Did somebody move the European Union while I wasn’t watching? Isn’t the EU headquartered in Brussels and does it not consist of 27 member states with 17 of them making up the Eurozone?
Well judging by the goings on in France and Germany, somebody might want to remind Merkozy of the current EU treaties before they start coming up with another one which will probably also include moving EU HQ from Brussels to Strasbourg on a permanent basis.
Berlin and Paris has been a hive of activity in the last fortnight with meeting after meeting ahead of Friday’s make or break summit in Brussels to sort out the Euro crisis. Shuttle diplomacy by David Cameron, Timothy Geithner among others in a bid to convince the markets there is a plan to shore up the Euro and keep the EU project alive. Then to add insult to injury for those diplomats and eurocrats in Brussels, MEPs, and small and medium size member states who have had their voice quashed by the EU2 as they will become known.
In fact the only other story in town is what David Cameron will say at the summit. Cameron, the leader of a country not even in the Eurozone and whose parliament is constantly a battle ground for Eurosceptics? What about Poland, Ireland, Austria, the Netherlands and the Scandinavians? Don’t they have rights? Who woke up and put Merkozy in charge?
Yes, Germany pays the bills and I have some sympathy for Merkel strutting her stuff. But France and Sarkozy? Hardly a nation whose banks can boast best practice and whose economy only flourishes thanks to the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy and protectionist measures.
So how has this happened or more importantly who allowed this to happen? Step forward from the line-up of suspects one Herman Van Rompuy – so-called President of the European Council of 27 states. But yet he only ever seems to listen to Merkozy and take his motorcade to Paris and Berlin. In fact when he did eventually put forward proposals of his own on behalf of all 27 this week, he soon retreated when Merkozy told him not to lose the run of himself. “Herman, you just leave any drafting to us,” was probably at the bottom of the Merkozy letter which arrived on his desk on Wednesday.
Since his first day in office, the pundits and commentators have said that EU leaders, especially France and Germany, didn’t want a strong leader. But in his defence others have said he is a consensus builder and good negotiator. But for who? He has merely become an extension, a puppet in some people’s eyes, for Paris and Berlin.
So if Van Rompuy fails to step up to the plate on Friday for all those countries who “elected” him, he may face more of a rebellion that the one he expects from David Cameron. And that would be a real crisis for the EU project.