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The European Council: the walk of the crab

Results of the European Council, 18-19th June 2009

How hard it is to make progress!

The European Union has become the battlefield of minor yet urgent national interests, the European Council meetings a place of bitter, technical negotiations.

It is hard to distinguish a long term vision of Europe in this and it is even more difficult to find the energy we require, that is all the more necessary given the crisis we are facing.

However matters are edging forward.

Ireland has obtained new guarantees which it enjoyed in the first place. It will vote again on the reform of the institutions.

By the end of the year the Union may be able to close the painful, interminable chapter on the reform of the institutions.

This will change matters a great deal.

The proposals put forward in the La Rosière report on vital financial supervision in Europe were approved a second time. These will give rise to texts that for the first time ever, will organize a restrictive authority with regard to this.

This can be heralded as a success.

The European immigration policy will be finalised and developed. This is vital.

All of this is positive and is moving in the right direction but we are expecting much better!

The Franco-German contribution was decisive in the achievement of this progress. The Union still requires a driving force.

There isn’t another one anyway.

With the new institutions we might hope that not only will the European Councils be the skilful work of expert diplomats but also a meeting of stronger political wills.

So let’s be patient until that time comes accepting a Union that progresses like a crab rather than at a giant’s pace!

After all in the face of the rising tide it is the pragmatic technique which will lead to better days; which means real change in the approach to European affairs.