoms of the EU in the exhibit spotlight to emphasis why I believe this to be a great idea. This has brought overall increases in living standards of us Europeans and is extremely beneficial to the process of economic growth. But when policy implementations at the EU level only benefit the bigger economies in a means to counter act business cycles, it can be said with a high degree of safety that this is to the detriment of smaller economies that are out of sync with the business cycles of said bigger economies. Such a weakness in this policy allows for decisions to counteract a dip in the economic cycle of Germany for example, will end up overheating a growth period in another smaller economy such as Ireland, thus setting up a potential future collapse to be harder than it should be.

Other problems that need to be addressed are a need for EU reform towards increases in opportunities for people in at risk industries, and progressive modification of taxation to be fair and enforced. By getting these two big things right, ideas and plans would need to be thrown around in Brussels in order to find the optimal outcome for all people involved in an economy. Going back to at risk workers, a re-education policy of workers, with the natural move towards a national comparative advantage in mind, can ensure immediate worker transition between sectors without causing strain on the social welfare system and proactively plugging the knock on effect of funds being taken from other areas, like education and health, or taking out more national debt, to bolster these new welfare recipients. The reform of taxation from the individual to the corporate level, need to have a collection process easy enough to disenfranchise people from avoidance/evasion, to a distribution of tax that has to be collected to its maximum capabilities and thus be spent efficiently within the economy.

EU problems

An economic monarchy that has cloaked itself in democracy seems to have seeded itself within the EU, to allow itself be ruled by a small number of weightier economies, as it tells the rest to jump and also how high, even if they can’t due to being economically crippled such a what Germany had been doing to Greece. The initial point of the EU was lost somewhere along the way and has been edged into an economic colonisation by these ruling economies.

A lack of understanding of other countries culture, such as how nations do business and operate, leads to an economic homogenous thought process and subsequent policy action plan of these ruling countries. This highlights how out of touch they are to the plethora of situations happening within the Eurozone’s boarders. What I mean by this is that business cycles differ between nations due to each country having its own special blend of primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors, but policy and legislation is geared towards one type of economic situation and not the wide variety of varying economic situations within Europe. National and regional politics enables and reinforce this behaviour by just running with the status quo of things in order to continue to be part of and benefit from the EU when things are good, but be made examples of when things go south.

When it comes to policy implementation, there is a need to decentralise, differentiate, and embrace the multi-faceted fabrics of society in different countries for a multi coloured tapestry of inclusion. This will allow for humans to do what we do best and work together properly to push our living standards and PPF forward for increased wellbeing overall, and to squash an explosive expansion of a widening variance in incomes presenting itself in a widening wealth gap. This ‘One Size Fits All’ trajectory with EU globalisation is not being implemented properly right now, as seen with how the masses are voting, and how the political spectrum seems to be becoming more polar and radical as a result of promised positive economic welfare for people being destroyed. This welfare destruction comes from the abandonment of a certain level of national autonomy, and at a push, regional autonomy, as the quick move away from various sectors and secondary industry for more cost effective locations, like China, is leaving workers in the lurch and without a future.

Understanding that the EU constitutes a wide variety of cultures and positioning’s on the current business cycle, the ECB and ECJ will need to prove its adaptability to embracing these differences, dependent on region, within the EU, and through this must claw back trust lost amongst citizens when it comes to politics in the EU and the governing bodies that make it up. This increase in trust can help stabilise markets and help with increases in GDP.

Conclusion

People must always pay their debts so there is a strong belief in debt repayment, but the way the EU are handling it (especially in areas like Greece) are extremely reminiscent of post WW1 Germany in the way that they were made a fiscal fool of, and the causes of that which led to a build-up and outcome of WW2.

Also, with the current Brexit referendum being a repercussion of policy failings of the EU agenda, the EU must abide by the referendum that resulted in a blanketed leave for those nations of the United Kingdom, even those who want to stay and be proactive in the EU idea, like Scotland and Northern Ireland. Personally, a border between the North and Republic of Ireland shouldn’t be enforced as it would be like putting a wall back up between West and East Germany. It’s bad for business and will cause a divide to re-establish itself between the people, all because the EU may wish to prove a political point to the British.

The inevitable natural rise in the tide will lift all ships, but have the decisions made by the ECB actually helped in the recovery, or has it just helped with stagnation of the economy by meddling too much in the market? Should there have been more of an implicit use of the invisible hand in the free market to weed out the toxic companies across all sectors? We have now gone down this route, hindsight is 20/20, and people can agree or disagree on what way it should have been handled, but what’s important is that we are where we are, we have hopefully learned from past mistakes which leaves us with one question. What’s the best way to go from here?

About Author

Jonathan McEvoy is an Irish based border control post inspector for the Irish Government and Europe Union who took up his role in 2019 in response to British withdrawal of trade agreements, which was a position taken up after time spent working within the financial services sector in Dubai. He is an economics and finance postgraduate from Waterford Institute of Technology and a community stalwart in his home city of Waterford having been elected to serve on many boards of directors around the city in a voluntary capacity. His love of writing has a deep theme of economics in every published article which talk about history, philosophy, finance, politics, and society. His writings are grounded in practical observations away from the theoretical hypothesis of hypothetical potentials. If you are looking for a modern digestible viewpoint on modern economic ideas with a focus practicality and no holding back, he is a writer for you.

Find Jonathan on the social platforms @jonathanmcev0y

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Jonathan McEvoy

Jonathan McEvoy

It is good to be back on Medium. This is going to be the second home of all articles that have been written about and published. Get in touch @jonathanmcev0y

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