Crisis has shown the real European face
Hard to admit but the European Union has to face reality finally to shape its very own future. The financial crisis in the EU put solidarity to a test and showed that you cannot rely on a common European spirit between all member states. It would have been great to experience that just on top of the crisis national leaders would do a step forward to initiated a crucial step towards more integration to make the Union sustainable and weatherproof for the next decades. But what we have seen in the member states were sounds of renationalisation and dull Euroscepticism.
United in diversity but…
I would ever have argued in favour of a development in the European integration process where all member states are taken into considerations with all their concerns and objections. It is important that the daily life of the EU family is based on equal rights no matter how big the country is and how long it takes to reach an agreement in the end. In general I would still support this approach. We have just remind ourselves what the motto of the EU is – “United in Diversity”. But and this is a big but we have also admit that the way to a more integrated Europe is badly needed if we want to face the challenges of the globalised world somehow prepared. I guess we don’t have the time still to wait for those who are either not willing or not ready or still not convinced. It is a waste of time, time we need to reconstruct Europe for the rest of the 21st century.
Multispeed EU with a core
Having said this it is obvious that we have to change the method of how we find solutions in Europe. Unanimity has already declined but still plays a crucial part in many important policy areas and is a disturbing effect to further integration. There are ways where willing member states can go ahead without all the members of the EU following right away. But this is not possible in those areas where deeper integration is needed. The EU should announce a core group, a rebirth like 1951 when just six states were ready to start, which builds the core of the Union. Those states will create and shape the Union in a more integrated way. Other states are still connected and are any time free to join the core group knowing that European integration in the center is for real. Many academics discussed this construction trying to explain European reality. I say that the responsible heads of state and government as well as the European institutions should lay down this approach as the true concept of European integration.
Goodbye Britain – sad but true
I was always supporting Britain and its membership in the EU and I do still. But as much as I like the British people as much do I not believe any longer that they will very soon except the reality of the new century and the need to cooperate withing an integrated Europe. This is a cultural issues and I understand why British people seem often reluctant of various reasons to join a more integrated EU. But after 40 years of membership patience shall be over. The UK has still the chance to be part of the core Europe with the rules laid down for more integration. If they don’t accept them, so be it, but then outside this political center. I’m not saying that the British will not have a good time on the periphery of a core Europe, but I doubt it in the long run. A decision has to be made anyway, a decision by the UK. The other should go on for their own sake no matter what.