Die Rettung des Stabilitätspaktes vor sich selbst

Auf ihrer Konferenz in Scheveningen in den Niederlanden waren die EU-Finanzminister (Ecofin) wieder einmal mit der notwendigen Reform des Wachstums- und Stabilitätspaktes (WSP) konfrontiert. Die Fragen rund um diese Reformen bleiben zwar weiterhin strittig und ungelöst, aber diesmal legten die Minister ihre Karten offen auf den Tisch.

Das Grundproblem des WSP ist, dass er ein Gleichgewicht zwischen zwei sich widersprechenden Zielen aufrecht erhalten muss: Einerseits sollen ausufernde Schulden verhindert und andererseits soll den Regierungen mehr Spielraum gegeben werden, um Strukturreformen durchzuführen und Europas Wettbewerbsfähigkeit wiederherzustellen. In seiner jetzigen Form ist der WSP ein Hindernis für derartige Reformen. Die Regierenden in Europa verschwenden politische Energie und Kapital, um den anspruchsvollen Haushaltszielen zu entsprechen, während aber nichts getan wird, um sich den wirklich entscheidenden Herausforderungen zu stellen: Alternde Bevölkerungen, hohe Steuerlasten und sinkende Wettbewerbsfähigkeit.

Der Grund dafür ist, dass sich Strukturreformen erst langfristig bezahlt machen, aber kurzfristig Kosten verursachen. Ursprünglich war der WSP dazu gedacht, die europäischen Bürger vor kurzsichtigen Regierungen zu schützen, in seiner jetzigen Form zwingt er sie aber zu noch kurzsichtigeren Verhaltensweisen.

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