On Wednesday March 30, the GMF Paris office hosted Senior Transatlantic Fellow Bruce Stokes for a conference on the “Euro crisis, a perspective from the United States,” in collaboration with the Groupe d’Economie Mondiale (GEM-Sciences Po), headed by moderator Patrick Messerlin. The gathered audience included 25 experts from French and European institutions, think tanks, and research centers.
Bruce Stokes (GMF) presented the Euro crisis from an American perspective and suggested a number of possible public policy options in response. Firstly, he acknowledged the wide lack of recognition in the U.S. of Euro problems, explaining the reasons why Europe is not regarded by many there as a priority - despite being such a large export market of the United States. Secondly, because Europe has a monetary policy but no fiscal policy, it has been difficult for it to manage foreign expectations. He said the ambiguity from the United States was based on the feeling that Europe didn't move fast enough during the time of the crisis (although he added that many in the United States do not understand how much progress the EU has actually made in a year).
Patrick Messerlin (Director, Groupe d’Economie Mondiale, Sciences Po and Chair, 2011-2012 Global Trade Council, World Economic Forum) argued that accepting to being part of the Eurozone should have meant states accepted regulatory reforms. He added that the current distinction and heterogeneity of the Eurozone is the consequence of the absence of regulatory reform. Secondly, added it was necessary to push for very serious “stress tests” of the banks. He also reminded participants that when looking at the macroeconomic situation today, it was important to take the austerity regime into account. Steve Szabo (Transatlantic Academy) noted that Beijing would not be shy on using its influence: if they offer a service like letting countries borrow money from them, they would expect benefits in foreign and strategic policy.
Patrick Messerlin and Bruce Stokes both concluded on a need to deepen a free trade agreement in transatlantic markets, as well as strengthening the IMF for the future.