Es un tratado, pero no lo saben

Unión Europea (UE)El alcance, modos y medios de la supervisión bancaria europea en la que anoche se enzarzaban los ecofines es un pilar clave de la futura unión bancaria. Pero es únicamente una de sus piezas. Y la unión bancaria es solo un elemento de la unión económica con la que se pretende completar la monetaria. Las otras son unión presupuestaria (“la potencia fiscal o fiscal capacity” bajo la que se la enmascara), que acabará teniendo deuda, Tesoro y Hacienda comunes, o si no languidecerá o romperá; unión de políticas económicas, que armonice impuestos, mercados laborales, pensiones y todo lo federalizable; unión política que legitime el proceso, sometiendo a control las nuevas competencias transferidas a la UE. (Fuente: Xavier Vidal-Folch – El Pais.com – 13/12/2012)

Si desean orientarse en el significado del Ecofin de ayer y de la cumbre que hoy empieza, busquen en la web comunitaria las tres sucesivas versiones (26 de junio, 12 de octubre y 5 de diciembre) del documento del presidente del Consejo Europeo, Herman Van Rompuy, también suscrito por los de la Comisión, Eurogrupo y BCE, los cuatro presidentes. Si lo completan con las conclusiones de las cumbres de la eurozona de 29 de junio y de las de la UE de 19 de octubre y de hoy/mañana, y aún le añaden el Anteproyecto para una profunda y genuina unión económica y monetaria, 30 de noviembre (CXOM(2012) 777 final/2), de la Comisión, sus propuestas de directiva sobre liquidación (resolution) entidades financieras y fondos de garantía de depósitos, y el reglamento debatido este miércoles sobre supervisión del BCE (1714/12), ya tienen todas las fichas del patchwork.

Todas ellas configuran, en forma de rompecabezas y no habitual pirámide propia de textos constitucionales, un ambicioso nuevo Tratado. Que rellena muchos vacíos dejados por Maastricht. Ellos, sus redactores, los cuatro presidentes, quizá no lo sepan, porque han sido delegados para ello de forma improvisada, a trompicones de los recuelos de la crisis, con la instrucción de producir pieza a pieza, más que sólido cuerpo conjunto. Quizá quienes más se percatan de la ambición subyacente son los británicos, al otear peligro para su City, y por eso amagan con escapar. Es una lástima que no se haya empleado el método clásico, como para el euro, iniciado por trabajo a fondo a cargo de sabios, el Informe Delors (1989), seguido de una Conferencia Intergubernamental (1991, que desembocó en Mastricht), mediando una Convención más amplia, como la convocada para la (fallida y rescatada en Lisboa) Constitución. Se entiende la fatiga de tanta reforma, e incluso interés de potencia dominante de controlarlo todo, pero nos arriesgamos a perder calidad y pluralidad, porque 4 no son más que 27. Este lamento no es doctrinal, surge de analizar esos documentos. Veamos. El primer “paper” de Van Rompuy, un tipo laborioso pero que no es Jacques Delors, deslumbró en junio pues incorporaba los sueños federales de los que tantos líderes recelaban. Primero, una unión bancaria con supervisor global europeo (el BCE) y un fondo de garantía y un esquema de rescate o liquidación bancos. Segundo, “marco presupuestario integrado”, con posible “emisión de deuda común” por etapas e “institución fiscal” con “oficina del Tesoro”. Tercero, aproximación de políticas económicas (movilidad laboral, impuestos). Cuarto, estricto control democrático. Luego añadió los “contratos” entre UE y Estados miembro para garantizar cumplimiento de las políticas económicas comunes, incluida disciplina presupuestaria; combinados con la contrapartida de un fondo estabilización para países más vulnerables, sometidos a crisis asimétricas, que les ayudaría a combatir desempleo; “sistema de seguro” para encarnar la potencia fiscal; una cuasi armonización fiscal y laboral; calendario en 3 etapas. (2012/13; 2013/14; 2015 en adelante), aunque la última, poco detallada.

