Brussells – the horror

Note kindly translated by Anne-Marie de Grazia

The tragic attacks of March 22nd in Brussels fill us with horror, and compassion for the victims. But these attacks also carry an important lesson. They remind us of the importance of the States in the physical as well as social protection of the citizens. These attacks confirm that it’s the States alone, by coordinating themselves and cooperating, which have the ability and legitimacy to exert this protection because they are, in a democratic regime, the expression of the people. The European Union has neither the legitimacy, nor even the material capacity, to insure this protection. As assessed, by the way, by Pierre Briançon in an article posted on the site politico.eu on 23 March[1].

If the legitimacy of the EU is attacked in this way, if it is so evidently put into question, it’s indeed because it has failed. The evident conclusions must be drawn. These attacks are signing the death warrant of the EU.

Social failure

European institutions, whether we are talking of the European Union or of the Eurozone, have been incapable of protecting the populations of the concerned countries against the economic crisis which was unleashed in 2007. These institutions were only able to put in place a “disciplinary framework” which aggravated the situation and made it worse. That financial crisis constituted the very type of an “exogenous shock” which the Economic and Monetary Union (what is called the “Eurozone”) was incapable of managing[2]. But the crisis provoked the implementation of an unheard of disciplinary framework, based on denying the legitimacy of the member countries, a framework which materialized in a package of five rules and of one directive, approved in October 2011 and called the « Six-Pack »[3]. The States must adopt a mid-term objective (MTO) allowing to guarantee the viability of public finances and a return to a structural balance of public accounts (with a structural deficit limited to 1 % of GDP). The countries which have a debt in excess of 60 % of GDP will be submitted to a « procedure of excessive deficit » if they do not reduce by one twentieth per year (averaged over three years) the gap between their rate of indebtedness and the reference value of 60 %. If the countries which are subjected to a procedure of excessive deficit do not conform to the recommendations addressed to them by the Council, said Council, upon recommendation of the European Commission, will issue sanctions against them, except if a qualified majority of the States opposes itself to it, a new procedure within the EU, which is called the rule of « reverse majority » [4]. Beyond this procedure, which no longer demands a “positive” vote for the adoption of sanctions, the « Six-Pack »contains a whole series of extremely constraining measures in the macroeconomic domain. So that a procedure in excessive unbalance could presently be launched and sanctions taken against countries on a whole series of macroeconomic indicators which are engraving in the texts the neo-liberal options of the European Union [5].

Very clearly, the EU has shown itself incapable of guaranteeing the social security of the populations. It is at the origins of the « El Khomri » law presently defended by the French government [6].

 

A political failure

We realize today, amid blood and tears, that the European institutions have shown themselves to be just as incapable of physically defending the populations. Security measures, whether they be otherwise judged good or poor, are taken only by the States. But the deleterious action of the European Union is exerting itself in fact upon the very means of functioning of the States in question. If Belgium has been the target of these atrocious attacks, it is unfortunately not by coincidence. The Belgian state is in the middle of dissolution, as much for economic and linguistic reasons as because its leaders have in fact fully assimilated the Europeist project.

An important truth must be taken in: when one no longer knows what constitutes a State, when one no longer knows what makes a people, that is, a political community gathered around a common political culture and a common project, one opens the door to communitarianism, one enters into compromises with it, and ends up colluding with it.

But there is a second truth, that is just as important: when institutions are incapable today of guaranteeing the security, physical or social, of the populations, there is no longer any legitimacy in these institutions; what is left is only naked violence, which at any rate exerts itself foremost against these populations.

From this point of view, the attacks of Tuesday, March 22 are only the political and terrorist side of a grave institutional failure, the social side of which we have been able to measure for years. The unicity of these two sides must constitute the basis of an in-depth movement making tough demands on our elites to insure our safety or, if they are incapable of it, to have them shave off as soon as possible in order to leave the place open to those who are ready, in the respect of sovereignty and legitimacy, to do so in their stead.

[1] http://www.politico.eu/article/an-attack-on-european-legitimacy-terrorism-war-eu-skepticism/

[2] Sapir J. « La Crise de l’Euro : erreurs et impasses de l’Européisme » in Perspectives Républicaines, n°2, Juin 2006, pp. 69-84.

[3] Against the Court, « Gouvernance européenne, souverainetés et faillite démocratique », 5 September 2014, http://www.contrelacour.fr/gouvernance-europeenne-souverainetes-faillite-democratique/

[4] See European Commission, 12 December 2011, « EU Economic governance « Six-Pack » enters into force », http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-11-898_en.htm

[5] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P7-TA-2011-0421&language=FR&ring=A7-2011-0178

[6] http://www.force-ouvriere.fr/bruxelles-fait-pression-pour-que-la-france-adopte-la-loi-travail

 


Jacques Sapir

Ses travaux de chercheur se sont orientés dans trois dimensions, l’étude de l’économie russe et de la transition, l’analyse des crises financières et des recherches théoriques sur les institutions économiques et les interactions entre les comportements individuels. Il a poursuivi ses recherches à partir de 2000 sur les interactions entre les régimes de change, la structuration des systèmes financiers et les instabilités macroéconomiques. Depuis 2007 il s'est impliqué dans l’analyse de la crise financière actuelle, et en particulier dans la crise de la zone Euro.

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