La sinistra non si può sviluppare all’interno dell’Ue

Intervista di Jacopo Rosatelli, Il Manifesto, 2 aprile, 2019.

Professore, il 26 maggio si vota nella Ue. Per cosa deve battersi la sinistra europea?

È difficile risponderle, perché non credo si possa sviluppare una strategia della sinistra nell’ambito della Ue. Il vero potere legislativo è diviso fra il Consiglio e la Corte di giustizia, quindi il voto per il parlamento di Strasburgo non avrà conseguenze politiche, anche se popolari e socialisti dovessero perdere la maggioranza.

Eppure lei è stato da poco a Madrid e ha incontrato il gruppo parlamentare di Podemos.

Sì, ma con loro non ho parlato delle elezioni europee. A mio avviso, la sinistra in Europa deve cercare di riconquistare spazi di azione democratica per i popoli. L’Ue è una comunità di governi ed élite nazionali che agiscono a livello continentale per poter realizzare politiche di austerità, sottraendosi alla responsabilità di fronte agli elettori. I popoli della periferia che si ribellano, come in Grecia, poi vengono puniti. Per interrompere questo ciclo serve una radicale democratizzazione di fronte a un’istituzione tecnocratica come l’Ue. (…)

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The EU is an empire

Interview by Fraser Myers, Spiked, March 29, 2019.

How has the role and focus of the EU evolved over the past few decades?

Originally, the EU was an organisation for joint economic planning among six adjacent countries. The planning was sectorally specific, limited to coalmining and the steel industry, later also nuclear power, in the context of the state-managed capitalism of the postwar era. Then it grew into a free-trade zone, increasingly devoted to spreading neoliberal internationalism, in particular the free movement of goods, services, capital and labour, under the rubric of the Internal Market.
As the number and heterogeneity of member states continuously increased, ‘positive integration’ became ever-more difficult. Instead, there was ‘negative’ integration: the removal of substantive regulations that impeded free trade within the bloc. After the end of Communism in 1989, the EU became a geostrategic project, closely intertwined with the US’s geostrategy in relation to Russia. From the original six countries cooperating in the management of a few key sectors of their economies, the EU became a neoliberal empire of 28 highly heterogeneous states. The idea was and is to govern those states centrally by obliging them to refrain from state intervention in their economies.(…)

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Italian translation:

L’Unione Europea è un impero

Pubblicato su Voci Dall’Estero, 01 aprile, 2019.

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Europe under Merkel IV: Balance of impotence

Appeared in American Affairs Journal Volume II, Number 2 (Summer 2018): 162–92.

Europe, as organized—or disorganized—in the European Union (EU), is a strange political beast. It consists, first, of the domestic politics of its member states that have, over time, become deeply intertwined. Second, member states, which are still sovereign nation-states, pursue nationally defined interests through national foreign policies within intra-European international relations. Here, third, they have a choice between relying on a variety of supranational institutions or on intergovernmental agreements among selective coalitions of the willing. Fourth, since the start of the European Monetary Union (EMU), which includes only nineteen of the EU’s twenty-eight member states, another arena of European international relations has emerged, consisting mainly of informal, intergovernmental institutions looked at with suspicion by the supranational EU. Fifth, all these are embedded in the geopolitical conditions and geostrategic interests of each nation, which are related in particular to the United States on the one hand and to Russia, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Middle East on the other. And sixth, there is at the bottom of the European state system an ongoing battle for hegemony between its two largest member countries, France and Germany—a battle that both deny exists. Each of the two, in its own way, considers its claim to European supremacy to be only just and indeed self-evident, Germany so much so that it doesn’t even recognize its ambitions as such.1 Moreover, both would-be hegemons are aware that they can realize their national projects only by incorporating the other within them, and for this reason they present their national aspirations as “European integration” projects based on a special relationship between Germany and France. (…)

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French translation:

L’Europe sous Merkel IV. Un équilibre de l’impuissance

Published in Le débat No. 202, novembre – décembre 2018: 60-80.

Read the full article here [Paywall]

Italian translation:

L’Europa sotto il Merkel IV: un bilancio di impotenza

Pubblicato su Appello al popolo, rivista del Fronte Sovranista Italiano, 28 novembre, 2018.
Tradotto dall’inglese da Massimiliano Sist.

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German Hegemony: Unintended and Unwanted

Appeared, in an abbreviated version, in Le Monde diplomatique, May 2015. Italian translation appeared in il Mulino 4/2015 (PDF here).

Germany’s new European hegemony is a product of European Monetary Union in combination with the crisis of 2008. It was not Germany, however, which had wanted the Euro. Its export industries had since the 1970s lived comfortably with repeated devaluations of the currencies of Germany’s European trading partners, in response to which much of German manufacturing moved out of price-sensitive into quality-competitive markets. It was above all France which sought a common European currency, to end the felt humiliation of having to devalue the Franc against the Mark and, after 1989, to bind united Germany firmly into a, hopefully French-led, united Europe. Weiterlesen