EVERYBODY always claims victory after European Union summits. Often, this is a transparent fib. But this time, pretty much all those who attended the summit in Brussels walked away with what they wanted (or at least what they said they wanted). That should have made them happy, but didn't. Instead the meeting, intended to draft a replacement for the ill-fated EU constitution, was a strikingly bad-tempered affair. (“Deeply disagreeable”, shuddered one veteran diplomat.)
There are several explanations for this sourness. But the most interesting may be that, although each of three competing camps came away from the summit declaring that they had won, their victories exposed how differently the 27 EU members now see their relationship with Europe
.The first and biggest camp took in the 22 countries that arrived hoping to resurrect the constitution two years after it was stopped by No votes in France and the Netherlands.
In broad terms, they succeeded. They had to chop the defunct constitution up and rename its most contentious elements, like a planned “foreign minister”. But in the relieved words of the Irish prime minister, Bertie Ahern, “90% of it is still there.”
The second camp had a single country: Poland. The twin Kaczynski brothers who are Polish president and prime minister fought hard (at one point even arguing that Poland should be treated as a bigger country, because so many Poles died in the second world war).
They made few friends, but won one huge concession. The Germans, hosting the summit as holder of the EU's rotating presidency, agreed to preserve for another decade the existing voting rules, which favour Poland and underweight Germany. This gift secured the German chancellor,
Angela Merkel, the successful outcome that she wanted. But it left German officials “as miserable as hell”, says one witness.
Conventional wisdom in Brussels holds that Poland will “pay” for its behaviour in a future budget round. That is implausible:
the EU is incapable of being vengeful with such precision. More perilous for Poland is the risk of being deemed unserious. Pushing hard for national interests is accepted practice in Brussels. But countries that repeatedly flout the rules, issue
empty threats or take Europe for granted end up losing influence: ask Italy, Greece or Cyprus. Tellingly, EU leaders coldly swatted aside a Polish request for laws on “public morality” to be exempted from the charter of fundamental
rights. Given the Poles' record of populist social conservatism, it was feared that an exemption would lead to “gays being tarred and feathered” on the streets of Warsaw, says one diplomat, exaggerating only slightly.
The third camp, comprising naysayers to the constitution, needed visible changes to the text, either because their voters had rejected it (the Dutch and French) or because they probably would have done if asked (the British and Czechs).
France's president, Nicolas Sarkozy, became a sort of co-host of the summit, working with Ms Merkel to win others round to his vision of a boiled-down, simplified treaty. But Mr Sarkozy exacted a price for his help.
Whereas Ms Merkel toiled away in the shadows, Mr Sarkozy invited press photographers to see him meet a string of leaders, then went for a jog wearing mirror-finish sunglasses and a black T-shirt with the badge of
France's toughest police commando unit. Flexing his muscles, Mr Sarkozy persuaded Ms Merkel to drop a phrase about “free and undistorted competition” from a list of the EU's core objectives. Officials explained
that this was a political move with no legal consequences, but the signal it sent is still worrying (see article).
Britain claimed victory on all four “red lines” brought to the summit by Tony Blair, in almost his last act as prime minister.
These included the right to stand aloof from European police and judicial co-operation, and a (perhaps not watertight) opt-out from any risk that the charter of fundamental rights might threaten British labour laws. Critics at home accused Mr Blair of
choosing only winnable battles that were easy for voters to understand but making no effort to fight the loss of scores of national vetoes (one tabloid accused him of “abject surrender”).
The Eurosceptic tide
To attack Mr Blair is to miss the target, however. Those in Britain who hate the new treaty do not really have a problem with the ex-prime minister, but rather with the rest of Europe.
For sweeping curbs on national vetoes in the name of a more efficient EU were backed by 26 of the 27 countries.
Indeed, most other governments thought Mr Blair had secured an “outrageous” deal (to use one of the more printable terms), given that he signed up to the full constitution only three years
ago. There was special bafflement that Mr Blair insisted that he could have lived with the constitution, even when he was acting as if to recover from some dreadful mistake. The explanation is that other countries were focusing on the wrong mistake. Mr
Blair does not really regret signing the constitution. But he is working to recover from the tactical blunder of offering a referendum on it.
