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Friday, January 05, 2007

Can the EU change?

There's a good piece in this week's Economist, in the Charlemagne column about the debate over resurrecting the EU Constitution. Its such a depressing debate.

The post-post-Cold-War world is full of grim problems like Iran, the west's loss of competitiveness relative to China, and the drift of Russia away from democracy.

But the EU's response to all this is... yet another round of institutional tinkering. Even more years wasted having mindnumbing rows in Brussels about how many European commissioners to have.

Falling support for integration and the prospect of further referendums means that the new "mini treaty" or "EU Constitution mark 2" - or whatever it ends up being called - is ultimately not likely to be ratified in all member states. At that point there is going to be a crunch.

Our guess is that there will either be an attempt to come up with some kind of more flexible structure for the EU as a whole, or give some member states a looser relationship with the rest of the EU. Either could potentially be a way of getting to the kind of arrangement that most voters in Britain - and several other members - want.

With that in mind, we have just updated our vision of how things are likely to pan out on the Open Europe website. We'd be interested to know your thoughts...

1 comment:

John Page said...

I've commented on your vision at http://thepurplescorpion.blogspot.com/2007/01/and-if-not-what-then.html

Credit for addressing the "If not, what then" question. I accept that the published attempt was unlikely to be realistic at this stage in your development.