The last European Council proved once again the inadequacy of the format of this European institution. Europe deserves to be led by something else than this aeropagus of heads of state and government only concerned by the immediate utilisation for their respective domestics agendas of the communication show that the Council allows.
This is also very interesting to notice how the current organisation of the council fully suits our new populist heads of state and government. In fact the Europe born at the Council of Nice in 1999 is already fully theirs. Already 18 years that we experience the limits of an intergovernmental Europe which so well follows their aspiration to a Europe of sovereign nations. And this obviously does not work. Their supporters might be quickly disappointed, or may quickly need other enemies in order to be able to further show self-confidence.
But let us come back to the last Council, what in the conclusions would contribute to solve the current political crisis on immigration control? Well, unfortunately not so much. And before the council I naively thought that the new Italian government could brutally help to put an end to the scandal of the rules of Dublin, to this unacceptable fragmentation of the responsibility which leaves the front end countries almost alone toward refugees flows. And even if the volume of refugees is much smaller today, this council could have, should have be an important step in the preparation of a common European migration policy which we desperately need. But no, unfortunately we did not have even the beginning of that.
We find nice words in the introduction of the document calling for a European solution but we don‘t see any trace of such a solution in the document. We speak about migration centers to be opened on a voluntary basis by European or African countries, but well, do we really need to gather around the European flag to make such void statements? We find also this unfortunately very European habit which consists of being immediately keen to pay a lot of money in order to avoid to take any real responsibility. Then the same who are so loudly fighting against their own paranoia called transfer union are strangely ready to transfer a lot of money, without any control, even to dubious countries like Libya just for the hope that others would be able to help, and consequently leave Europe free of any difficult decision and responsibility. Pitiful.
The council also discussed about defence and security, without anything really new but confirming the necessity to continue the various initiatives recently launched in this field. I have to admit that I am a bit scared by the description on the way the states should simplify and standardise their rules and procedures in this respect. This full respect of the various national sovereignties with no common authority or control reminds me the disastrous governance of the Lisbon strategy with the results that we know. Do you remember? This strategy wanted to make of Europe the most modern innovating economy of the world at the horizon 2010… Not very much encouraging for our today’s defence agenda … Amazing how Europe can show that she is aware of the dangers, knows what should be done, but is totally enable to act properly.
Last but not least, please do not try to find in the conclusions of the council any important aspect of the German-French declaration of Meseberg, issued only 9 days before. No single word on the reform of the Eurozone. Did Mrs Merkel agree on this nice declaration just because she knew that there was no chance to see it considered by any other member of the European Council? Whatever the reason we did not have this time our traditional joint German-French press conference after the summit…
All this does not smell good. Yes it could have been worse, but I really do not like the self-satisfaction shown by all these Electorate Princes and Princesses. It reminds me the absence of any real European leadership during the 2010-2012 crisis. Nice smiles and void communication trying to fix urgent national domestic agendas and hide a pretty disturbing European vacuum. Not a good start for those willing to re-found Europe…