Incógnitas son muchas. Obstáculos, ingentes. Las limitaciones contaminan, no solo el lenguaje, predomina modo condicional, “se podría”, “cabría”…; también la ambición. No se fija un método para evitar la captura del supervisor por bancos supervisados. Ni se enuncia una estrategia de evitar el excesivo tamaño bancario y trocear a los “demasiado grandes para quebrar”. Nada se dice sobre retroactividad de rescates bancarios europeos iniciados (España, Irlanda). Continuará habiendo distintos fondos de garantía de depósitos, pero solo uno de liquidación y no queda clara la exigencia de transparencia entre opciones de rescatar o liquidar entidades. Se mantiene la mediocre Autoridad Bancaria Europea para tareas menores (un caramelo a la City, donde está su sede). No hay propuestas novedosas sobre cómo alimentar la nueva potencia fiscal, para lo que sería útil tasa sobre transacciones financieras (Tobin). Ni sobre un Ministerio de Hacienda común. Y así hasta… Pese a esos defectos, una refundación europea (SOTERRADA), está en marcha. España ha contribuido a ella, discretamente, pero bien. Con dos magníficos non-papers, en septiembre, sobre la unión presupuestaria y la bancaria, alguna de cuyas ideas han sido escuchadas, como la necesidad de “mecanismos de estabilización para afrontar las crisis asimétricas”. Otras, por desgracia, aún no: la creación de una Autoridad Presupuestaria Europea. Que persevere. 

Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional

6 Responses to Es un tratado, pero no lo saben

  1. Chancellor Merkel has more power in Europe than any of her postwar predecessors. Yet there is little passion in her relationship with the EU, preferring instead a strategy of what can only be described as pedagogical imperialism. She sees the bloc primarily in terms of euros and cents — and worries that it is rapidly losing relevance.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/analysis-of-chancellor-merkel-euro-crisis-approach-a-872195.html

  2. Since becoming chancellor, Merkel has been to China six times. The only non-European country she has visited more often is the United States. She admires the efficiency with which the Chinese have managed to become the second-largest economic power on earth in the space of three decades. But she also knows how this has shifted the balance of power worldwide — and that it doesn’t look good for the Europeans.


    The people who work for her are familiar with Merkel’s favorite trio of factoids: Europe represents only 7 percent of the world’s population, it accounts for about 25 percent of global economic output but also hands out half of worldwide social expenditures. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry, as does Merkel, to understand that Europe has a problem. It’s important to prevent the worst from happening, the chancellor says sometimes, and she is quick to describe what “the worst” means for her: that Europe might eventually become a place to tour the evidence of past successes, a sort of Disney World for Chinese tourists.

    For this reason, she finds trips to China instructive. For three millennia, Chinese civilization was considered the most advanced in the world. But then poor political decisions resulted in China falling behind the rest of the world and it became irrelevant. Merkel fears that Europe could now be at a similar historical fork in the road. The financial crisis of the last few years has clearly demonstrated that the Western model of freedom isn’t nearly as firmly established as it might seem. It is a conviction that is mirrored in her conversations with counterparts around the world, many of whom view the old continent with a mix of condescension and pity. The feeling is that Europe has completely lost all momentum. Her husband Joachim Sauer, a chemistry professor, likewise tells her how Europe is talked about at international scientific conferences. The image painted is not an optimistic one. What, then, is to be done? Merkel has opted for a policy of pedagogical imperialism. Her exports include fiscal discipline, structural reform and bank regulation. She would never expect the Germans themselves to put up with most of it. And none of her predecessors would have dared to push through his agenda in such an uncompromising fashion, if only for historic reasons. But Merkel’s dominance is of the quiet and inconspicuous sort. She isn’t loud like Schröder, nor is she a massive and all-encompassing presence like Kohl. This reduces resistance.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/analysis-of-chancellor-merkel-euro-crisis-approach-a-872195.html

  3. In Europe, she applies the same method she has already perfected in domestic policy — a method she essentially acknowledged two years ago when she quoted Karl Popper during her New Year’s address. The actual quote, “the future is wide open,” was surreptitious, but it served to demonstrate that Merkel is familiar with the social philosopher, who died in 1994. And her familiarity is telling.


