60th anniversary of the European Union meets in the midst of an existential crisis
Sixty years ago, on 25 March 1957, leaders of six European countries — Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany and France signed a blank sheet of paper, called the Treaty of Rome establishing the European communities. The text of the Treaty did not yet exist. As legend has it, he was mistakenly thrown the night before the cleaning lady of the Palace on the Capitoline hill, which hosted the ceremony. But this does not detract from the historical significance of the moment. Was given the formal start of perhaps the most fascinating project in the history of international communication. The meaning of this project is the conscious work of States to achieve their goals through cooperation, not competition
We all need more Europe
The creation of common institutions and laws was to remove the most important obstacle is the uncertainty of the intentions of each of the participants in the process. No one else and nowhere in human history is not yet possible. Another thing is that to implement it in practice could only cautiously addressing the opinions of citizens. Any attempt to bring critical issues of integration in referendums until 2005 severely suppressed. Europe remained an elite project. Extremely, repeat, successful until the end of the zero years
Elitism played with European integration a cruel joke. The gap between the “supranational” elite, which was recruited, including the European bureaucracy, and ordinary citizens gradually increased. It is known to be not only a European problem. In the US, this gap led to the victory of non-system candidate in the presidential election last year and caused “a hybrid of civil war”, when most of the establishment, the media and security forces are fighting against the head of state. In Europe, the gap between those who enjoy the benefits of integration and those who pay for it only undermines the trust of citizens to the whole project.
Therefore, their 60th birthday European integration meets in a very difficult condition both inside and outside. Citizens of European countries do not trust the authorities. Eastern European countries do not want to accept refugees from the Middle East. Drama the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome and adds that at the time it coincided with the beginning of formal negotiations about the UK’s exit from the European Union. The decision to leave the EU was adopted subjects of Queen Elizabeth in a referendum in June last year. Failure of one of the leading European economies from further participation in integration — a severe blow to the European Union in its history. As tactically and strategically.
The collapse of the Union
In the short term, negotiations on entering the United Kingdom threaten to plunge the EU and a substantial part of its managerial resources in a state of complete incapacity on the broader international arena. The projected scale of political and bureaucratic effort required for “good Brexit”, is so great that will not leave Brussels the opportunity to be active in other matters. Breaking ties, developed over 44 years of British membership in the EU that could lead to the destabilization of most of the sectors of European integration, even if not directly related to the negotiations.
Another problem for the EU in the future may be the question of the organization of trade and economic relations of the European Union with its largest partners in the UK and the natural reduction of the overall EU market, the access to which was an important part of trade negotiations, including negotiations on Russia’s accession to the WTO. Not exclude the appearance on the agenda the question of some form of Russian involvement and other important partners of the EU in the negotiations between London, Brussels and other European capitals. At least now it is necessary to point out that Brexit is not a purely internal European issue. The value of the total EU market for other States is so great that they simply must respond to the changes taking place there.
Strategically Brexit threat by the fact that the UK outside the EU things can go well. It is highly likely that the country will not sink, as many expect, the provincial quagmire of desolation, and you will find internal and external sources for economic growth. It will be a shattering example of that outside the EU you can live and live well. As an example, which is able to interest crushed by the Euro zone crisis and a stagnating economy, a large group of countries-EU members.
Explosion possible if in the countries of the European South — Italy, Spain and Greece — come to power determined populists and nominated demand: “Enough to work for Germany.” While the ruling elite of these countries crushed by debt, and commitments made under the pressure of Berlin in 2011-2013. But in the history of Nations sometimes there are times when to hold resentment is impossible. Especially if the control is clearly in the economic interests of the largest countries of the Union. And clearly authoritarian methods, does not tolerate objections
Viagra for social Democrats
In this sense, the grooming of Angela Merkel from the post of the Federal Chancellor could become for Europe’s salvation. Her main political rival, Martin Schulz, — no doubt, an enthusiast for European integration. The last 20 years he spent in Brussels and Strasbourg, first as Deputy and then as President of the European Parliament. This experience will be useful for him as a possible Chancellor, in order to avoid the mistakes made in Germany’s relations with its EU partners. To Europe it is vital to abandon austerity in favor of a common economic policy. Germany must pay for its economic prosperity, which she achieved at the expense of the Central position in the Euro area. As the United States paid after 2008 for a special role in the global financial system.
Moreover, although Schulz and not be called a friend of Russia, it cannot be said that he was building his lead in the European policy on consolidation of the tough anti-Russian agenda. And, in principle, a fresh face would be easier to find common ground with important foreign policy partners in Europe. Britain’s withdrawal will further strengthen the inevitable German leadership within the EU. And therefore all the more important for all the adequacy of this leadership and its ability to flexible solutions. Now, however, most observers believe that the economic forces behind the current head of the German government, too powerful. And to bring her opponent to power only the prohibitive fatigue irremovable leader of the Germans themselves. What will probably have to hope all caring enthusiasts of European integration.
While the decision proposed by the EU leaders — the transition to the strategy of “Europe of different speeds”. This means that certain groups of States will be able to develop deeper cooperation on critical areas without mandatory participation by all countries of the Union. Offer shone as the most attractive in five variants of development of the EU after the UK published by the head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in early March. The idea of “different speeds” supported by the leaders of the four largest EU countries — Germany, Spain, Italy and France met in Paris on 5 March.
However, not all States of the European Union is ready to treat this plan with enthusiasm. He is perceived as an attempt to isolate the part of the member countries and to create for them special conditions, leaving others on the periphery of European development. In particular, it is unclear how to pursue accelerated integration in the sphere of economic policy, without mandatory participation by all States of the Euro area. Because then excluded from the “enhanced cooperation” will still have to make decisions, endorsed by the leaders. But to influence their content Greece, Cyprus or Portugal will not be able. And the whole “Europe of different speeds” has traditionally been seen as a decomposition mechanism.
Europe needs to be updated. To keep European integration — “monument of universal political values” — is necessary for peace in Europe and beyond. Rich in anniversaries and important for the EU elections in 2017 is able to provide such an update. The rotation of elites and a change of leadership should lead to the rejection of futile paradigms of movement in “different speeds”. Or beating around the Bush in attempts just to save the achievements of the Common market. Need a new project, friendly to the world outside Europe, and is able to consolidate themselves citizens of the European Union.