Saturday, 30 November 2013

New Governance in Europe and Greece

In the event of the forthcoming European elections, the always-existing scenario of an early Greek general election, the entry of new leaders in the EU institutions in 2014, a possible new Constitutional Convention, I would like to briefly put on the table a series of thoughts that may provoke further discussion.

EU Law Restrictions on Member States’ Competences Have Grown during the Crisis

The reaction to the crisis has inadvertently granted the European Commission with increasing competences for the control of the provision of (non-economic) public services by the Member States.
  • The crisis has altered the balance of power between MS and the EU, particularly as a result of the use of EU Institutions for purposes that went beyond the ‘ordinary’ functioning and the scope of the Treaties (ESM, etc.)
  • This (undemocratic response) was the only feasible one, particularly under tight timeframes and urgency in the decision-making
  • As a result of the “new balance” of powers, the EU (and the Commission in particular) have gained creeping competences in areas traditionally reserved to MS
  • This can be clearly seen in the field of public services / SGEIs (case study)

“An Ever Closer Union” – The Impact of the Eurozone Debt Crisis on National [Party] Politics

In the wake of the Euro crisis democratically elected governments were being removed and replaced by bureaucrats or ruling parties lost elections, but because of the strait jackets imposed by the Troika, there was no change in policies.
If democracy is the space within which the people express their will, then this has been a bad time for the democratic process. It’s also been a bad time for traditional party political definitions. Lines have been blurred and parties which know what they are against with little to say on what they are for are on the rise.

We Need to Talk about Taxes: A Local Government Perspective

My presentation will not be about who gets to foot the bill but rather about who gets to tally it, collect it and spend the proceeds.  It is connected however to the willingness to foot the bill, the part that belongs to the Greek people that is, as I hope I will be able to convince you.

The Political Economy of the Eurozone: The Short-term and the Long-term View

The key point of my talk is that EMU has two very different types of problems, depending on whether you think of the short or the long term.
  • The short-term one is a combination of excessively low growth, massive sovereign debt because of the links between weak banks and governments, and no way out (weak banks increase sovereign debt, which translates into weak banks).
  • The long-term one is that two very different types of economies were integrated into EMU, without a political mechanism that compensates for the negative effects of these differences.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Δώστε τρεις ψήφους στο λαό

Το ελληνικό πολιτικό σύστημα βρίσκεται σε αναβρασμό, οι πολίτες είναι δυσαρεστημένοι και ο καθένας αναλύει τη δική του θεωρία: Για μερικούς φταίει το μνημόνιο, για άλλους τα δυο άκρα, για κάποιους η έλλειψη κεντροαριστεράς –υπάρχουν ακόμα και κάποιοι που πιστεύουν στις διεθνείς συνωμοσίες.