Friday, June 02, 2006

Europe: Time for a multi-speed model?

Europhobia: The EU - one size fits all?:
it is time ... to reject the one size fits all model. The very existence of the Eurozone proves that it can be done - and add to that the complex Venn diagram of European relations that brings in the Schengen Agreement, Council of Europe, EFTA and the like, you have the beginnings of a model that everyone could be happy with. A core Europe of Eurozone states who can happily push forward with political and economic integration whenever they please, with various decreasing intensities of membership on the periphery ... If the majority of Europe DOESN'T want political unification (which, for the forseeable future, will remain the case), why should that majority prevent the minority of countries that do want closer unification from so doing?
Pretty much agree with him here, I've never got the objection to a multi speed Europe, nor understood why France, Germany and BeNeLux can't create a federation within a greater unit if that's what they want.

Then again, the Schengen opt out for Britain still makes no sense to me whatsoever either.
Technorati tags: , ,


Anonymous said...

Why multi-speed; why not an EU-brake?

The problem with the EU in many people's eyes is that it appears to have no end-game, it's just rolling federalism, and an increase in bureacracy and centralism.

Rather than progress with a multi-speed EU why not wait and decide collectively where it is actually going as a federation? Or is that too sensible?

I can see parallels with the 'rolling democracy' that we have in the UK. Different nations moving at differents speeds (some not moving at all) putting an intolerable political strain on the whole unit. It's bloody stupid.....But then you know my views on that. 

Posted by Toque

Anonymous said...

Fantastic, I take it reverse is one of the speeds? ;-)

The inner core that wants to become a single federal state can do so, and anyone that wants just a free trade area (no CAP, no CFP, no customs union, no Parilament, no other Parliament, no micromanaging regulations etc.) can have that as well. Everybody can get the bits they want without the bits they don't, such as eurosceptic brits threatening to veto just about everything. 

Posted by chris

Anonymous said...

Gareth, as I've written before, I favour a reformed, democratised and decentralised EU. Essentially, making it open and democratic means, by default, making it a proper federation. If some of the member states want to pool more power, let them. Also, if we make it multi speed, then we can tell the French that we're not paying their farm subsidies anymore.

And as you know, I do agree that Blair et al have really botched the UK model up as is. Really must get my post on the Spanish model at least intot he drafting stage at some point.

Chris? To have the free trade area, you need some rules governing trade, contracts, etc. They need to be enforced. Minimally, yes, but they need enforcement. I'd rather a parliament to a Council of Ministers meeting in secret and blaming the Commission for everything that they voted for. 

Posted by MatGB

MatGB said...

Oh yeah. Chris, meet Gareth. He just moved in down the road from us.

Anonymous said...

The (not my) objection to a multi speed EU as I understand it, is that if the next stage of integration is inevitable anyway, by letting it go ahead without you means you have less say in how it is done, and so you will lose out in the end.


Posted by Joe Otten

Anonymous said...

That's the main one, and of course if we're not involved, odds are the French would would a much more statist/centralist model than any of us would be happy with.

Of course the real challenge for thee and me is to sell the idea of a democratic, decentralised, federal Europe with as much power as possible held as locally as possible.

I'm such an idealist at times... 

Posted by MatGB