Spectre of fresh EU treaty returns to haunt ‘incomplete’ Europe

Leigh Philipps, EUobserver, 06.09.2011

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It took nearly a decade of squabbling amongst EU states, a series of referendum disasters and a last-minute game of high-stakes brinksmanship from a stubborn Czech president, but the bloc finally managed to radically refashion the way it worked with the passage of the Lisbon Treaty in 2010.

So exhausted were they by the struggle by the time the soap opera ended, European leaders then swore it would be very long indeed, perhaps a generation, before the EU treaties would be opened again.

But now, in the last few days, as Europe’s economy and the single currency stand on the precipice, these same leaders have begun to eat their words. [...]

Speaking to EUobserver, Janis Emmanouilidis, a senior policy analyst with the European Policy Centre, a Brussels-based EU specialist think-tank, said that moves in the direction of fiscal union and a new treaty are inevitable.

“It seems there is a growing consensus for treaty change, not just in the last few days or weeks, but this has been widening since the start of the crisis months ago,” he said.

“There is increasing awareness of just how dangerous a situation Europe is in - the potential break-up of the euro and the costs that would go along with that. They see the need to get ahead of the curve. To do that they have to go substantially further toward fiscal union."

“The question is whether this can be done under the current treaty situation, and to be able to answer that, we need a lot more details about what is being proposed," he continued.

“As to how realistic, achievable all this is, we all know what happened with the Lisbon Treaty, and the problems of domestic resistance have not gone away.”

For the entire article see here.


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