I quote (and translate) the Carnegie Mellon scholar Uri Dadush, writing today on the Italian Sole 24 Ore: “the US have done things in the right order. First a political union, then a common budget and a common currency. Those who ask, rightly so, that the euro is now to be followed by greater economic integration with a single economic Government of the eurozone do not say however that Europe also needs a much stronger political union if this economic government is to be effective. It took a century and a half to the United States of America to come to our current institutional set-up (the Fed was created in 1913), going through several plebiscites and paying the price of a Civil War. Europe has only a few years to go through the same road, without a war.”
While fascinating, I do not share fully the logic of the argument. Surely one does not need to follow the route that was followed by the United States to succeed in creating a solid European civic, political and economic union. However I don’t see why following a different path (i.e. doing things fast in a few years) may lead us to success. Indeed, a third option exist, which is to follow precisely the American way, of a slow growth of a European civic and political union first, leaving the euro – here is the assumption – to France, Germany and the Benelux only and have Italy, Greece, Spain and the likes enter into it several decades from now. I am not saying this is for sure the right road, but we should ponder well the alternatives, without fearing of embarking the right path.