Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 12/2012

"The Political Future of the Union" Paper

Francesco Prota, Gianfranco Viesti

November 2012

Istituto Affari Internazionali


The main onus of responsibility for the current global economic predicament is on the financial system, not on a lack of fiscal discipline. Nonetheless, the crisis is having an extremely severe impact on the real economy, which is felt most acutely in the southern Eurozone member states. Since the end of the deepest phase of the crisis in 2009, European governments have committed themselves to fiscal consolidation. The results of these policies have been perverse: the impact of fiscal tightening during a depression may result in depressed output and high unemployment, without lowering the debt-Gross Domestic Product ratio. In light of this, we make a case for restoring growth in Europe without further delay, and discuss the role of the EU budget as an instrument for setting and implementing a real EU growth strategy.