October 11, 2011
A regular EU summit being postponed is unusual, but nothing is usual these days. Fearing the collapse of the eurozone, EU leaders need to decide on tactics, but also on long term strategy, even on EU treaties’ change. Good luck, Mr. Van Rompuy!
It will be a give and take. The unusual will be the scale. The eurozone countries need to coordinate economic governance and give away sovereignty, while non-eurozone countries such as UK, the Czech Republic or Denmark would avail themselves of this opportunity to get away as much as possible from the core EU.
The result would probably be a two-speed Europe. Not necessarily split between 17 eurozone countries against 10 non-eurozone. Some eurozone countries such as Greece could have to leave the eurozone, and I don’t see any country outside the eurozone still eager to join it. Apart from that, Nordic countries could be tempted to take further distance from the profligate South.
More federalism would be imposed on the residual eurozone by necessity, not by sovereign decision. This looks like a forced marriage. They say forced marriages are often successful, but we will see. Ironically, countries outside the eurozone are more federalist than those inside. Take Poland versus France, for instance.
The two-speed Europe in the making will certainly impact on the way decisions are taken and EU budget is spent. Some present members would probably suffer to see their status downgraded to something similar to a candidate country, who learns about the big EU decisions from the press. We all assumed that EU enlargement was a big success, but this could be put into question.
One think is certain: the 23 October EU summit will be called a major success and a big step forward. Trouble is the EU doesn’t know how to take big steps – it’s a fragile giant who has always taken little ones. I’ve already seen one giant collapse, and die.Georgi Gotev