Friday, February 26, 2016

Dialogue with a Dutch central banker on Europe

I asked a friend of mine, who is a Dutch central banker, what he thought of my post Europe could become again an inspiring example for the world. This is what he answered (translated from Dutch):

"Interesting to read. You address major issues on which I am inclined to have a nuanced look. I also understand that having a euro at this time is not easy and perhaps is not ideal in the case of Greece. Legitimate questions of whether Greece actually should have joined the euro do not necessarily mean that they would have to leave the euro. Perhaps you're in the wrong train, but that does not mean it is wise to get out of it.
With respect to regionalization, there are many nuances: indeed countries can no longer pursue their own policies. Sometimes that's unfortunate, but sometimes that's a good thing. Because many problems in a "global village world" can not be solved nationally (particularly environmental issues).
Your call for a fair division of power in the world will never succeed without strong regions.
Seen from the advancing technology regionalization is fairly irrelevant: companies do not mind about country borders and increasingly neither about regional borders. At the same time regionalization can not succeed if it is not in line with the preferences of ordinary citizens. Sooner or later it creates conflicts: cf. the discussions in the UK on EU membership.
Yet I still see the movement towards further integration in Europe, with all its hick ups and problems, as the best way to serve both peace and to ensure environmental sustainability. In short, these are big questions - and I only have small answers ..."

In the next post I will say how I responded. What would you respond to either my friend's comments or my previous post?

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