The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

EU prosperity at stake in crisis disunity

Paul Taylor Great Debate-- Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

The global financial crisis has been a stark reality check for the European Union, exposing divergences over economic policy and highlighting the European Commission's growing difficulty in enforcing common rules.

The European response to the turmoil shows that most real power still resides with member states, not in Brussels. Even after 50 years of integration, governments instinctively reach for national solutions at the risk of harming EU partners.

The 27 EU leaders, especially the big three of Germany, France and Britain, need to take a deep breath before next week's summit and measure how much damage they could inflict on future prosperity and on Europe's credibility in the world if they continue down this path.

The EU united briefly in October behind a plan to avert a meltdown of the financial system and a call for a global summit to reform financial supervision, incorporating the emerging economies of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Few British cheers for euro amid crisis


paul-taylorPaul Taylor is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The financial crisis has rallied support for euro adoption in many European countries outside the currency bloc, yet in Britain the discussion is so far confined to a few voices among the policy elite.

The politics of the issue remain as fraught as ever, and Britons appear no more willing to lose monetary sovereignty in a recession than they were in the boom years.

from The Great Debate:

New economies want power before paying

Paul Taylor Great Debate--Paul Taylor is a Reuters columnist, the views expressed are his own--

Anyone who expected the major emerging economies to write fat checks in exchange for being invited to the first G20 leaders' summit on rescuing the world economy will have been disappointed.

But that should only have surprised the naive.

Despite intensive lobbying by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Saudi Arabia and China, the rising powers were never likely to make a cash down-payment to the International Monetary Fund before getting more seats and votes at the top table.