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The Union’s suffering and the remedy

Népszabadság Online - 04 juin, 2005
Article
Hajnalka Vincze

There is only one question worth asking in all this chaos surrounding the constitutional treaty. It is to know whether this crisis is finally "the" crisis. The answer depends on the political will of the Member States’ leaders, that of France and Germany in the first place. The suffering is the result of not merely the last, but of all past enlargements. The Heads of State and government of the Six, in 1969 in the Hague, only gave their assent for the opening of the accession negotiations "insofar as the candidate States accept the treaties and their political finalities".

However, it is more than obvious that already after the very first enlargement some of the new Member States hardly expressed interest for the political dimension of the European construction. But the true problem stems from the negligence of the organizational aspects by the Fifteen. And this is not about the institutional polishing, but about the structural management of divergent, not to say antagonist, political ambitions. Indeed, an invaluable document was submitted to the Commission, one year ago, by a group of personalities working on Romano Prodi’s request to elaborate "a sustainable project" for Europe. The title is telling: "Building a Political Europe". The message is also very clear: the cause of our miseries today lies in the fact that nothing defends and nothing represents politically our own European economic, social and cultural model. Their conclusion is rather limpid: “Some Member States will not for a long time be able to give up sovereignty as is required to build a political union. Others will not want to do so. It is therefore difficult to imagine that there will not be a more integrated core. We have to draw the territory of the Union in concentric groupings: a politically closely integrated core open to all; a grouping close to the existing European Union, preparing to enlarge; a wider group of affiliated countries who may one day join, based on economic, financial and social solidarity.” On the long run, all the scenarios lead to the establishment of the avant-garde. For the simple reason that it constitutes the single viable means to consolidate the advances so far and to continue the process of integration. The current state of the Union only adds the argument of the urgency to it. In particular because of the public opinion’s attitude to the European Union: the so-called democratic deficit which is nothing else but a political deficit. Who could seriously think for one second that a Europe betraying its original purposes, ready to give up its own model, renouncing to its strategic autonomy would ever mobilize the citizens? The only solution lies in the creation of the avant-garde: a core group of countries perpetuating the politico-strategic purposes and liable to attract, in time, the rest of the Member States onto this path.

Full text in Hungarian.


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