Good management is necessary,
but not sufcient to protect the
It is worth noting that the ambitious reaty o Lisbonenshrines the multi-speed model by adding provisionsor making new cooperative undertakings among a ewcountries possible. Tese are the arrangements or so called“reinorced cooperation.” Te provisions have never beenactually used and were not alluded to when concluding thenew reaty. No ad hoc cooperation was launched on thatbasis, despite the act that important cooperative projectshave recently taken o. Recent “reinorced cooperation”initiatives in the economic and monetary areas have theirlegal basis in two ad hoc treaties, concluded by dierentgroups o EU countries outside the Lisbon reaty rame-work. Tis indicates that EU members wishing to pursuemore advanced integration preer to do so outside thegeneral EU ramework, leaving aside the countries notparticipating in their endeavor.
The Case for More Treaty Reform
More may come along the same lines. Te economic crisishas reopened the debate about the easibility o the EUdecision-making process. Afer ten years o laboriousnegotiations, the reaty o Lisbon came into orce in 2009.It ended a period o requent treaty changes which hadstarted with the reaty on the Single European Marketin 1986 and had accelerated in 1991 with the Maastrichtreaty. With the reaty o Lisbon in orce, conventionalwisdom held that a long period o constitutional stability could only be benecial. oday this proposition is debat-able.Te economic crisis has shown the weaknesses o thedecision-making process. It has demonstrated that theEU needs institutions able to ensure rm political guid-ance. Good management is necessary, but not sucientto protect the euro. In order to saeguard the currency,EU political institutions need to back up the authoritiesmanaging the euro.In recent months leading personalities rom a range o continental countries have repeatedly called or the transero more political and economic power to the Europeaninstitutions. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a largenumber o the German public share this view. In conver-sations with other European leaders, Merkel has raisedthe idea o introducing a new system o EU governance,such as concrete constitutional reorms. Seeking to ndconsensus with her proposals, the chancellor has invited asmall group o government leaders to a meeting to engagein inormal discussions on the subject in June, ensuring“more Europe” is at the heart o the German initiative.Prior to the European Parliament’s spring 2014 election,this initiative is likely to have produced a new draf Euro-pean treaty. Its purpose will be to establish institutionsempowered to eectively manage the euro and its relatedeconomic union with the intention o progressing towardpolitical unity. It should also provide or new EU powersin undamental policy areas like taxation, security, andoreign policy.Te new treaty will eventually be supported and ratied by countries willing and able to pursue this more advancedstage o European integration. Tis may happen by creatinga separate union around a core o pro-integration coun-tries. Te original EU — as it was developed until today — will continue to bind the 27 member states as well asuture member states. However, it will be complementedby a union made up o a smaller number o countries. Tisgroup will have agreed to pool larger portions o nationalcompetencies and powers together. It will be the “hardcore” or “vanguard” — the nucleus o a reinorced EU. Tetreaties signed this year seem to suggest that this will be thepath towards greater integration among the willing.Te crucial question in the months ahead really concernswhich countries will be part o it. Tere are two relevantparameters. o qualiy or the more integrated group, thecountry must be, rst, willing, and, secondly, capable o adequately perorming when it comes to the new responsi-bilities. Currently, 17 out o the 27 members have proved tobe willing and able to participate to the euro. Great Britainand Sweden have declared their unwillingness, whileBulgaria or Romania have admitted to lack the capability.
Te euro is the most advanced EU achievement. Tereore,it would seem natural, but not certain, that the 17 eurocountries will orm the hard core, the nucleus. It is notcertain because a number o euro countries may be not be