#Bratislava Summit: Roadmap Illusion

 

treaty-of-rome

Assessing the perspectives of informal #Bratislava Summit #EU27 Roadmap one has a difficulty to see any light in the end of a tunnel. Paradoxically the first Summit of #EU27 without the #UK appeared to be tumultuous, marked by disagreements, pessimism, and blame-games between the leaders, who with astonishing frankness have drawn new dividing lines among European nations.

A symbolism of a common Roadmap requested by #Merkel can hardly mislead anyone by its highly illusionary nature within a new dynamic situation while polarizing groups of states with conflicting interests created among EU members .

While Mediterranean members complain about #Merkel’s austerity
policy, the East Europeans Vicegrad group vigorously oppose migrant open-door strategy, and its consequences for security, rejecting quota relocating system.
The Italian Prime Minister #Renzi informed press  about his criticism of German surplus trade effects, rejecting any common press-conference by the end of the Summit. The crisis of Italian banks is becoming a pressing issue, but so far the #EU hasn’t changed its austerity line,  which fired back on popularity of  #Renzi government.
The Italian PM position came on the top of the wave of Mediterranean countries discontent with Brussels and Berlin worded in “Athens declaration” (9.09.2016) after conference of so-called Club-Med countries demanding to put an end to ‘Stablitiy and Growth Pact’,  thus changing rules of eurozone, meaning the end of austerity imposed by Germany.
Rebellion of Mediterranean and East European leaders became more sound, than before #Brexit vote.
Moreover after the long pause between the #Brexit referendum and evocation of article 50 the warning of Luxembourg Foreign minister #Asselborn to suspend #Hungary from the EU for its dissent were not taken seriously as nobody knows how to carry out #Brexit, and logically one more country falling out would only adds degree of heat to the EU crisis.
Facing the rise of Euroskepticism reflected in a number of processes across Europe with Hungarian referendum on migrants, Italian referendum on Constitutional reform, German, Dutch, and French elections – the whole ensemble of events that might lead to serious reconstruction of the EU project to advantage of the nation-states, especially with ‘Prime-Minister Geert Wilders’ and ‘President Marine Le Pen’. The only way to survival will be in tempering the Eurocrat’s appetite and transferring of powers from Brussels to member-states, and сreating a flexible network for cooperation, in the other words a the notorious ‘à la carte’. The question is if Brusssls is ready for reform?..
However not everyone might be happy with these solutions, preferring organizations without foreign policy and military ambitions like EFTA, who express readiness to consider the UK membership, and might welcome some other discontent EU members.
From Bratislava Summit #EU27 in one year one might witness a birth of new alliances grown from current sub-groups of the EU: the UK and Nordic countries joining EFTA, and the fragilized EU with major subgroups of Mediterranean states, and Vicegrad group under symbolic Franco-German chairmanship.
Finally, by the 25 of March 2017 there will be a big question if there is much to celebrate after 60 years of the EU haphazard integration and galloping expansion.
By the time it might shrink back to its origins to European Economic Community (TEEC) as once it started in Rome in 1957 with slightly different list of participants
-back to square one…
De novo!

#Renzi: bowing to graves

 

 

Merkel Spinelli tomb

The lay of a wreath to Altiero Spinelli tomb during German Chancellor Angela Merkel visit to Italy does not signal any willingness for change of the direction of the #EU27 policy, which already has resulted in the UK break away this very summer. The traditional recipe of throw back to origins and ‘more Europe’ still is seen as a universal remedy. However there is a substantial divergence in interpretation of the EU founding-fathers legacy.

A new ‘political season’ opened on Monday (23/08/2016) this week with a meeting of leaders of Germany and France in Italy, which is risking to become next ‘Greece’ of the #EU. The event was heavily overloaded by symbolic ceremonies, including the bow to Spinelli grave. The progression of idolatry has its reasons in the eroding European project.
The Italian economy hasn’t seen much of growth after entering of the Eurozone last millennium(1999), the problem continuously blamed to an absence of financial flexibility as a major constraint. With the help of his ‘comrade’ French Socialist president Hollande and Spinelli’s federalist legacy at his side, Renzi should have tried hard to convince Merkel to change her views on austerity, due to aggravating situation in Italian banking sector.
Crowded with uncountable branches of 600 banks with a gap of 40 billion euro, Italians invested hopes in Socialists, elected upon a promise to resolve the financial problem, but they have not achieved much so far. Many experts see #Brexit as an ace up Renzi’s sleeve in his talks with Germany as a major EU lender to weaker member-states, however no one has overplayed Merkel in her austerity so far.
Bow to grave of Altiero Spinelli – an Italian intellectual, entering political scene as a Communist, and coming down to history as a passionate European federalist, one of the founding fathers of the #EU, – symbolises Italian loyalty to its European engagement. Referring to Spinelli’s ideas might well reflect the intentions of Renzi to turn to ‘soft power’ and appeal to EU glorious past, while no other argument worked.
In vain, the EU project of founding fathers has mutated beyond imaginary,Spinelli might not have recognised it if Resurrected. There is no certainty he would approve to remain at any cost for his people, suffering not only imposed austerity, but tsunami of migrants from Africa, and highly unpopular sanctions against Russia, hitting the agriculture.
Further the upcoming Constitutional referendum foreseen this fall might seriously weaken position of Rezni as prime-minister is case the citizens will reject his package of reforms, the twist that might lead to chain reaction of down spiral of Italian economy beyond control, and questions a perspective for Renzi to remain at lead. In this case #Itexit definitely makes sense.
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image!”