Coins of various currency.

Een stap voorwaarts voor de staatsschulden

NEW YORK – Ieder ontwikkeld land heeft een faillissementswet, maar er is geen gelijkwaardig raamwerk voor staten met schulden. Deze juridische leemte is van belang, omdat – zoals we nu in Griekenland en Puerto Rico kunnen zien – economieën erdoor dood kunnen bloeden.

In september hebben de Verenigde Naties een grote stap voorwaarts gezet bij het vullen van deze leemte door een reeks beginselen voor de sanering van staatsschulden goed te keuren. De negen beginselen – het recht van een soevereine staat om het initiatief te nemen tot een schuldsanering, immuniteit van de soevereine staat, een eerlijke behandeling van crediteuren, (super-)meerderheidssanering, transparantie, onpartijdigheid, legitimiteit, duurzaamheid, en goede trouw bij de onderhandelingen – vormen de rudimenten van een effectieve internationale rechtsregel.

De overweldigende steun voor deze beginselen, waarbij 136 VN-leden vóór stemden en slechts zes tegen (onder aanvoering van de Verenigde Staten), laat zien hoeveel mondiale consensus er is over de noodzaak om schuldencrises tijdig op te lossen. Maar de volgende stap – een internationaal verdrag dat een mondiaal faillissementsregime in het leven roept, waar alle landen aan gebonden zijn – kan lastiger blijken.

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