Kissinger's 'one phone number' for Europe?

EUobserver / New treaty will not create 'one phone number' for Europe: "Summing up the one-number issue, Antonio Missiroli from the European Policy Centre wondered if the image of a 'Brussels-based switchboard' was not more appropriate to describe the new institutional set-up once the Lisbon Treaty comes into force."

Tomorrow there is going to be a dinner for the selection of the top two functionaries of the EU and the discussion continues as to whether we are dealing with the EU or with the member states. The Swedish EU commissioner elect, Cecilia Malmström, said that EU will continue to be important for issues that span the nations such as climate change, jobs-internal market, crime and peace. Malmström is apparently a federalistic European. I also consider myself a federalist, as long as these continue to exist.

Another continuous discussion is whether there is going to be more or less democracy in the EU as we now move into the era of the Lisbon Treaty? I would like to reiterate a post I made one and a half year ago after an interview of Vaclav Havel that was made in the Financial Times.

"We turn to Europe. Havel, a passionate pro-European, is keen that the European Union's constitutional Treaty should be kept alive despite its rejection in the recent Irish referendum. He is convinced the EU will muddle through, ignoring President Klaus' misgivings, says the Czech Republic should press on with ratification. Only then, he believes, should the EU consider a simpler Treaty: "It would be best now to select some three or four people who could create a beautiful, simple constitution that children could learn about at school."

So, Havel has a generational perspective on the EU and was right on the success of the Lisbon Treaty. This is music to my ears and now when the US-ASEAN summit has defined a rather distant realm, perhaps it will usher in a new climate of cooperation in Europe. Then later it might be time to even elect a president of the EU and finally get that phone number.

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