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Global Viewpoint

Time has come for a 'United States of Europe' – that includes Turkey

Either Europe develops into a political union or it moves backward as a continent of nation-states that have neither political nor economic clout – surpassed by China and other emerging nations.

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With Germany’s strength, however, comes a political responsibility for Europe in overcoming the financial crisis and spurring growth in the global economy as a whole. Germany has to contribute its share to stabilizing Europe’s economy and its currency, the euro.

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Though it could have acted with greater determination when the crisis first began to unfold, the current German administration is now doing this.

The decisions to bolster the euro stability mechanism [the so-called "bailout" fund for the euro], and in particular the further moves toward a common economic government for the currency union, as agreed upon by France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel, are a step in the right direction. What we need now is to move more decisively toward greater coordination of economic, fiscal, and social policies in Europe.

This is the precondition for surmounting the currency crisis. To do this we also need a single European bond market with eurobonds. Eurobonds will at some point become inevitable, but can only be introduced as part of a coordinated European policy that fosters the convergence of economic conditions. Otherwise the ground will merely be laid for the next crisis. In addition, we need an agenda for growth and employment across the whole of Europe to overcome the weak competitive position of states like Greece, Ireland, and Spain.

Greater coordination among the 17 countries that share the euro would also reinforce the development of a “two-speed Europe.” The eurozone as “core Europe” will see more rapid integration than countries such as Great Britain, which have a more skeptical stance toward further integration. The most important thing is that this “core Europe” remains open to all countries willing to integrate, in particular Eastern European countries, such as Poland, which is not yet a member of the eurozone.

The end goal of an accelerated process in “core Europe” will be the formation of the United States of Europe, a real political union to which member states will transfer national power.

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