Europe Day--a day late for obvious reasons

Europhiles lead 'economic governance' calls on Europe Day EurActiv: "'The financial, economic and social crisis presently affecting Europe and the World needs decisive answers and demands urgent action,' warned the European Movement, a pro-EU integration campaign group, at the weekend."

They are not dead yet, apparently, the people hailing Shuman's speech 60 years ago that started all the EU fuss. People are now discussing what actually happened last night. Is it Sarkozy's economic government of his call from the French chairmanship of the EU? Is it an attempt of stabilization but no money down for the "lazy" Greeks? How much is left of the Maastricht Treaty?

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, above at the Telegraph, writes that this weekend's deal demands even more belt-tightening from Club Med countries. Is the current crisis leading to more political integration of the EU or less? Most people seem to think that what we just saw was only temporary relief. Anders Borg, the Swedish Finance Minister, said something on the news that I interpreted as meaning Club Med countries have to tax themselves more if they are going to keep their social models. He did not seem to mean that they had lost their sovereignty. But then again what does more belt-tightening then mean. Evans-Pritchard suggests that a new state is forming in front of our eyes.

The timing of all this is interesting. Because this federalistic push takes place right at the British hung parliament where the Brown government does not want to commit themselves to something expensive Continentalish and Euroish. To their dismay they had to furnish £10bn for the "stabilization". The eurosceptic Britons, on the other hand, have their election right on Europe Day.

Angela Merkel, on her side, visited a military parade on the Red Square celebrating the demise of the Nazis on the same day as she lost an important election in North Rhine-Westphalia, the largest German Land with 18m inhabitants. Nicholas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi actually should have joined her but stayed home instead due to the financial crisis according to New York Times. Merkel, in my mind, reverted a little to her East German descent this week-end.

Taken together, all this probably point in an attempt for business as usual. Carl Bildt speak of taking the long term perspective and it does not seem like the French and the Germans have similar projects which cast some doubts over Europe Day.

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