Energizar a Europa

En la campaña electoral pre-presidencial de Francia, los asuntos europeos se mencionan o se murmuran, pero casi nunca se debaten. Francia está esencialmente preocupada por sus propios problemas, en especial el supuesto malfuncionamiento de su clase política y la aparente apatía de la población francesa, a la que se culpa de un débil crecimiento económico, especialmente cuando se lo compara con Estados Unidos. Francia necesita un debate sobre asuntos de la Unión Europea, pero sólo en la medida en que no se degenere -como suele suceder en Europa- en autoflagelación.

Pero el germen de un debate de ese tipo existe y suena muy diferente del que dominó el fallido referéndum constitucional en Francia hace dos años. La operación de las instituciones europeas -el Banco Central Europeo, la Comisión Europea y el Pacto de Estabilidad- enfrenta fuertes críticas, pero no por una nostalgia de soberanía nacional. No se está rechazando a Europa. Más bien, las críticas han sido con el objetivo de mejorar las instituciones europeas en nombre del bien común.

Los dos candidatos principales para la presidencia francesa, Ségolène Royal y Nicholas Sarkozy, instaron a la creación de un gobierno económico para la zona del euro. Por supuesto, un "gobierno" de esta naturaleza ya existe: el Banco Central Europeo. Pero lo que se necesita es un marco institucional que establezca una mayor responsabilidad política con respecto a los principales objetivos económicos que debería perseguir Europa -pleno empleo y crecimiento- y que, al menos en parte, cierre el déficit democrático que implicó que el BCE asumiera la política monetaria de los estados de la zona del euro.

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