Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Europe vs. Europe (ref: J.M. Barroso, Portugal)

As the XCIVth Brussels summit broke up with Brian Cowan looking both physically and metaphorically like the new Gordon Brown, it strikes me that the coverage missed out one little detail that's worth considering as we go forward over the next few months.

Specifically, it's worth remembering that the Treaty is the result of negotiations between twenty-seven democratically-elected governments as they existed during the intergovermental conference during the summer of 2007. And democracy has this tendency not to stand still, to the extent that, since September 2007 we have seen;

  • New governments following elections in Belgium, Cyprus and Poland
  • A new governing coalition in Italy
  • New heads of government following retirements in Ireland and Latvia
  • Election wins for governing coalitions in Denmark, Greece, Malta and Spain

Furthermore, by the time of the next summit in October (where Ireland are due to come back with proposals), we will definitely have seen elections in Slovenia and Lithuania as well.

Not that I particularly think that any of that matters. It's just worth noting that if some renegotiation is needed, the goalposts will have moved quite significantly.

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