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Verhofstadt: We need a true European government, a true European democracy, a real European budget, a European treasury

Source: blogs.ft.com

Best advocacy for a European Fed I have heard so far. Quotes from Guy Verhofstadt’s speech to ELDR Party Congress in November 2012:

The US has 103% of public debt and are paying less than 2% interest rate. And the Japanese – the world record holders – have a debt of 226%, double that of Italy. And they pay only 1,5%, the lowest rate in the world.

How is this possible? The explanation is very simple. Behind the yen there exists a real state. Behind the dollar there is a federal budget of 24% of GDP. With extensive common policies. And behind the euro – let’s be honest – there is nothing at all. Even a budget of 1% is seen as too high by most Members of the European Council. It’s ridiculous.

So let’s face the reality: the euro is not sustainable, the euro can disappear if we don’t create a real European government. A state or government with all the ingredients, all the building blocks, the Americans have put in place more than two hundred years ago.

That means: a true European government; a true European democracy; a real European budget; a European treasury.

To overcome the crisis, Conservatives and the PPE want more austerity. Socialists from the other side, believe that it could be solved by more money, by more solidarity. Could somebody tell them that we need both? That we need fiscal discipline and solidarity.

Who fear that this would lead to a loss of national sovereignty?

I think, it is time to move beyond the national rhetoric and embrace the post-national future of Europe. Nationalists are arguing that the best way to defend our interest is on the national level, by protecting national sovereignty. Well, ask the Greeks, the Spanish, the Portuguese what national sovereignty means, what they think about their national sovereignty, do they feel protected today by their nation state?

The truth is that the only way to protect our sovereignty is to reinvent, consolidate and reinforce sovereignty on the European level. If we want to regain our sovereignty, we need a United States of Europe that empowers our Member States that empowers our citizens. That is the choice to make in the coming years, in the European elections of 2014.

The European Union is in essence a liberal project. A full single market, more free trade, a European democratic government, full respect for human rights and civil liberties that is the essence of our view on Europe. That is also the essence of our liberalism.

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