Should Poland join the eurozone?

2011 GDP forecast: from The Economist

One of the more interesting issues to watch in the continuing European debt crisis is the movement of non-eurozone members relative to the EU-17. This becomes even more interesting with the recent talk of tier-ing up the EU into core and semi-peripheral areas.

Take the case of Poland – The Economist writes:

As the idea has gained ground that the euro zone might form an EU inner circle, so Europe itself has come to seem more important to Poland. “It is not just tactical,” says Aleksander Smolar of the Stefan Batory Foundation, a think-tank. “For 1,000 years we have been trying to get into the real Europe, Charlemagne’s Europe. Many times we have failed.”

On the one hand, Poland would benefit immensely from increased integration into the EU, it would help its economy and infrastructure continue to grow and rectify its sensitive strategic self-perception. On the other hand, remaining outside the eurozone allows Poland to tweak the value of its currency, which has been one of the reasons that it has not gone into recession during the crisis.

PLN-EUR exchange rate: from

In many ways this dilemma is the same one EU member states have faced since the EU’s inception: the benefits of a European federation versus those of national sovereignty.

It’s funny, as an American I feel like Europe should just get on with it and federalize. Perhaps this is because I value the virtues of wide-pluralism over those of narrow-parochialism. I mean, I realize that no one wants some apparent foreigner coming in and telling them how to do things, but I also think that Europe has played the closed-off game of national competition before, and things didn’t really work out too well.

The beauty of the European project is that it represents, far beyond what America represents, the real possibility of a political entity acting ethically. Sure it too represents the possibility of a massive market and a solid reserve currency, etc. But I think that the ethical possibilities of what it represents are far more important. I’ve been accused of being maudlin before but just check out Article 3 of the Treaty of the European Union (Maastricht Treaty):

 [The Union] shall contribute to peace, security, the sustainable development of the Earth, solidarity and mutual respect among
peoples, free and fair trade, eradication of poverty and the protection of human rights, in particular the rights of the child, as well as to the strict observance and the development of international law, including respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter.

What other political entity, outside of international organizations, has committed itself to such an ethical standard? To me this is reason enough to keep the project of European integration alive and kicking.

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2 Responses to Should Poland join the eurozone?

  1. Tarig Anter says:

    Western Democracy is a Financiers’ Joke
    The financial and economic crises of Europe and in the West in general are bringing new corrupt solutions and concepts. It is impossible to understand and not to be outraged by the new practices of Western “democracies”.

    One late example, in Greece and Italy the elected prime ministers and governments were forced to resign. The pressures on them didn’t come from the peoples but from the EU and from the financiers. This means that elections and the decisions made by voters are useless.

    Government cabinets and members of parliaments are no longer answerable to the people but primarily to the EU and to financiers. Sovereignty is now being sold in European and Western financial markets. It is the same old story that changed the map of Europe and toppled European systems in the in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Did anyone learn?

    People are very concerned about the way the EU demanded austerity is being distributed; but the “democratic” politicians are only worried about the EU and financiers interests.

    The former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was swiftly removed just because he decided that a referendum is essential to approve the EU debt package agreement. His plan infuriated European leaders, and rocked globalist financiers. Then the proposed referendum was emphatically scraped to appease them.

    In a similar manner, the former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy was hastily ditched because he insisted that Italy will not ask for loans from the IMF. Europe and the USA are victims of the same systematic sabotage of overspending; debts; speculations; and financiers’ control for a very long time.

    Is it possible in the near future to see voting being conducted in stock exchanges rather than in voting centers?

    Western democracies on both sided of the Atlantic are influenced by financiers and not by the people. It would be better for them to rename their own form of “Democracy” to be “Finocracy”.

    • buckcanyon says:

      Tarig, you are right to bemoan the “democracy deficit” currently being exploited by opportunistic global financiers and European technocrats. Mathew Yglesias (among others), at the Center for American Progress, has been talking about how we have been witnessing “the rise of the global elite”. On the one hand, forcing austerity measures and structural reforms upon individual EU member states, without the consent of their constituencies (e.g., in the form of referendums) is troubling indeed. On the other hand, one of the aspects of the EU is that member states agree (and by extension their populations agree) to have some of their sovereignty curtailed in the name of European consensus and cohesion. But you are right, one of the problems with democratic capitalist systems is that the powerful generally work within the system to increase their hold on power.

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