EU Summit Reveals a Paralyzed Continent
28/12/2012 Deja un comentario
What really happens behind closed doors at an EU summit, when European leaders are among themselves. SPIEGEL has reconstructed negotiations at the most recent meeting in Brussels in December based on documents and accounts given by numerous sources. It was a summit of hopelessness (…..) A Growing Emphasis on the National Interests. His BMW is speeding through a Europe that has gotten stuck in the mud. The summit has made that abundantly clear. The main problem is a growing emphasis on national interests. Almost all of the Europeans are focusing exclusively on their own interests, from the Poles to Germans to French. Some are determined not to lose their connection to Europe, others want to pay as little as possible and there are those who want to get as much as possible. Together, represent three Europes: the East, the North and the South. The bridges among the three are narrow and weak. Reports on the summit provide a sense of the torpor and ritualization. The South makes proposals, as it has always done, and the North dismisses those proposals, as it has always done, and vice-versa. No one offers any surprises, no one goes the extra mile and no one fights for bold reforms. They all go through routine motions of unwinding their national programs, as if there were no euro crisis bellowing at their doors. There is a huge difference between public rhetoric and behavior during negotiations, especially with German chancellor. In public, she stresses common interests, but none of it remains once she is behind closed doors. She seems pedantic and mercantile. This doesn’t mean that the Germans should always be the ones footing the bill. But a policy of trying to avoid payment at all costs isn’t enough. The summit also shows Chancellor Merkel isn’t leading, even though she ought to be. All of participants look to her, make reference to her and wait for her. But Angela Merkel does not make use of this position. She doesn’t speak as harshly as her Swedish counterpart Reinfeldt or her Dutch colleague Rutte, yet she is one of them. She is not someone who promotes the common cause, even though she ought to be, as chancellor of Europe’s largest and richest country. Instead, she both accepts and is responsible for the fact Europe currently has no vision. December summit was historic, in the sense that it stifled Barroso’s and Van Rompuy’s attempt to build a political union. Both returned home without having achieved their goals. Monday, Dec.17. Berlin, the headquarters of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, a meeting of CDU steering committee, 10 a.m. “Angie” Merkel reports on the summit in Brussels. She is under the impression, she says, that Hollande is trying to obstruct everything she proposes between now and German parliamentary election. Hollande currently has more allies than she does, which is why cooperation isn’t quite working yet. But she’s doing her best to gather more allies for Germany, she adds. It sounds a little like the days when there were still wars in Europe.