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In addition, France's prima donna President has a decidedly negative effect on EU governance at the moment. Not only does he hijack existing initiatives to the greater glory of Sarko only to drop them when the photo-op has been obtained, but he also has fostered a culture where there is a directoire of a few large (and conservative) governments hashing out EU policy with Barroso and then ramming it through the EU Council. Even mid-sized states are not happy.

EurActiv: Big member states 'backing out of EU', warns Hungary FM (27 April 2009 )

Balázs, who is a former EU commissioner, said that large member states were looking to "strengthen" the role of other institutions as alternative decision-making fora.

The foreign minister said Germany had been working "to seize economic institutions and to strengthen the G20" since 2007.

In line with views recently expressed by Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht (EurActiv 21/04/09), he argued that the aim of such actions was to leave smaller EU member states "behind", with larger members preferring to deal with states that have "similar influence and weight".

and EU increasingly governed by the few, Belgian FM warns (21 April 2009)
With just a year to go until the Belgian EU Presidency, the country's foreign minister denounced the functioning of the Union, which he said is increasingly governed by an "executive board of big countries".

Speaking on Monday (20 April) at the opening of an annual diplomatic conference in Brussels, Karel de Gucht said Belgium would make full use of its presidency in the second half of 2010 to re-establish the EU institutional balance, which he said was in "danger".

"It is absolutely unacceptable that small groups of member states put in danger the normal institutional process," de Gucht said. "Belgium has the duty of trying as quickly as possible to re-establish the institutional balance."



Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 28th, 2009 at 03:25:49 PM EST
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I think I may actually have the same point of view, but I just wanted to make clear something: whereas french way of managing public policy is far from perfect, it is representative f, let say, a more long term policy. Germany is usually quoted for having the same kind of policy.

In Europe, due to political competition between countries, it is tradionnally difficult to have a strongly regulated policy (each country tend to prefer it's own version of "strongly regulated", which hurts the neighbourg's pride/interests/tactic).

In this context, deregulatory policies were a win win solution: when you wwouldn't accept to comply with your opponent rules, you will accept to cancel all rules. What has not been apparent was that this behaviour was really hurting EU hability to keep its policy under its citizen's (or governement) control, giving instead the power to rich private interests from all over the world.

My analysis is that the EU lacked a political will all these years, because no political personal was ready to give up on sovereignty.(and the last decision about packaging rules is typical: a common "regulated" rule is given up for the sake of a few private interests).

EU is political, it is about creating a federal state, and some people don't want it (UK, Sweden, Eastern europe). So: is there anybody to accept that division? Is there any political debate about this? No. And time is running short for years. I'm interpreting the 2005 fiasco as the "stop everything" from voters tired of not knowing the actual direction for EU.

I hope I'm explaining myself...

by Xavier in Paris on Tue Apr 28th, 2009 at 04:06:06 PM EST
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