Institutional certainty and political controversy

, par Sarantis Michalopoulos

Institutional certainty and political controversy

After the successful outcome of the second Irish referendum and the ultimate signature of the “persistent objector” Czech President, the Reform Treaty finally entered into force on the 1st December 2009. The ratification of the so-called treaty by all member-states had obvious effects on the internal political balances of the EU and simultaneously on its external relations, due to the establishment of the posts of President of the EU and High Representative (responsible for the European foreign policy).

The first President of the EU is Herman Van Rompuy, former Prime Minister of Belgium and member of the European People’s Party. He took charge during a crucial and instable period for his country, where the political crisis was intense and the peril of a possible Belgian dichotomy constituted a realistic scenario. Nevertheless, thanks to Van Rompuy’s “consensus capability”, Belgium managed to come out of the political dead-lock intact.

This “consensus capability” characterizing the new President was the main reason for his appointment by the European Leaders, as his new competences will be mostly related to coordination of the domestic functions of the EU, a task that requires accurate cost-benefit calculation and ability to find compromise among conflicting national interests.

In addition, his political ideology until now has shown a characteristic pro-European orientation, whereas the attacks of the British Press condemning him for being a dangerous Federalist raised multidimensional questions.

On the other hand, the 8 Socialist leaders under the guidance of Gordon Brown unanimously backed Baroness Catherine Ashton, former EU Commissioner for External Trade. As a matter of fact, the reasons for such a choice were insufficient, as Ms. Ashton is inexperienced regarding negotiation and diplomacy in foreign policy issues. Furthermore, the international representation of the EU is now taken on by a British, and hence a pro-Atlantic orientation may be considered as set from the beginning.

Both personalities were the product of a political compromise among the European centre-right and the socialists.

Beyond any doubt, both personalities were the product of a political compromise among the European centre-right and the socialists. Nevertheless, the partial institutional rehabilitation of the EU may be questioned from a political perspective. The pro-European community rationally wonders how a representative of a state that has been looking reluctantly and fearfully to the political movements across the channel for decades can now exercise a truly pro-European foreign policy. How can those who call themselves pro-Europeans consider this choice rational ?

The EU remains hence committed of the eternally unanswered question : what Europe do we want ? Despite the relief of this institutional step forward, politically the EU remains a dwarf, imprisoned in the search for its ideological identity.

Image : Van Rompuy and Ashton, source : google images

Mots-clés

Vos commentaires

  • Le 15 avril 2010 à 01:47, par Gaute En réponse à : Institutional certainty and political controversy

    « He took charge during a crucial and instable period for his country, where the political crisis was intense and the peril of a possible Belgian dichotomy constituted a realistic scenario. »

    Maybe a little late to react, but sorry to say so this is overstating another Belgian crisis. For the moment this ’crisis’ still hasn’t been resolved and will surely play up the next month. But the fact is that their isn’t a realistic scenario for a Belgian dichotomy, unless you can call our current federalized state a dichotomy, which would be hard with no less then 3 regions and 3 communes. Stability trough sheer complexity. Let me reassure you, Belgium isn’t about to burst.

    By the way, he didn’t want to be PM at first and I think he was pretty happy to get out of that spot.

Vos commentaires

modération a priori

Attention, votre message n’apparaîtra qu’après avoir été relu et approuvé.

Qui êtes-vous ?

Pour afficher votre trombine avec votre message, enregistrez-la d’abord sur gravatar.com (gratuit et indolore) et n’oubliez pas d’indiquer votre adresse e-mail ici.

Ajoutez votre commentaire ici

Ce champ accepte les raccourcis SPIP {{gras}} {italique} -*liste [texte->url] <quote> <code> et le code HTML <q> <del> <ins>. Pour créer des paragraphes, laissez simplement des lignes vides.

Suivre les commentaires : RSS 2.0 | Atom