OPINION

Failure in Brussels

The failure of the recent EU summit in Brussels has catapulted to center stage the problems that have plagued the process of European integration. The altercation over decision-making in the bloc is only the tip of the iceberg. Spain and Poland would not have been able to display such intransigence was it not for a political undercurrent that allows such behavior – behavior that is underpinned by internal and external factors… The integration process has reached a crucial turning point. If the EU wants to play a global political role that corresponds to its economic leverage, it will have to transcend this point. The decision to go on with EU enlargement before completing ratification of the European Constitution demonstrates that common sense is lacking in Brussels. Britain has always put the brakes on the integration process. In a union of 25 members, London will be able to do so even more effectively. This is because, on the one hand, Eastern European nations will need some time before they can adapt to the EU’s mentality and, on the other, because their political alliance with Washington is not circumstantial. These internal antagonisms would have limited impact were they not fed by Washington’s drive to halt the EU’s political emancipation… Madrid and Warsaw had an interest in defending the scandalous privileges given to them by the Nice agreement. But they would never have gone as far as to wreck the Brussels summit were it not for Washington’s instigation and political backing.