Panelists at Milbank Tweed Forum offer perspectives on the Euro crisis

Gráinne de BúrcaWhat does the future hold for Europe’s common currency – and for the political and economic union that gave rise to it? That was the focus of the March 21 Milbank Tweed Forum, titled “Greek Drama, Global Stage: Perspectives on the Euro Crisis.”

Gráinne de Búrca, Florence Ellinwood Allen Professor of Law, NYU School of Law moderated a discussion among four panelists: Antonio de Lecea, an economist and principal advisor to the European Union Delegation to the United States; Sean Hagan, general counsel and legal director of the International Monetary Fund; Geoffrey Miller, Stuyvesant P. Comfort Professor of Law; and Joseph H.H. Weiler, University Professor, Joseph Straus Professor of Law, and European Union Jean Monnet Chaired Professor.

While the panelists seemed to concur that the European Union will make it through the current crisis intact – largely because the alternative would be worse -- there was disagreement about the political strength and legitimacy of the EU. “Europe suffers from a deep-seated democracy deficit,” Weiler said, noting that the Euro crisis has been managed primarily by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, not leaders of the European Union institutions. Additionally, Weiler noted, solving continent-wide fiscal problems requires social union across the same territory. In the U.S., he noted, citizens of California don’t ask why their tax dollars should go toward helping hurricane victims in Louisiana. “In Europe, it’s just not like that,” he said.

Posted March 27, 2012