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A Disappointing Start to the Lisbon Treaty

The Lisbon Treaty came into force on 1st December 2009.

Since then discouraging international events have been accumulating against Europe.

The Copenhagen Conference truly was a humiliation.

The final minimum agreement was written between other Powers, excluding Europe.

This demonstrates that exemplarity is not enough to convince and our lack of unity is evident when it comes to negotiating with the Big Boys!

The appointments of the President of the European Council and the European Foreign Minister were disappointing because they did not show that decision makers were prepared to weigh collectively in the international balance.

The start of the rotating Spanish presidency came as a surprise. Madrid preferred six months of badly planned media initiatives rather than strengthen the new institutions – in addition to this their work was to little effect.

In our help to Haiti that has been so cruelly struck the new European Foreign Minister did not see fit to implement joint civil security action which has been put forward for many years in as many reports. We have known for a long time what and how we have to act. This comprised a unique opportunity.

Everyone understands that Europe will pay – as usual – but to no political advantage.

Finally the auditions of the new European Commissioners by the European Parliament presented an opportunity for the settlement of petty disputes between politicians and confirmed that the Assembly in Strasbourg has not even reached the maturity of the American Senate. Lacking the courage to challenge the arguable choice of Briton, Ms Ashton as head of European diplomacy Parliament avenged itself by grilling the Members of the Commission; this was not very refined, was badly organized and the content was confused with the form, consequently this probably led to the appointment of individuals who were rather more technically than politically competent thereby weakening the European Executive  - and it certainly did not need this.

It is urgent to put matters right!

Good usage of the measures included in the Lisbon Treaty, to the greater benefit of the Member States and the Union must be accomplished thanks to everyday
institutional practice that is different and which maintains an overall more ambitious view of Europe’s place and role in the world.

These must count in the same way as its economic force. It must fight to maintain its model of society, assert necessary rules, push through its view of international relations. To do this it has to provide itself with the normal features employed in the international arena ie unity of decision and approach as well as the material credibility of an armed force.

Failing this, decisions will continue to be taken elsewhere. Many are not worried about this being in Washington, the capital of our best ally.

They may start to understand when decisions are being taken in Beijing!