    Popper, after all, is the great theoretician of a policy best described as muddling along. He argued that policy should not be based on visions, but instead should move forward in small, manageable steps. Popper called this approach “piecemeal social engineering,” and it holds that even far-reaching social changes can only be achieved through small steps. If they prove to be flawed or wrong, they can be corrected or reversed as necessary. Helmut Schmidt — who once said: “People who have visions should go see a doctor” — was the last chancellor to publicly invoke Popper.

    Merkel hasn’t been known to make similarly categorical statements, but Popper would nonetheless be pleased. Merkel’s predecessor Gerhard Schröder was at his best when the air in the Chancellery was saturated with testosterone and a showdown was looming. He yearned for the great dramatic moment, a giant explosion or the ultimate political dispute. It’s an approach that his successor finds abhorrent. You don’t solve things with grand posturing, she said this summer. She prefers to dissect problems, making them smaller and she slows things down if need by, thereby removing the tension from certain processes. At a recent dinner at the Chancellery, Merkel reportedly worked out a simple equation: According to former Chancellor Ludwig Erhard, she said, 50 percent of the economy is psychology. Therefore, she noted, would only say nice things about Greece from then on. With regard to the remaining 50 percent, she explained there is a 50 percent chance that the right decisions have been made. Combine the two numbers and you have a 75 percent probability of success. She couldn’t have put it more coolly. “It can’t be said often enough,” she told delegates to the convention of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Hanover last Tuesday. “The European debt crisis cannot be solved with a single stroke, a single bang, the one supposed panacea.” It was a typical remark for Merkel and one that she has indeed repeated several times. She finds visions — and master plans — horrifying. Who knows what the world will look like in a year? She proceeds cautiously, moving from one crisis summit to the next. If a decision proves to be a mistake, she corrects herself.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/analysis-of-chancellor-merkel-euro-crisis-approach-a-872195.html

  4. (…..) The drama over a few hundred jobs would probably be little more than an odd political comedy if it didn’t highlight France’s current situation and the president’s dilemma. Hollande knows that he has to break open fossilized habits and structures, even though the society, like the Socialists, is stuck in its old way of thinking. He is also aware that one reason he was elected to succeed the high-strung and confrontational Nicolas Sarkozy was so that he could reassure the French, not stir them up and frighten them. Hollande’s efforts to reassure people are evident in his rhetoric. When Louis Gallois, the former head of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), wrote a government-commissioned report, in which he called for electroshocks to improve French competitiveness, Hollande turned it into a “pact.” Instead of referring to structural reforms, he uses the seemingly harmless word “change.” And when companies complain about the lack of “flexibility” in the French labor market, Hollande promises more “malleability.” The shift from the class struggle to a German-style social democracy, which is still something akin to heresy for the French left, amounts to a “Copernican revolution,” says Finance Minister Moscovici. As if it weren’t self-evident, he constantly tells his fellow party members and his voters: “Being leftist doesn’t just mean distributing; it also means producing. Being leftist doesn’t just mean supporting purchasing power, but also strengthening supply. And being leftist also means knowing that there is no reform policy without social dialogue.” The country, which derives its national identity from the Revolution, lacks this culture of compromise and consensus, which is why France often sees chaotic and violent outbursts of protest for relatively minor reasons. The unions don’t go on strike when negotiations with employers have failed, but before they have even begun — a questionable approach to impressing one’s opponent.


    France is worried, France is beset by doubts and France is depressed, says writer Jean d’Ormesson, a member of the Académie Française. The philosopher Pascal Bruckner confirms his diagnosis: “France’s biggest party is the party of fear. The French are afraid of the world, afraid of others and, most of all, afraid of their own fear.” This leads them to turn a blind eye to reality. They feel vindicated in their repression of reality by the crowds of tourists in the country, who value France precisely because of the museum-like quality of its savoir vivre.

    President Hollande, a cautious tactician by nature who prefers to bypass obstacles rather than to jump over them, initially believed that he could take his time with the introduction of important reforms. One of the reasons he chose Ayrault to head his government was because of Ayrault’s complacent approach. Together, Hollande and Ayrault allowed half a year to pass without embarking on any significant reforms. It was lost time, former Prime Minister Michel Rocard, the éminence grise of the Socialists, said recently (…..)

