After a "yes" to Brexit, a "no" to EU self-delusion
On 17 November 2016, the Rafael del Pino Foundation organised the Keynote Lecture "After "yes" to Brexit, a "no" to the EU's self-delusion" to be given by Juergen B. Donges, Professor Emeritus at the University of Cologne (Germany).
Juergen B. Donges is Emeritus Professor of Economics and Director of the Institute for Economic Policy and the Otto Wolff Institute for Economic Studies, both located in Cologne.
Professor Donges was Vice-President of the Kiel Institute for World Economics and Chairman of the Commission for the Deregulation of the Economy, set up by the German Federal Government. From 1995 to 1997 he was a member of the German Federal Government Commission on Public Sector Reform and subsequently Chairman of the German Council of Economic Experts.
Juergen B. Donges is scientific advisor to several institutions and trustee of several scientific and cultural foundations, including the Fundación ICO, Madrid, corresponding academician for Germany of the Real Academia de Ciencias Económicas y Financieras, Barcelona. - Member of the Academy of Sciences of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf and advisor to the Rafael del Pino Foundation.
On 17 November 2016, the Rafael del Pino Foundation organised a keynote lecture by Juergen B. Donges, professor emeritus at the University of Cologne, on the reality of the European Union after the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. Donges, professor emeritus at the University of Cologne, on the reality of the European Union after the vote in favour of Brexit in the United Kingdom. For Germany, this will mean the loss of an ally in the defence of the economy, because although the British have never been a driving force in the European process, they have always sought to curb interventionist and protectionist temptations. What could be the consequences of Brexit? Economists do not know, said Donges, because we have no historical examples and because it has only been a short time. International organisations talk about a slowdown and that, if there is an adverse impact, it will be asymmetric. We also think that companies and banks will come to the continent, and possibly stay in London. What will affect us most are the conditions under which the divorce takes place. The European Union cannot accept restrictions on the free movement of people. Moreover, in many member states, the majority of the population is in favour of divorce. In this context, Donges believes that the most likely scenario will be a free trade agreement. For Donges, there is a positive side to all this, which is the unmasking of the EU's self-deception, manifested in five ideas: believing that the project of European integration is irreversible; believing that a political union can be decreed and shaped from above, without taking the citizens into account; thinking that if we have a single currency, we will have a project of harmony and well-being for the entire Eurozone; thinking that the single market can only work if a whole network of harmonising directives is extended from above; and thinking that the economy works by political voluntarism. None of this is true. There is no such thing as a European people, and no such consciousness. The divisions within the EU are enormous, especially in the eurozone. The euro is not an optimal currency area. Citizens perceive the EU as meddling in their affairs. Brexit forces us to reflect on these issues. In this context, and in order to save the EU, Donges considers it necessary to put an end to self-deception and to do educational work, to put an end to the member states' routine of infringing EU rules, to preserve the European single market and the Schengen agreement, to apply the principle of subsidiarity more rigorously, to be careful within the eurozone to maintain the dividing line between monetary and fiscal policy, to be very cautious about possible further enlargements and to strengthen growth factors through supply-side policies and by promoting education.
The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for the comments, opinions or statements made by the people who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their sole responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio González, are the result of the debates held at the meeting held for this purpose at the Foundation and are the responsibility of the authors.
The Rafael del Pino Foundation is not responsible for any comments, opinions or statements made by third parties. In this respect, the FRP is not obliged to monitor the views expressed by such third parties who participate in its activities and which are expressed as a result of their inalienable right to freedom of expression and under their own responsibility. The contents included in the summary of this conference, written for the Rafael del Pino Foundation by Professor Emilio J. González, are the result of the discussions that took place during the conference organised for this purpose at the Foundation and are the sole responsibility of its authors.