Unfortunately neither the UK nor the EU will be brave enough to make something clever from the UK referendum on Europe. At the best it will help to improve some marginal points of today’s Europe, but it will not address the urgent need of a two-speed Europe and if will not put a final point to the psycho pathetic relation that UK entertains with Europe.
It is unreasonable to try to lead a European project with some targeting an ever-closer union and other jealously defending the sovereignty of their crowns. We end with the illegitimate, illegible and inefficient monster that we currently have and that we all hate, even if it is for totally different reasons.
Since 2008 we have been suffering enough from the weaknesses of the poor intergovernmental governance of the current Europe. The needs were so obvious that we decided to go for a banking union, and a big majority also recognizes that the fiscal and social unions have to follow soon. However, for ideological reasons, this lesson which was, and still is paid by crisis and a lot of social suffering, will never be accepted by the member states not agreeing on the final target of the European project.
Interestingly the crisis put again the federal question on the agenda, just because a true federation is the only way to have a democratic and efficient control on the activity of the center that we are building. The absence of any working democratic federal control is in my views the main source of the frustrations and even complete reject of the current Europe. But it is clear that it would be crazy to try to impose this federal logic to those not willing to join any further stage, and it would be a simple suicide to condition this evolution to the agreement of all the members.
UK is not the only country not being at ease with the union path that the euro area has to quickly follow if it wants to survive.
Then instead of trying to soften the debate, or to avoid it, we should let UK take the lead on the definition of what the non-euro Europe should be. With only one condition, this simplified EU should not have the ambition to interfere with or slow down the process of those having decided to go for an ever-closer Union.
Knowing our lukewarm and indolent Europe, I am sure we shall spend hours and nights finding nice compromises, brilliant but void words, totally irrelevant and useless but allowing to all to save face. i.e. as usual we shall waste time and energy.
In fact the question raised by the UK is strategic: how do we cope with the countries not so much willing to be dragged into an ever-closer union? It is a key question at a time where we finally start to admit that we need more Europe.
Then better first address the question of those willing less Europe.
It will also help us to open the door to new candidates like Turkey, Ukraine or even Russia. At the end we need both enlargement and integration, and both are possible on the same time, we have just to define precisely the 2 different frames.
Let us then shape a UK EU and a federal eurozone.