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/french-politicians-lose-touch-with-reality-as-crisis-deepens-a-872413.html

  5. After much discussion and delay, European leaders this week agreed to designate a single supervisor for large banks in the 17 countries that use the euro. The move is a good first step toward establishing a banking union that could help stabilize the troubled single-currency bloc — but only if it is quickly followed by other measures, like deposit insurance, a system to recapitalize or shut down weak banks, and, eventually, the establishment of a fiscal and political union. Under the terms of the latest agreement, the European Central Bank would supervise banks with assets of more than 30 billion euros or assets amounting to more than 20 percent of a nation’s output, though it would also have the power to look into the affairs of any other euro zone bank at any time. (Countries that are members of the European Union but do not use the euro, like Britain, are expected to opt out of the E.C.B.’s supervision.) Once the agreement is ratified by individual European parliaments, the central bank would begin its new role as soon as March and take full control by 2014. The E.C.B. would have the power to monitor lending and capital reserves at large banks and force them to change unsound practices. This could help restore some investors’ confidence in the financial system, but it won’t necessarily be enough if the supervisory powers are seen as too narrow. Policy makers need to move quickly to the next step: giving the E.C.B. or another central agency the power to create a central authority that insures public deposits across the euro zone and the ability to wind down weak banks or directly recapitalize them. Such measures would help complete the banking union and are an essential step toward making the euro a structurally sound currency. In a separate, positive move, European finance ministers have approved the release of a long-delayed 34.3 billion euro ($44.8 billion) loan package to Greece, though they were unable to sort out the terms of aid for Cyprus.


    On Friday, European heads of state said they would like to reach an agreement by June on centrally administered deposit insurance and on assisting or shutting down weak banks. But many analysts argue that these contentious measures are not likely to be agreed upon until after Germany, the largest euro-zone economy, elects a new Parliament in late 2013. Such a delay would be harmful because even once any agreements are signed it will take many months to carry them out.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/15/opinion/a-step-forward-in-the-euro-crisis.html

  6. He would prefer to travel to Paris more often, but the ticket costs €6.40 ($8.37), which is usually too much. He can only manage it twice a month, says Kafui Affram. Just 11 stations separate Lieusaint Moissy and Paris Châtelet. It’s a 40-minute trip between two worlds, from a southeastern banlieue, or low-income suburb, to the capital’s downtown area. Affram doesn’t feel at home in either environment, not in the suburb where the 22-year-old still lives in his childhood room in his parents’ little house, and not in Paris, where he’d like to see a current exhibition on Salvador Dalí, the Spanish surrealist artist. That is, if he had the money. The son of Ghanaian immigrants was born and raised in France. He isn’t angry about his situation, just “young and tired,” he says. “I know I should be optimistic and have goals, but it’s mostly all just bleak.” Beyond France’s ailing economy, there is another disastrous statistic at play. Some 23 percent of the country’s 18- to 24-year-olds live in poverty, according to a study by the National Institute for Youth and Community Education (INJEP). These are mainly high school or university dropouts who have little to no access to health care and limited chances of improving their situations. Affram failed his university entrance qualification exams twice, finally taking out a loan to secure entry into a private art college. He completed a program in web design, but only worked in the field for two months.


    The French state has categorized circumstances like Affram’s as “very precarious.” This gives him the right to government assistance in finding his place in French society. Three times a week, he visits the Mission locale, a sort of welfare agency with career counselling for unemployed young people. Here, he meets an adviser who tries to help him reconcile his dreams with reality. Youth unemployment in France has been high for some time, but it has now climbed to 26 percent. For decades, regardless of their political affiliation, lawmakers have been promising to create a better situation for young people. But exactly the opposite has happened. Labor laws protect those who already enjoy steady jobs, while the economic crisis and recession have limited the number of new jobs created.

    Meanwhile, housing has become both scarcer and pricier. “Something must finally be done,” says Didier Dugast, director of the Mission locale in Moissy, who reports that the number of those seeking his assistance has been jumping by some 10 percent each year. A new program from Socialist President François Hollande for the creation of “future jobs” has been in effect since November. It targets people much like Affram. But he just shrugs his shoulders and says: “We’re used to politicians constantly coming up with new ideas” (source: Der Spiegel – 14/12/2012)

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