Sunday, September 09, 2007

Soft Limp Power

In the same issue where it is suggested that Belgium would do well to snuff itself, The Economist argues that Europe should aim a little bit of its own celebrated lucidity at itself.

"And that is the final problem: even if the EU could unite, a Europe that has a static or even shrinking population has far less weight in the world than it once did. This leads Mr Sapir and his co-authors to an intriguing argument in favour of more centralisation. If relative decline is inevitable, Europeans might as well consolidate what clout they have left, and get some credit for being generous to rising powers. Take the question of pooling EU seats at the IMF, to free up chairs for emerging economies. If Europeans do not budge up, bodies like the IMF may simply lose credibility. In a phrase nicely calculated to get the attention of well-lunched Eurocrats, the book suggests: “If Europe refuses to share its place at the table, it may find itself increasingly short of dining partners in consequence.”"

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