January 14, 2013
At a recent conference on global governance and local accountability, described by the chairman as the “big-tent church of globalization”, Obama’s top economic security advisor Michael Froman lauded the European Union’s “strong degree of accountability”.
As a preface to the subject at hand (globalization and local accountability), Froman told the people present that contrary to popular belief, the EU is exemplary in its process of accountability towards its member-states (from 56 minutes, 15 seconds):
“Much has been written about the democracy-deficit in Europe”, Froman said. “My understanding is that in any week in Brussels there are 200 meetings between representatives of the member-states and members of the commission, reviewing every commission-proposed action at every stage in its gravity. When you add that to the ministerial meetings of each semester and to the now quite frequent head of state council meetings, increasingly frequent, head of state council meetings, it’s hard to say that the process of coming up with decisions in the European Union- not to mention the role of the European Parliament- doesn’t reflect a strong degree of accountability.”
A remarkable position to be taken by the White House top adviser on economic security matters. Especially given the fact that the “euro-zone crisis” has revealed that the EU is everything but transparant to the people in Europe. Furthermore, these comments beg the question that if Obama’s top adviser on these matters lauds the EU’s transparency, what course will the US government fare in regards to its democratic processes. Froman:
“And I’ll just say from personal perspective, from personal experience, when President Obama convened the leaders of the euro-zone, and leaders of the European Union (…), to talk about the euro-zone-crisis, certainly there was a great appreciation in the room of the domestic, local, political constraints and drivers of policies, even in that pinnacle of global governance.”
If the White House economic security guy really considers the unelected European Union “to be a “pinnacle of global governance”, where does that leave the United States in this global construct? In any case, by stating that the EU is a “pinnacle of global governance” Froman (without knowing it) concurs with two term former President of the European Commission Jacques Delors, who gave a speech to the Royal Institute of International Affairs titled The European Community and the New World Order, saying:
“Our trading partners are gradually being won over to the idea that regional integration has a dynamic impact on all, and the European model is an inspiration for others- witness the recent agreements concluded by the United States, Canada and Mexico.”
In that same speech Delors also stated that “(…) giving birth to institutions to which sovereignty is to be transferred and which are to be given power manage cooperation and settle disputes is a slow and arduous process.”
“The contribution that the Community as such can make to the new world order can, to use an image of the plant world, be considered something of a hybrid, what is produced by crossing a world power with an international organization.”
In conclusion Delor stated in 1992:
“I would add- and I will not go into detail- that economic integration, unless it is backed by a strong political will, will not in itself produce stronger international institutions or help create world government. This is why, although the need for a new world order is self-evident, our era is one of trial and error or, as the harsher critics among us would have it, of impotence, inability to take on world challenges.”
It seems that Michael Froman, for one, is impressed with the way the EU does business. For the sake of sovereignty, one hopes he does not, like the EU kingpins of old, plan to merge the US with an international organization into that transnational hybrid called world government.