« Antidemocratic and xenophobic forces of Europe have always been attracted by the European unity dream, the mystic of the imperial Rome»
(FB - 1998)
" Being a citizen is a voluntary act "
(FB - 2009)
"Thinking about the future only makes sense if it is aimed at improving one’s thinking about the present and about the trends at work"
(FB - 1998)
"The European project is not a dream, but a hope. It is rooted in rationality, which is not the case with dreams. We Europeans have seen our dreams end in nightmares too often not to be suspicious."
(FB - 2005)
"The strength of a network is judged at the information level of the weakest link, or more precisely the link furthest from the centre of the network."
(FB - 2004)
"Europe's destiny is escaping the two "Greats" and it will come knocking on the door of the Europeans."
(FB - 1989)
"The history of Europe is a bit like a multifaceted diamond. Everyone sees the same diamond... but no one sees exactly the same facets."
(FB - E-storia project, 2004)
"Let us dare the future as the founding fathers of Europe did"
(FB - "From EU to Euroland", 2001)
"The European citizenship can not be decreed. The European citizen can only be born..."
(FB - 1992)
"Every state is a minority in the EU. In any case, let’s not forget that if all our states went into building the EU it is because they all felt too small to face alone both their future and the rest of the world."
(FB - 2003)
"From a single (EU) Currency to a single (EU) Citizenship. The euro is only an instrument."
(FB - 1997)
"An empire is always providing platforms where conflicts and wars prolife­rate... an empire needs enemies, whilst a Community requires partners."
(FB - 1992)
"Europe’s history has taught us that dreams and nightmares are the two faces of the same coin"
(FB - “Europe is Peace” 2006)
"Everybody wants to have a successful enlargement whereas it is a successful enlarged EU which is important."
(FB - 2002)
"It is clear that the existing national political parties can not serve two masters: national and European."
(FB - IDE, 1989)
"It takes teamwork to make Europe move forward."
(FB - 2005)
"There is nothing like one European. The European is a team of Europeans... the only way we can imagine a European, it is a team of people from different countries, not a single man or woman."
(FB - Enschede (NL) 2012)
"On the horizon with a heaven of freedom and a land of responsibility, this is perhaps the soul of Europe."
(FB - 1992)
"The future challenge for the European project is not about Europe anymore, it is about the Europeans."
(FB - 2005)
"The more Brussels speaks English, the less Brussels understands the Europeans"
(FB - 2004)
"Occupy the Future of Europe!"
("What do YOU want as a future for AEGEE?" Franck Biancheri at the 2012 Agora in Enschede)
"To combine new technologies and democratic principles to succeed in the entry of European integration in the 21st century or e-democracy at the service of Euro-democracy"
(FB - EUSV, 2001)
"In the years 00 of the 21st century, democratization can only take place in the perspective of the democratic election of a European executive that remains to be invented."
(FB - EUSV, 2001)
"We must build the European Community, otherwise Europe will soon be culturally Americanised, politically Finlandised and technologically Japanised"
EGEE I, 1984

Towards a European Prosperity Pact in place of the Stability Pact (Franck Biancheri, 2003)

In this sense, this Pact is a predictable Pact of Instability.

A European Prosperity Pact should match EU’s political and economic requirements, to preserve the good coherence and coordination of the different economic, financial, monetary and social components of the European community. In a moving and dynamic world, this pact should by no means impose stability, rigid rules and bank-style constraints.


Therefore, Europe does need a European Prosperity Pact with a Euroland nucleus.


However, should we have a Stability Pact?


Since the beginning, many European political observers (among whom your servant) mentioned the fact that it was delusive to imagine elected governments obeying some supra – national administrative authorities (Commission or ECB) with the risk to lose the next elections; and that if they did, there would be a great danger to nurture extreme-rights and lefts, and to reinforce anti-European trends. Contrary to what many bureaucrats (civil servants or bankers) may think, a democracy can only be run efficiently through democratic methods, not through administrative rules.


The face-to-face between « politicians / public opinion » on the one hand and « Eurocrats / central bankers » on the other can only result in an increased political and s ocial instability of the EU.


In this sense, this Pact is a predictable Pact of Instability.


In fact instability is already here. It is enough to notice how much of the European media’s space is occupied by debates on the value, validity, utility, respect… of the Stability Pact, to become aware that far from stabilising the EU, it destabilises the Europeans. Violent exchanges among European political leaders, mutual accusations of « neglecting the small ones » or « ignoring the big ones’ constraints », each day embitters the European public debate as well as those circles in charge of preparing the future (for instance, IGC debates on the future Constitution).


Growing political instability, strengthened aggressiveness within the European debate, dangers wei ghing on decisions regarding our future, … here are the main achievements of this Pact.


But, I could be retorted: these are serious issues! Our common future, everyone’s prosperity is at stake! Tomorrow’s prosperity is worth a few tensions today!


I would willingly agree if that was true. Alas, this is not the case! Where are the economic bases of the Stability Pact? Where are the economic « laws » that limit budget deficits to 3%, or public debt to 60%? Or maximum inflation to 2%? No where!


That rules a re needed? Absolutely. That once fixed, everyone (without exceptions) should respect them? Certainly. But these rules should take into consideration reality rather than fantasies of budget controllers or of aging “baby – boomers” who value stability at any c ost to the detriment of development and dynamics.


Reality today (I insist on this word because in the 21st century, reality is moving… and inviolable rules have short – term utility) imposes us to consider that the Euro having only recently been establishe d, everyone in Europe, from central bankers to government, as much as economic actors and citizens, are just discovering the extent of its impact on our economic and social systems. We are all at the beginning of a learning process that will last 2 to 4 mo re years. Three simple conclusions derive from this statement:


  • no one owns the truth about the Euro and about the way to manage the Euro zone: neither central bankers nor finance ministers, companies, trade – unions, economists. Theory of what Euro would be gave birth to the Stability Pact rules; now for about 2 years, we have been experimenting Euro in vivo. As any scientist knows well, theory rarely fit experiments at first try. Experiments should then nurture theory in order to improve it and adapt it to reality. Which is where we stand now with the Euro and the Pact.
  • flexibility is required for a few years in order to avoid the “violation” of this new economic reality that we know little (instead of letting flexibility be imposed by reality, thus embit tering the European atmosphere, let’s choose it)
  • successful actors should be rewarded rather than players – in – difficulty punished. In an badly known situation, it is indeed easier (practically and legitimately) to remark those who seem to act in the « right direction » than try to condemn those who do not play well
  • it is therefore necessary to be inventive in order to stimulate the actors, namely by abandoning the bank – style range of « sanctions » (this notion of budgetary sanctions for countries in a bud get deficit is economically and politically inept) and rather try to explore the « reward – sanction » possibilities available in the EU (for instance, bonuses to regional or structural funds, or on suppression of part of these funds according to the « Euro – behaviour », accumulation of deficit points in the positive periods to be made available in the dark « euromiles budget » periods).


To make a long story short, the criteria and instruments are inadequate in the present Stability Pact. Knowing this, the march towards a European economic pact can be envisaged more calmly:


  1. fixing objectives in a way that includes a gradually disappearing operational margin until 2006 (the next big European meeting in terms of budget)
  2. aiming the pact at prosperity (an idea that can be shared among all Europeans) rather than at stability (a concept opposed to the future)
  3. innovating in terms of instruments, going from sanctions to incentives (using in particular the possibilities of EU structural policies)


The Euro can not succeed economically and politically (both are linked) if its management is based on behaviours of bank account managers sanctioning non-authorised debits.


Franck Biancheri, Europe2020 – 25/11/2003