Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Note: Please Read Monday's post below first, this is a follow up.

The value of the EU is political, it is not economics, not now. That's what I came away with after attending a seminar on the future of the EU this week.

Yes, forget about having one voice for foreign policy. Forget its stated goal of becoming the most competitive economy in the world by 2010. But does anyone really expect the EU to grow into a Hayekian model economy? Right now the EU could best be viewed as a vehicle for spreading democracy. Countries such as Hungary, Lithuania, and Poland recently approved national referendums to join the EU and will have to adopt and keep policies of open markets, free trade, and fiscal responsibility. More importantly though, democracy will provide stability and prevent another Balkans-like crisis. There can never be enough of that, especially in these times.

With free trade, member states will see plenty of incentives to reform their own markets, reduce taxes and the size of their own governments, and maybe get a handle on those labor unions. (See Monday's post below) If the next several years of EU building proves favorable, perhaps then it can work towards its economic goals.


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