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Politiques et performances macroéconomiques de la zone euro : institutions, incitations, stratégies

L’économie européenne, et en particulier celle de la zone euro, affichent des performances macroéconomiques visiblement moins bonnes que celles des autres régions du monde, alimentant le sentiment du déclin de l’Europe et les discours sur la nécessité de réformes structurelles et d’allégement des coûts du travail et de la protection sociale, afin de rendre à l’Union européenne sa compétitivité. Si le bien fondé du diagnostic n’est guère discutable, du moins dans ses grandes lignes et surtout pour la zone euro, l’identification des causes du mal et les remèdes proposés le sont, quant à eux, bien davantage. En effet, les institutions et les règles mises en place dans la zone euro pour gérer la monnaie unique et encadrer le maniement des politiques budgétaires nationales apparaissent clairement inappropriées, du moins dans l’interprétation généralement faite des textes européens, à la poursuite de politiques ambitieuses et coordonnées de croissance. Les autorités monétaires sont trop exclusivement préoccupées par la stabilité monétaire, dans une acception particulièrement étroite de la notion, et la politique monétaire apparaît donc insuffisamment réactive aux ralentissements et trop rapidement restrictive en cas de reprise. Cela renforce les biais procycliques contenus dans le Pacte de stabilité, en tout cas tel qu’il était interprété avant la réforme du printemps 2005. Cette règle budgétaire comporte en outre des incitations peu favorables aux politiques de croissance durable. Et le policy mix qui émerge spontanément des stratégies adoptées par les différents acteurs en réponse à ces institutions et règles engendre des évolutions du taux de change de l’euro qui poussent les gouvernements nationaux des États membres à privilégier les stratégies non coopératives, notamment la « désinflation compétitive » et la concurrence fiscale et sociale, en outre souvent encouragées par les instances européennes (Banque centrale européenne et Commission), par la composition même de

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Paper provided by Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) in its series Documents de Travail de l'OFCE with number 2007-23.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:0723
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