EU prerogative?

The Franco-German axis of the European Union and the Greek EU presidency appeared genuinely shocked at the faction of eight member states who expressed a pro-American and pro-war stance last Thursday. The EU’s key drivers are at a loss to comprehend: Is the union they visualized ultimately so dysfunctional? Are «the eight» simply taking advantage of the freedom to express their objections offered them by the Treaty of Nice, or is there, in fact, «something rotten in the state of Denmark?» This «rebellion» is interpreted variously according to one’s political persuasion: The opposition blame the prime minister for failing to knock some sense into the eight member states and to align varying European sentiments. The anti-US faction blames President Bush for eroding the cohesion of the EU. Euroskeptics condemn the Franco-German hubris, the «old» Europe which is far too sure of itself. And this is sound reasoning, for it explains the inexplicable: the lack of uniformity across Europe which we refuse to face. Reality belies the nice European fairy tale with the happy ending, but we prefer to forget that idiosyncracies, political choices, geographical position and historic significance are not resolved at the Davos world forum – and that proclamations and the mapping out of common policy are not enough in themselves.