EU om EU:s symboler
Ever closer union Federalism
In 2007 the European Union marks the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome
Government leaders have already agreed to celebrate it ceremoniously, restating their commitment to “ever closer union”
The Economist 27/12 2006
In 2007 the European Union marks the 50th anniversary of another treaty—the Treaty of Rome, its founding charter. Government leaders have already agreed to celebrate it ceremoniously, restating their commitment to “ever closer union” and the basic ideals of European unity. By itself, and in normal circumstances, the EU’s 50th-birthday greeting to itself would be fairly meaningless, a routine expression of European good fellowship. But it does not take a Machiavelli to spot that once governments have signed the declaration (and it seems unlikely anyone would be so uncollegiate as to veto it) they will already be halfway towards committing themselves to a new treaty. All that will be necessary will be to incorporate the 50th-anniversary declaration into a new treaty containing a number of institutional and other reforms extracted from the failed attempt at constitution-building and—hey presto—a new quasi-constitution will be ready.
According to the German government—which holds the EU’s agenda-setting presidency during the first half of 2007 — there will be a new draft of a slimmed-down constitution ready by the middle of the year, perhaps to put to voters, perhaps not. There would then be a couple of years in which it will be discussed, approved by parliaments and, perhaps, put to voters if that is deemed unavoidable. Then, according to bureaucratic planners in Brussels and Berlin, blithely ignoring the possibility of public rejection, the whole thing will be signed, sealed and a new constitution delivered in 2009-10.