Sunday, January 16, 2005

EU break-up in 15 years?

Only the Scotsman, it seems, carries the CIA's "grim warning" that the EU will break-up within 15 years. Its only salvation, the CIA believes, is if the Union radically reforms its ailing welfare systems.

This is part of a longer report by the intelligence agency (actually, by the National Intelligence Council - see here - 123 pages .pdf), which forecasts how the world will look in 2020, in which it warns that Europe could be dragged into economic decline by its ageing population. In a "devastating indictment" of EU economic prospects, the report warns:

The current EU welfare state is unsustainable and the lack of any economic revitalisation could lead to the splintering or, at worst, disintegration of the EU, undermining its ambitions to play a heavyweight international role.
It adds that the EU's economic growth rate is dragged down by Germany and its restrictive labour laws. Reforms there - and in France and Italy to lesser extents - remain key to whether the EU as a whole can break out of its "slow-growth pattern".

Personally, I take the view that the only thing with is "grim" about the warning is that it will take 15 years for the break-up to happen. I hope five years is closer to the mark.

Furthermore, I no not believe that the unreformed welfare system will bring the evil empire down. What will destroy it is amply illustrated in our posting below.

Any political élite that can churn out such dire, leaden, mind-numbing jargon has, quite simply, lost it. The European élites have reached this point.

As they sink into the morass of their own making, bickering about establishing an ever-larger number of "independent and multi-stakeholder monitoring mechanisms", to review their ever expanding "proceedings", the people will rise up and do the decent thing. They will put them out of their misery.

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