The EU summit will take place in Barcelona on March 15-16. The heads of 28 European countries will take part in its work. As it is expected, the main attention will be paid to the economic issues.
It is not surprising: there is a certain standstill in the economy of the European countries, if not a slowdown. The level of unemployment is growing in the leading countries of Europe, like France and Great Britain. Germany and Portugal are experiencing the budgetary deficit, whereas the rules of the European community specify that the budgets of the countries, which are included in the EU, are supposed to be the non-deficit budgets.
But this is not the biggest problem. Europe’s leaders passed a grand program of the economic developed till 2010 two years ago at the session of this summit in Lisbon. The objective of that program can be illustrated with the motto: “Let's catch up with America and overtake it.” It was decided to set up 20 million jobs, raise the production output in order to overcome the 50% gap between the income of the population of Europe and the United States. It became possible to create five million jobs over two recent years, but the general level of unemployment in the European Union is higher in comparison with the USA: it makes up ten percent.
Another important issue, which is planned to be discussed at the summit, is the liberalization of the power engineering market. France is being rather active protesting against it. Paris agreed with the offer for the French firms to choose the suppliers of the electric power by themselves, but the common consumers are deprived of such an opportunity (taking account of the fact that the French energetic company EDF used the liberalization, and significantly strengthened its positions on foreign markets).
The European leaders think that the low migration of the labor power is a serious obstacle for the economic development. BBC informed that only 0.4% of the Europeans were looking for jobs in other European countries.
The inner political factors of certain states may interfere in the solution of the economic development problems. Presidential elections are expected in France in April, Germany will hold the Bundestag elections in September. So the leaders of these countries are not likely to use unpopular measures, which are to give incentive to the growth of the European economy: the electorate’s interests may suffer.
The participants of the summit in Barcelona may experience serious problems themselves. The representatives of over a hundred of anti-globalist organizations have already announced on their intention to visit Barcelona. The Spanish government is doing its best to prevent from such a mass anti-globalist inrush. The police check everybody's documents on the border, several military ships are watching the situation in the Mediterranean Sea not far from Barcelona. However, the most active members of the anti-globalist movement have already learned, how to overcome such obstacles, so the European summit is not going to be boring.
The program of the European economic development, which should be discussed at the summit, is supposed to show, to what extent the EU’s plans (regarding the USA) are real. This issue is especially important today, when another trade war may happen between Europe and America because of the introduction of the new steel tariffs. Furthermore, the program of the economic development is supposed to show, if Europe really wants to achieve the same level of the economic development that the USA possesses. This is one of the first priority goals for Europe now.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov