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Monday, February 24, 2014

A new Anglo-German bargain on EU reform? Key opportunities and pitfalls

Ahead of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to London to meet David Cameron on Thursday, we've published a new briefing setting out the chances of an Anglo-German bargain on EU reform, the areas of possible agreement and also the potential hurdles to a deal.

In summary, Germany remains the most important ‘swing state’ in the debate about the EU’s future, and the outline of an Anglo-German bargain on EU reform is emerging. Angela Merkel’s CDU party is expected to argue in its European election manifesto that it should be possible for EU powers to return to national governments, and Germany and the UK are already among the most vocal advocates of reforming rules on EU migrants’ access to state welfare. Crucially, Germany’s desire to put further Eurozone integration on a sounder constitutional footing and enforce economic supervision on other Eurozone economies could also present David Cameron with his best chance of securing an EU Treaty change. Germany has already shown itself to be sympathetic to UK concerns about the Eurozone writing the rules for all member states.

Looking at this issue through the prism of individual policy areas, there is plenty of scope for Anglo-German agreement:

However, the presence of the SPD in Germany’s Grand Coalition has made matters more complicated and potentially limits how far Chancellor Merkel is able to go. This makes it all the more important that the UK wins support for its reform agenda in as many like-minded countries as possible, allowing Merkel the cover she needs to back it. There remains no guarantee that an EU Treaty change will coincide with Cameron’s 2017 referendum timetable but while this would be a blow, much reform can nevertheless be achieved without it.


Anonymous said...

And yet nowhere on this dumb list is ;

Referendum for the peoples of Europe or Democratic Validation from the peoples of Europe.

It is just BS.

I don't want any more EU. They could not manage their way out of a wet paper bag.

Free Trade and NO sovereignty.


Rik said...

1. On services imho it looks like a no go on EU level. The South will block/postpone it.
Since there is support up North where the by far largest part of the advantages will/can be obtained the way forward looks to be an intergovt treaty.
Better to have that in place as well in case an exit becomes an issue. Hard to see it can be concluded as a non-EU member.

2. The SPD should come under electoral pressure. Similar what we have seen in Holland with the Socialists and their Labourparty.
If this happens for many members/voters the alternative (likely Linke in Germany) will become much more attractive.
In that respect it is a bit odd that many in Die Linke think they have to be pro-EU to be acceptable for the rest on the left. Holland shows a completely other picture where the Socialist chose to take a 'strong' view on the EU and it paid off pretty well. Both in the polls, as on the left being EU-sceptic wasnot represented while roughly half the left voters had those views (looks very similar to Germany). As well as a potential coalitionpartner in a left government. Dutch Labour made them their preferred partner next to the VVD (for getting a majority) in the last coalition talks and basically for electoral fears.
Basically the traditional party has to move if they donot want to lose many voters and via that make the further left/Euro-sceptic/critical party more 'Salonfahig'.

3. Seems in no way sure that Merkel still will be there when the reneg will actually take place. Approval is going South and the coalition seems hardly very stable. If that happens the whole German political landscape will change and all bets re EU reneg cooperation will likley be off. You need a plan B or better plan A 2.0 (keep Germany on board). Plan B go for electoral volatility.

4. Treatychange is imho not really a relevant issue at the moment for the reneg at least. The continent has enough other things on its head to be busy with new stuff if not urgent.
Simply looks like at the end of the day they will have to go for it even if only for EuroZone reasons.
Doubt if giving things away for it at this stage is a good deal.

Anyway as said it is very likely to happen one way or another whether the EZ countries like it or not.
Imho it is mainly made an national British issue, for the home audience.

Anyway you need to know what the exact changes will be to see if a treatychange will be necessary.

Anonymous said...

You can say treaty change as much as you like but it isn't going to happen as long as the eussr has the powers it will retain them against the will of the people. We all saw the keep voting till you get it right attitude of the eussr, that will not change, the only way to achieve a better deal for the UK is outside of it.

Anonymous said...

Open Europe needs to explain what legal mechanism exists that allow EUSSR inmate nations to renegotiate the terms of their imprisonment.

So far as I know, none exists.