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The EUROPEAN union is going to have to show even more clearly that they are for all

In France mobilized the newly over 100,000 "yellow vests" against increased fuel surcharges. For many of them it's about far more than the more expensive gasoline. Nearly nine million French live on under 1000 euros a month. At the same time sticking those at the top of the ladder with more and more of the pot: in The last years the richest one percent in the country collected an equal share of the growth as the poorest half of society.

article by: Hannah Gitmark, Agenda. Show more

The last 30 years the social and economic differences have grown all over the western world. Dissatisfaction with what we see, not only in France, but in similar demonstrations in the united STATES, Spain and the united Kingdom, to name a few.

the Unrest may also increase the support for populist movements and weaken international cooperation, as we have seen with Brexit and handelskonflikten between the united STATES and China.

There we lose. Trade and cooperation across national borders provides great gains: it provides the greater growth and more benefits than protectionism. Still, this is only half the story. Harvard economist Dani Rodrik argues that economists have not been honest about the negative consequences that can come of commerce. Inequality is one such consequence, which occurs if the trade is not supported by strong national institutions that distribute the winnings.

Fortunately increased focus on the challenges we face highlighted the need for solutions to them. The French economist Thomas Piketty, along with a group of progressive economists, historians and ex-politicians, recently launched the manifesto "A fairer Europe", which is intended to meet the most important challenges we face: poverty, migration, climate change and the "democratic deficit" in the EU.

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The common european the market for goods and services has undoubtedly contributed to the creation of high economic growth. But in the wake of the financial crisis is the criticism towards the EU as a unilateral markedsliberalistisk actor is reinforced. The aim of the competition has for many years weighed far heavier than the concern for social rights, which has led to that many have lost faith in a project that they do not feel that it works for them.

Piketty and his medforfatteres goal is to change the EU, which they believe is stuck in a are disabled who server the rich. Among the measures is a demokratiseringsavtale and a budsjettprosjekt. As part of this, suggested it created a european assembly with an annual budget of 800 billion euros to be collected through increased company tax, surtax, capital tax and CO2 tax. The proceeds to be used for research and development, green technology and a migrasjonsfond. A portion of the proceeds will go back to the member states.

AMBITIOUS: Thomas Piketty. Photo: NTB Scanpix Show more

not that the EU is not taking the challenges seriously. For example, the ministry of labour and's welfare policy given greater weight in recent years. In the last year was a separate 'social pillar", which shall guarantee the fundamental social rights, created. The EU has furthermore included an impatient role in the efforts to ensure that international companies contribute to the community through paying tax. On klimaområdet and personverner the EU has been an important progressive force.

It is possible to do more. Pikettys proposal is far more ambitious than the Eu member states are willing to be on the short term. It is also not sure all the specific solutions are the remedy for the challenges the EU is facing.

But it is nevertheless a step in the right direction. Will the EU survive as a political project is totally going to have to show even more clearly that they are for all and not just a few.

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