Europe, European Construction, Jacques Delors, European Commission, Federation of Nation-States, Fontainebleau summit, Milan summit, great integrated market, Margaret Thatcher, interstate cooperation, federalist, Nation, Germany reunification, communism, Cold War, optimism, François Mitterand, Maastricht treaty, Rome treaty, monetary Union, immigration, European Army, Europe-puissance, European Central Bank, Euro, enlargment, economy, economic adjustments, politic, Amsterdam Treaty, Nice summit
To try to describe the aim of the European Construction at the beginning of the 90ies, Jacques Delors, president of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995, invented the concept of a Federation of Nation-States. An oxymoron? What does national sovereignty become in such a system?
But still it describes rather well what was attempted during that period: to take a huge step forward without addressing directly the delicate issue of the future of the European Nation-States, and circumventing it. But with ulterior motives of a more federalist nature for some, which were not shared by others. That was to be the root of a major ambiguity.
[...] Potentially 15+13 (without the Balkan countries at the time, apart from Slovenia). That threatened to cause huge problems: - Governance of the Union at 25+ (just imagine, the translations, and the proceedings in any council with 25 delegations . ; and a Commission with 56 members, two by country - And economic adjustments to protect the weaker economies of the East, - And the financial burden for the EU to reconstruct their economies. Spain and Portugal and Italy would lose their regional aids from Brussels to which they would no longer be entitled, the CAP would have to be completely revised (Poland has one third of Europe cultivated land . [...]
[...] So, they put both in the text But it was contradictory and could not be efficient. That is why an intergovernmental conference was foreseen for 1996, which led to the Amsterdam Treaty of 1997. That conference was supposed to iron out the problems of the CFSP, and also to reform the institutions to take into account (belatedly?) the problem of enlargement to the former People Democracies. The monetary union The great innovation of Maastricht. The idea was floating around since the 70ies. [...]
[...] The outcome of Nice was a Treaty, which is valid until 2009 (it's the system we now have). The only real innovation was a new weighting of the voting rights (number of votes for each country) at the Council of Ministers (where many decisions are taken by majority rule). There has always been a complex system, whereby I and GB had the same number of votes, despite differences in their population but to achieve a balance, the smaller countries having more votes than their population would entail (three for Luxembourg . [...]
[...] One of the reasons while the EU grows at the US at Asia at 8-10%. By comparison GB is around 3%. The system is not yet stabilized, in the future: - The ECB adopts a less restrictive policy. - Or the federalists win, and Brussels pushes through a tighter common economic and fiscal policy in order to create a more closely integrated European economy, with the same conditions all over Europe, to support the common currency. - Or the system flies apart, as some maintain it will . [...]
[...] With a European currency, France was supposed to be able to exert some influence on its management. In 1990-1992 everything appeared to be clarified; Europe was now reunited in a liberal democratic system, the CEE would take a new step forward, NATO and US influence would recede, which was greeted with satisfaction in Paris. But in fact, Europe was going to become much more complex than foreseen. 1990-1992: the Maastricht Treaty For two years, intricate negotiations, pushed forward by Bonn and Paris (the Franco German "couple", or "motor") led on February to the Maastricht Treaty. [...]
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