L’Europe aux pays des merveilles

BERLIN – L’Europe et ses gouvernements nationaux se délectent de leur capacité retrouvée à agir – et non sans raison. Qui aurait pu penser, il y a quelques semaines à peine, que ce seraient finalement les Européens divisés, et non les Etats-Unis, qui sauraient prendre les mesures nécessaires pour contenir la crise financière mondiale ?

Les crises sérieuses sont des moments charnières de l’histoire. Certes, les Etats-Unis vivent un interrègne jusqu’à l’élection d’un nouveau président. George W. Bush semble en outre être plus affaibli qu’un président « boiteux » ordinaire, et a laissé se créer un vide politique global que Nicolas Sarkozy, le chef de l’État français et président en exercice du Conseil européen, s’est empressé de remplir. Sarkozy avait déjà assumé ce rôle au moment de la crise géorgienne ; aujourd’hui, il a renforcé sa position.

En mobilisant les États membres de la zone euro, qui comprend aujourd’hui 15 pays de l’Union européenne, la présidence française pourrait compter sur une avant-garde fonctionnelle au plan politique. En particulier dans le domaine financier et monétaire, l’UE a une base institutionnelle solide, avec l’euro comme monnaie commune, la Banque centrale européenne et les critères contraignants relatifs aux budgets et à la dette publique définis par le traité de Maastricht. La crise financière mondiale actuelle a une fois de plus démontré que l’UE est forte lorsqu’elle intègre les intérêts de tous les États membres et faible lorsqu’elle les néglige.

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