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L'Europe s'est égarée

WASHINGTON, DC – La réponse de l'Europe aux défis stratégiques auxquels elle est confrontée (l'agression russe en Ukraine, les réfugiés qui fuient la violence au Proche-Orient, les troubles en Afrique du Nord), donne l'impression que ses dirigeants n'ont absolument aucune idée de ce qu'ils doivent faire. Et en effet, ils n'en ont peut-être aucune idée : il faut l'admettre comme une réalité, plutôt que tenter de le cacher.

Autrement dit, l'économie stagnante de l'Union européenne conditionne sa réponse aux pressions externes auxquelles elle est confrontée : une crise interne a laissé une faible marge de manœuvre aux dirigeants européens. Heureusement, l'Europe a les moyens de résoudre cette crise si elle parvient à mobilier la sagesse et la volonté politique.

L'origine des problèmes de l'UE se situe dans sa réponse à la crise financière mondiale de 2008 : deux ans de relance budgétaire à grande échelle. Bien que cette mesure n'ait pas arrangé grand-chose pour la croissance, cela a abouti à une dette publique paralysante. Sept ans plus tard, le rendement par personne de l'UE n'est pas supérieur à ce qu'il était au début de la crise. Pendant ce temps, la dette publique moyenne a atteint 87% du PIB, ce qui laisse peu de place à la flexibilité ou à l'innovation politique.

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