European council

The unravelling has begun

Published on 12 December 2011 at 11:38

“Within the old Union a new one, concentrated around the eurozone, is born”, leads Gazeta Wyborcza after the “last chance” European Council meeting in Brussels. To save the euro, EU leaders agreed to move to deeper fiscal integration of 26 members despite the UK’s opposition.

As a result, writes Jacek Pawlicki in the Warsaw daily,

We’re going to have two unions: a commonwealth EU of 27 and an integovernmental EU of 27 minus one [...] It is no use looking for culprits. [British PM David] Cameron’s tough stance, forced by internal politics, clashed with equally intransigent positions adopted by Berlin and Paris which stubbornly called for changes to the treaty [...] Once started, the process of “de-communalisation” (making the union less of a commonwealth of states) of the EU can’t be stopped. Its consequences can’t be predicted either.

However, argues Pawlicki, the birth of the new Union will not necessarily mean the end of the old one. Most key decisions concerning the EU budget or the common market will still be made among 27 members. Notwithstanding this, the new Union - concentrated around France and Germany - might prefer to take decisions on an increasing number of issues alone and only later discussing them with the other members. This, stresses GW’s columnist, “will lead to further divisions and isolationism – chiefly of the British and possibly later on of others”.

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