September 30, 2009
I’m not very optimistic these days. Either the Irish will say no (níl) to the Lisbon Treaty, which I think they will be wise enough not to do this time, or the Czech ‘no’ (ne) camp around Klaus will keep the ratification on ice for several months, waiting for the British Tories to come on power, call a referendum and kill the Treaty.
Will it be an end to the Lisbon Treaty and to reform of the Union? Probably not, but a different EU will emerge, a multi-speed Europe, in which the countries who have ratified Lisbon would be given the possibility to apply its provisions in some areas.
However Enlargement will fall victim. I expect exceptions to be made only for Croatia and Iceland, who would eventually join where they are ready, maybe in 2012-2013. The Nice Treaty provides for 27 members only, but a technical arrangement for allocating them MEP seats and their share for qualified majority vote could be reached, as these two countries enjoy broad support within the EU.
But what would happen to Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania? Leaving them behind will be very hard to swallow especially for Macedonia, who is officially a candidate country. Politically, it would be a disaster for the entire region.
And it would be so strange – the Czechs have been pushing so much for the Western Balkans joining the EU, out of solidarity, I think. The Tories are also favourable to enlargement, in a strategy to dilute Europe. But they would in fact prevent it.
I’m hope I’m wrong.Georgi Gotev