Conference : 'Europe and after', by Michel Albert

Posté mer 12/04/2000 - 00:00
Par admin

Preview of the European summit in Nice, in December : the former president of the AGF put back the arrival of the single currency in the building process of a political Europe.

In preview of the European summit that will take place on December 7th and 8th, in Nice, Michel Albert, as the president of the C.I.F.E. (International Centre of European Training) expressed himself in front of the students of the Institut européen des Hautes Etudes Internationales, in order to put back the Euro in a progress process of political Europe. The European Forum of Nice could be a great stage for that.Michel Albert is also a member of the Institut (Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques). Former plan commissioner and then president of the AGF, the finance inspector who studied in the ENA, has been a member of the Council of the monetary policy of the Banque de France, since 1994.Three visions of the European future'Europe and after', the title of the conference of the European Institut, could well sustain the comments of those who are pessimistic regarding the European future. However, Michel Albert was not disillusioned; he rather thought it was a way to put back the advent of the single currency in the building process of a politically united Europe.The advent of the Euro can be explained from the coexistence of three visions for the future that are definitely contrasted by Michel Albert, when he shows he does prefer the vision he says it is 'of the Rhine'; it is a federalist vision in Germany, and Chancellor Kühl had made himself the leader of it. There was a time when Germany openly regretted that the political Union had not come before the monetary Union. Michel Albert acknowledges that from Kühl to Schroeder, the German militancy has been cooling off.The French vision is seen as 'strange, irrational, anti-Cartesian', as the speaker thinks that a strong European power, to face the USA, is not compatible with the upholding of a national sovereignty without any concession. As for the British vision, that bears the strongest influence, it deals with a trade vision regarding its aims, and with an intergovernmental vision regarding the means.The Euro is a success still uncompletedAs our fellow Alain Duhamel calls it, the 'French ambition' is partly the result of an exchange between Paris and Bonn : the reunification of Germany against the Euro. In the French mental reservations, the weakness of the franc and the wish to share the credibility of the deutchmark got the better of the national reservations to give its political independence to the Banque de France.The single currency has met with difficulties over the course, since it was created. This shows the need to progress towards a federal Europe. The Euro that was worth $1.18 at the beginning, is worth only $0.96 today, that is to say it has decreased by about 20%. However, in a report on April 3rd, 2000, the IMF says the Euro is underestimated, compared to the dollar.This unjustified weakness is especially due to the centralization of the American monetary policy facing the dispersal of the European one. It gives a distorted image of the economic reality of Europe. But beware of kickbacks : a sudden correction could really hasten a crisis; and its consequences would be difficult to estimate today.

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