Open Europe Blog

This is a sign of the times.

In an interview with EUobserver, Turkey’s permanent representative to the EU, Selim Kuneralp, made some interesting comments on the future of the eurozone . In particular, he said that, although the Franco-German proposals to strengthen central control over national budgets, which could steer the eurozone “in the right direction”, they also risk undermining democracy.

He argued,

“In an election campaign, you have one party that says, ‘I’m going to reduce taxes and invest in this or that, to build nuclear power plants or spend money on renewable energy, build more schools and better hospitals.’ And the other party says, ‘I’m going to do everything this guy is promising, but more.’ So you have a race on who is going to spend more. But if you have this kind of mechanism [of central control] they won’t be able to do it. That means you would have such a loss of sovereignty as to make election campaigns meaningless.”

Clearly, Mr. Kuneralp does have a strong point. Perhaps EU leaders should rememebr the ‘Copenhagen criteria’ – the rules on democracy (and various other things) that countries wishing to accede to the EU have to fulfill – as they’re trying to deal with the eurozone crisis…

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