1 october 2011, the missing e

It's been a year since from what was then the deepest moment of euro crisis came agreement to go back to building the "e" of economic and monetary union that was dropped in 1992. Progress however has been extremely slow, and the supposed milestone now reached is hardly worth the paper it is written on. The ecb has got little for losing its virginity in lending a hand to fiscal policy. Even the minimal steps agreed show little has been learned from the stability and growth pact, with powers to be given to the commission to fine euro area member states that a majority of them can block. This is all just the slightest of steps in economic integration, with little of any real value (like the consolidated tax base, 19 march 2011) even on the agenda. At least though the 17 can be seen marching together, rather than waiting for the laggards, and indeed one by one the parliaments have agreed to establish the european financial stability facility; london is not being asked. As predicted (p38), this is something that the lisbon treaty facilitated. Events, as everyone notes, are very far ahead of any such plans though, and if more "e" is indeed the solution, then its nowhere yet even on the horizon.