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Call to a “European Europe” instead of a “German Europe”

Before the summer break the agreement between the European Union and Greece demonstrated in a dramatic way that Greece could have been urged to leave the Eurozone. In the upcoming months Europe will have a crucial debate on the question of how the UK will vote in the EU referendum. Under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany is imposing austerity policies as the only realistic way of coming out of the crisis. This direction has been for long questioned by many progressive economists and pragmatic alternatives have been put forward.

Even, the President of the European Commission, Mr. Jean Claude Juncker, stated in his speech before the European Parliament on September 9th : “Our European Union is not in a good state and there is not enough Europe in this Union. And there is not enough Union in this Union” 

To address the impasse and to avoid the clear risk of a dead end, Social Democrats in Germany have published a manifesto for a call to a “European Europe” instead of a “German Europe”. FEPS has translated the document in order to enhance the debate amongst progressives in Europe.

Call for Social Democrats for a "European Europe" instead of a "German Europe" Manifesto co-signed by Key German Social Democrats: Andreas Botsch, Sebastian Dullien, Detlev Ganten, Jörg Hafkemeyer, Klaus Harprecht, Uwe-Karsten Heye, Gustav Horn, Henning Meyer, Wolfgang Roth, Dieter Spöri, Angelica Schwall-Düren, Gesine Schwan (in the image), Ernst Stetter, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul
The austerity policy, pushed through due to pressure from Germany without an alternative, further increases centrifugal forces, which could first weaken and then destroy a borderless Europe. This quite clearly causes the European concept to suffer and become less attractive. In order to address this issue, the undersigned Social Democrats have resolved to publish the following manifesto.
Read the manifesto
Learn from Germany? Not the way you probably think... by Andrew Watt, Head of research of the Institut für Makroökonomie und Konjunkturforschung of the Hans Böckler Stiftung.
In recent years there has been a clamour of voices telling Europe that “learning from Germany” will put it on a winning track. And it is easy to see why the country is currently so often seen as a model. Germany’s current labour market and economic performance is impressive, but the improvement is recent and holds primarily in comparison with the disaster happening in the rest of the euro area. In historical terms and compared with countries outside the single currency area, its performance is rather mediocre.
 
Read the economic analysis
Made in Germany by Andreas Schieder. Chairman of the SPÖ group in the Austrian Parliament
In his analysis of Germany’s relative economic success and the real reason for it, Andrew Watt lines out that the so-called structural story is not (or not the only) reason for the relative economic success of Germany. European disparities and global trade challenges can only be met by a policy that puts education, labor market security and strong middle and working class into the center.
Read the comment
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