Sauver le Pacte de stabilité malgré lui

Lors de la réunion Ecofin de Scheveningen, aux Pays-Bas, les ministres de l'économie des pays membres de l'Union européenne ont, une fois de plus, été confrontés au besoin de réformer le Pacte de stabilité et de croissance (PSC). Les problèmes qui entourent cette réforme, sujets à controverse, restent à résoudre. Pourtant, cette fois-ci, les ministres ont dévoilé leur jeu.

Le problème à la base du Pacte reste l'équilibre à atteindre entre deux objectifs contradictoires : garder tout son mordant contre une hausse injustifiée de l'endettement des nations tout en accordant aux gouvernements suffisamment de marge de manœuvre pour mettre en place les réformes structurelles nécessaires au rétablissement de la compétitivité de l'Europe. Dans sa forme actuelle, le Pacte est un obstacle pour de telles réformes. Les leaders européens dépensent leur énergie politique et leur capital à respecter des objectifs budgétaires exigeants tandis que rien n'est fait pour étudier les vraies difficultés : des populations vieillissantes, une fiscalité pesante, une compétitivité sur le déclin.

Le fait est que les réformes structurelles deviennent rentables dans le long terme mais coûtent cher dans le court terme. Le Pacte fut prévu à l'origine pour protéger les citoyens européens de la vision à court terme de leurs gouvernements et finit par provoquer un comportement à court terme encore plus prononcé.

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