Investors and 21 million of jobless Europeans will find the conclusions of the last week's European Union (EU) summit a depressing reading.
Not a word about measures to raise the EU's "sizzling" 0.4 percent economic growth in the first half of this year to create jobs, protect more than 120 million people from poverty and social exclusion and give a meaningful future to 4.2 million of young people looking for work.
It seems that these existential issues -- or what U.S. politicians call "the people's business" when they run for office every four years – were not considered important enough in the best ancient Roman tradition that the bosses don't concern themselves with trifles (de minimis non curat praetor).
This regrettable indifference should give pause for thought to anybody putting the money into the EU, because the union's economic policies must be closely coordinated at the highest policy levels. No member country – especially those in the euro area – can conduct independent economic policies. The degree of integration is such that the monetary policy was given to the European Central Bank (ECB), trade policies are delegated to the EU Commission, while fiscal and structural policies are subject to binding peer reviews arbitrated at summit meetings.
Clearly, "the people's business" of jobs and incomes is such a big issue that it should be front and center at all EU summits. Instead of that, the EU leaders were strutting around last week with dire warnings about the U.K.'s "hard-Brexit" and apocalyptic nonsense they hope to dump on Washington's "liberal interventionists" (aka, neocons).
Is the change in the air?
They are doing the same thing with the ECB. The heavy lifting is left to Mario Draghi amid incessant catcalls from Germany and "head-for-the-hills" punters criticizing the euro area central bankers for providing the only life support to the region's struggling economies.
Is this going to change? Are we going to see anytime soon a new generation of European leaders who will put "the people's business" of jobs, incomes, healthcare, education and the quality of life at the top of their agenda – and do something about it?