Éloge aux technocrates

COPENHAGEN – Dans le sillon de la crise de la dette souveraine, le présumé « déficit démocratique » de l’Union européenne est-il en train de se répandre dans chaque pays membre ? L’arrivée au pouvoir de technocrates non élus en Grèce et en Italie témoigne, du moins en surface, de l’éclatement du vieux tabou qui plane sur les gouvernements technocratiques poursuivant un programme dicté par Bruxelles.

Prenons le cas de l’Italie. La plupart des Italiens ont poussé un soupir de soulagement collectif lorsque le premier ministre Silvio Berlusconi a été remplacé par l’archétype même du technocrate, Mario Monti, un économiste respecté et ex-commissaire européen. La Grèce, elle aussi, a passé les rênes du pouvoir à un technocrate non élu, théoriquement apolitique, Lucas Papademos, ex-vice-président de la Banque centrale européenne.

Évidemment, l’UE fait face aujourd’hui à un grand nombre de problèmes, mais un soi-disant « déficit démocratique croissant » n’est pas l’un d’entre eux. En fait, ce déficit apparent a quelque chose d’une fiction politiquement commode. Des spécialistes comme Andrew Moravcsik de l’université Princeton font valoir depuis longtemps que la légitimité de l’UE ne surgit pas des urnes, mais qu’elle découle plutôt de sa capacité à apporter à ses citoyens des avantages concrets. Ce que l’UE réussit par l’intégration des marchés, ou même par l’élimination des contrôles douaniers témoigne des avantages de sa « démocratie déléguée ».

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