The Same Old Europe

in Italy/World

European Union leaders have reached agreement in Brussels on an outline of new guidelines to govern the 27-member bloc for drafting a new EU treaty to replace the bloc’s aborted constitution.
At dawn on Saturday they announced a compromise to delay until 2014 a new voting system that reduces Poland’s influence – the main stumbling bloc. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the drafting of the treaty will begin in coming months, with ratification by the end of 2007. She said the goal is to have the rulebook in place by 2009. The main obstacle had been Poland’s demand to keep its voting power – currently equal to that of Germany’s, even though its population is only half as large.

The new system – known as a “double majority” – will now be phased-in beginning in 2014 and fully implemented three years later.

Under this system, a 55% majority of EU countries with at least 65% of the bloc’s population will be required for a change to be approved.
Britain also got what it wanted: “The four essential things that we in the UK required in order to protect our position have all been obtained,” said Tony Blair at the end of his last EU summit as British prime minister.

“Those were first of all to make it absolutely clear that the charter on fundamental rights was not going to be justiciable in British courts or alter British law.”

Mr Blair also wanted to maintain national control over foreign policy, justice and home affairs.

We agree with Mr.Blair’s view and principles. European Union doesn’t have to be a kind of a superstate. Unfortunately, in EU there are some countries and some politicians thinking exactly the opposite. Italy is a well known example of that attitude. Italian politicians are “euro-enthusiasts”, because they believe that European laws can get what italian lawmakers fail to get: reforming pensions, controlling public spending, winning local communities’ opposition to infrastructures and so on. Essentially, italian politicians think Europe is a “last resort” to their incapacity to act and rule.

Consider italian president, Giorgio Napolitano: according to him, Eurosceptics are “psychological terrorists” because they suggest that there is a growing “European superstate.” Napolitano said this when he and Horst Köhler, the President of Germany, addressed a group of students at the University of Siena. The EU is not a European superstate, Napolitano said, it is a “a new form of democracy.”
Very bizarre definition: is a “new form of democracy” something like what European Commissioner Peter Mandelson was referring to when in a speech in Germany he uttered the infamous words “the era of pure representative democracy is slowly coming to an end.”?

So, if you disagree with this idea of Europe as a bureaucratic superstate, you are “a terrorist”. But we are patient. Mr.Napolitano, a former communist, 51 years ago was praising the Red Army’s invasion of Hungary, against Imre Nagy’s “criminals”. A few years ago, he woke up in the morning saying: “Well, after all, maybe we were wrong“. And a few months ago, he was in front of Imre Nagy’s grave to say he was “sorry” for what he said then. It’s never too late for communists to change their minds. But we are pretty sure they cannot be good teachers.