The biggest criticism towards European institutions is their apparent inability to distinguish between each country’s condition and lack of flexibility. I have always found many attempts at standardizing patterns and behaviors, political and economic, unnecessary and forced. Economists, just like any other expert, thrive on the creation of systems, universal truths and dogmas to legitimize their work or simply to make it simpler. Wouldn’t it be cool if any country could just open a rulebook, follow its precepts and magically solve all of its problems?
The narrative of single states should be the core of any discourse regarding politics and economics. The reality of things show us how every country follows its own path to growth, being influenced by a plethora of different factors, social and cultural for example, that economists rarely seem to keep in mind. While we can all agree that strong institutions bring forth greater growth and facilitate integration and equal opportunities, it is simply a matter of facts that each country starts from its own separate point. The race to growth and inclusiveness is and will always be an uneven one, no matter how hard the professionals of economics attempt to identify and create the broadest possible patterns for growth.
Geography, for example, is something that is rarely taken into account, but it actually makes a big difference when it comes to specific countries: like typhoons and monsoons in Asia, earthquakes in Italy for example make quite an impact on a countries productivity and expenditures and could be potentially catastrophic. Being closer than others to immigration routes it’s also a thing…We mentioned institutions and how they are essential to a successful economic development, but even a shared variable like institutions presents itself differently depending on the country. Inequality is the key word, but not only when we specifically talk about income and opportunities. Inequality is the most accurate word when it comes to countries (they are not the same and they are not equal), when it comes geography (some countries have more resources and milder climates than others), when it comes to institutions (the fact that both Switzerland and Norway are both success stories doesn’t mean that they reached success in the same way) and inequality is the key word when it comes to inequality. Yes, inequality is unequal. Inequality is present both in Sierra Leone (one of the poorest countries in the world) and in the USA (one of the world’s largest economies). But in the former, inequality is probably the cause of the country’s troubles, in the latter inequality did not cause the economy to fall, on the contrary, in many countries where inequality is a thing, the economy and living conditions have improved. Broad and inclusive systems seem to be unnecessary in a world where clearly each country has its own narrative. European institutions should try to understand this simple lesson and understand that flexibility is not an option, it’s simply mandatory.