Abajo con el europaternalismo

La presidencia italiana de la Unión Europea carga con una enorme responsabilidad, a saber, revitalizar la ampliación como aspecto clave de la UE. Un buen lugar para empezar sería promover una actitud distinta hacia la adopción del euro por parte de los nuevos miembros. En efecto, la actual postura paternalista de las instituciones de la UE hacia los nuevos miembros amenaza con crear una Europa de dos niveles que complicará las tareas de la integración.

Los países que se van a adherir han cumplido con su parte del trato, al alcanzar un nivel de integración comercial con los países de la UE que es incluso más alto que en muchos de los miembros actuales. Tres de ellos (Estonia, Letonia y Lituania) tienen consejos monetarios o tipos de cambio fijos al euro, como Bulgaria, cuyo ingreso a la UE se tiene previsto para 2007. Los demás han declarado durante varios años su interés en adoptar el euro pronto, en algunos casos de forma unilateral, incluso antes de su ingreso a la UE (una postura que tiene el apoyo abierto del Banco Nacional de Polonia, y en menor medida de los bancos nacionales de Hungría y de la República Checa).

Pero a pesar de sus avances en disminuir la inflación y las tasas de interés hasta niveles cercanos a los de la UE, muchos de los países candidatos temen que con la apertura total a los flujos de capital (que es un requisito para la membresía) quedarán expuestos a los riesgos de interrupciones súbitas de esos flujos y a crisis de divisas. Han aprendido las lecciones de América Latina y Asia de 1990. La adopción del euro les ofrecería una forma estupenda de evitar esos riesgos y concentrarse en la creación de crecimiento real para sus economías.

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