Mr Blair got away with his demands only because other leaders can easily guess the result of any British referendum. For
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大家總要求勝利在歐共體山頂以後。經常, 這是一個透明小謊。但這時候, 幾乎所有那些出席會議在布魯塞爾輕易獲勝了什麼他們想要(或至少什麼他們說他們要) 。那應該使他們愉快, 但沒有。反而會議, 意欲起草替換為惡運的歐共體憲法, 是一次醒目壞脾氣的事理。("深深地不愉快", 發抖一位退伍軍人外交官。) 有幾個解釋為這酸腐。但最有趣也許是, 雖然每個三個競爭的陣營來自山頂宣稱他們贏取了, 他們的勝利被暴露多麼27 名歐共體成員現在不同地看見他們的與歐洲The 首先和最大的陣營的關係採取了在到達希望復活憲法的22 個國家在它由沒有表決二年停止了在法國和荷蘭之後。 廣義上, 他們成功。他們必須砍停止活動的憲法和給它的最引起爭論的元素改名, 像一位計劃的"外交部長" 。但在愛爾蘭總理的被解除的詞, Bertie Ahern, "90% 它仍然是那裡。" 第二個陣營有一個唯一國家: 波蘭。是波蘭人總統和總理的雙胞胎Kaczynski 兄弟艱苦戰鬥了(甚而爭辯說, 波蘭應該對待一個更大的國家, 因為許多波蘭人死在第二次世界大戰中) 。 他們交了少量朋友, 但贏取了一巨大的讓步。德國人, 主持山頂作為歐共體的轉動的總統的職務的囤戶, 同意保存在其它十年現有的投票的規則, 傾向波蘭和重量不足的德國。這件禮物鞏固了德國大臣, Angela Merkel, 她想要的成果。但它和淒慘", 一個證人說留下德國官員" 。 傳統觀念在布魯塞爾保持波蘭意志"薪水" 為它的行為在未來預算方面圓。那難以置信: 歐共體是不能勝任的是報復性的以這樣的精確度。危險的為波蘭是風險被視為unserious 。艱苦推擠為國家利益是被接受的實踐在布魯塞爾。但一再嘲笑規則的國家, 問題 空的威脅或作為歐洲為授予結束丟失的影響: 要求義大利、希臘或塞浦路斯。Tellingly, 歐共體領導在旁邊冷淡撲打了波蘭人要求法律在"公開道德" 被豁免從根本性憲章 權利。假使代表人民的社會保守主義波蘭人的紀錄, 它恐懼, 豁免會導致"gays 是塗焦油和羽毛裝飾" 在華沙街道, 說一位外交官, 少許誇大。 第三個陣營, 包括naysayers 對憲法, 需要對文本的可看見的變動, 或者因為他們的選民rejected 它(荷蘭語和法語) 或因為他們大概會做如果要求(英國和捷克人) 。 法國的Nicolas Sarkozy 總統, 成為了山頂的有點兒共同主辦, 運作與Merkel 女士贏取其他人圓對一個boiled-down, 被簡化的條約的他的視覺。但Sarkozy 先生苛求一個價格為他的幫助。 但是Merkel 女士勞碌在陰影, 攝影記者先生Sarkozy 被邀請的看見他遇見領導串, 那麼向凹凸部佩帶求助鏡子完成太陽鏡和一件黑T恤杉以徽章 法國的最堅韌的警察特攻隊單位。顯示力量, Sarkozy 先生說服Merkel 女士下降一個詞組關於"自由和未變形的競爭" 從歐共體的核心宗旨名單。官員解釋了 這是一項政治措施沒有法律後果, 但信號它送了仍然擔心(參見文章) 。 不列顛要求勝利在所有四"紅線" 幾乎被帶來給山頂由托尼・布萊爾, 在他的前次行動作為總理。 這些包括權利站立無動於衷從歐洲警察和司法合作, 和a (或許不水密) opt 從任一種風險, 基本權利憲章也許威脅英國的勞工法。評論家在家指責了布萊爾先生 選擇唯一是容易對選民瞭解的能贏得的爭鬥但做努力與全國否決比分戰鬥損失(一份小報指責了他"不幸的投降") 。 Eurosceptic 浪潮 攻擊布萊爾先生是錯過目標, 然而。那些在不列顛恨新條約真正地沒有一個問題有前頭等部長, 而是寧可有剩餘歐洲。 為詳盡的遏制在全國否決以更加高效率的歐共體的名義由26 27 個國家支持了。 的確, 多數其它政府想法先生布萊爾獲取一個"粗暴的" 成交(使用更加可印的用語的當中一個), 假設他簽了字由充分的憲法決定只三年前。有布萊爾先生堅持的特別bafflement, 他能與憲法居住, 既使當他行動好像從某一令人恐懼的差錯恢復。解釋是, 其它國家集中於錯誤差錯。先生 布萊爾真正地不後悔簽署憲法。但他工作從提供恢復公民投票作戰大錯對此。 布萊爾先生逃脫了他的要求只因為其它領導能容易地猜測任一英國的公民投票的結果。為 相似的原因, 每個naysayers 被獎勵了以零錢在文本, 留給它腳註和協議不能理解的混亂。這導致的登上的憤怒在那些之中喜歡憲法(比利時的很快對離去總理投擲了最大聲的勃然大怒, 呼喊在 荷蘭語, 他們"挖空在" 歐洲項目之外) 。 這樣的易怒是不合理, 在一感覺: 比利時想要憲法和得到了文本幾乎像, 雖然洒在腳註。但同樣腳註是證據 歐洲的分裂。為任何人夢想仍然是歐洲團結一些理想, 各個競爭的陣營贏取在這個山頂的僅僅事實是, 本身, 失敗。
- 6 years ago