In Europe, the myth of equality

Published on 22 Dec. 2021 at 16: 34Updated 22 Dec. 2021 at 16: 37

Eurostat, the European statistical agency, has the great virtue of often setting the record straight. This is the case with the data which have just been published on its website on the economic weight of each of the 27 of the European Union. at the end 2020. We discover – or we have confirmation – that in reality only four countries account for more than two thirds of European GDP: Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Another country, the Netherlands, weighs a little 5% of European GDP, while 20 others weigh less than 5%, of which less than 1%. We can see how the rule of unanimity is a paralyzing political constraint for the “big” countries.

To take just one example: the Twenty-Seven will decide whether it is in 2021 that the new combustion vehicles will be prohibited for sale; but how many have national manufacturers? And the same goes for taxation and many other subjects … Fortunately, majority votes are progressing.

Who has the keys to the condominium?

Eurostat statistics therefore put into perspective the difficulties of the day-to-day functioning of the Union, where a country, whatever its size, = one voice. All other things being equal, and with a smile, we will say to ourselves that this is a known phenomenon in condominiums, where the owners of a studio are entitled to block the installation of a digital code for the entire building. !

Conversely, it is also true, these data highlight the incredible solidarity between very unequal members, as we see it with the perfectly equitable distribution of the doses of vaccines, from Paris to Berlin and from Bucharest to Copenhagen. Imagine if the Germans had kept the vaccines produced by BioNTech for themselves…

The German remount

The other information provided by this publication concerns the economic balance of power between Germany and France. The first represents exactly one quarter of the Union’s gross domestic product (23, 1%), the second a little more than a sixth (16, 2%). The interesting point is that in ten years, the weight of Germany has increased by 1.7 points and that of France has fallen by 0.9 percentage point.

Is this the sign of French decline? Not so fast! This means above all that our powerful neighbor has made a good comeback since 2000, driven by globalization and China . But this recovery followed a real slump over the years 346. In total, if we look at the last twenty years, the table is as follows: Germany has passed 25, 8 to 25, 1% of European GDP, France of 17, 7 to 16, 2%. The recoil is the same!