Europe, towards an “Ever Closer Union” ?

A comparison between Italy and the UK
Giovanni Brauzzi, University of Birmingham, 13 March 2008

• The dream • Some nightmares in Europe • The reality today

The Dream
• • • • • • Ventotene Manifesto Zurich Speech Schuman Declaration De Gasperi Proposal Messina Conference Rome Treaty (1941) (1946) (1950) (1952) (1955) (1957)

Ventotene Manifesto (1941)
• …The dividing line between progressive and reactionary falls along a very new and substantial line: those who conceive the essential purpose and goal of struggle as being the ancient one, the conquest of national political power, and who, although involuntarily, play into the hands of reactionary forces, letting the incandescent lava of popular passions set in the old moulds, and thus allowing old absurdities to arise once again, and those who see the main purpose as the creation of a solid international State, who will direct popular forces towards this goal, and who, even if they were to win national power, would use it first and foremost as an instrument for achieving international unity. • …The foundation must be built now for a movement that knows how to mobilize all forces for the birth of the new organism which will be the grandest creation, and the newest, that has occurred in Europe for centuries; in order to constitute a steady federal State, that will have at its disposal a European armed service instead of national armies; that will break decisively economic autarkies, the backbone of totalitarian regimes; that will have sufficient means to see that its deliberations for

Zurich Speech (1946)
• I wish to speak to you today about the tragedy of Europe. • Among the victors there is a babel of jarring voices; among the vanquished the sullen silence of despair. • Yet all the while there is a remedy which, if it were generally and spontaneously adopted, would as if by a miracle transform the whole scene, and would in a few years make all Europe, or the greater part of it, as free and as happy as Switzerland is today. • What is this sovereign remedy? • It is to re-create the European Family, or as much of it as we can, and provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace,

Schuman Declaration (1950)
• World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it. The contribution which an organized and living Europe can bring to civilization is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations. • Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany. Any action taken must in the first place concern these two countries. • By pooling basic production and by instituting a new High Authority, whose decisions will bind France, Germany and other member countries, this proposal will lead to the realization of the first concrete foundation of a European federation indispensable to the preservation of peace.

De Gasperi Proposal (1952)
• In May 1952, at the negotiations for the Treaty establishing the European Defence Community, Italy obtained the insertion of a clause (art. 38) envisaging the future creation of an European Political Authority. • The idea, developed in consultation with Altiero Spinelli, was that a sort of European army needed the guidance of a truly European political leadership. • De Gasperi, thanks to the support of Schuman and Adenauer, was able to speed up the initiative, so that, on 10 September 1952, the ECSC Council of Ministers transformed its Parliamentary Assembly into an Ad Hoc Assembly tasked to prepare, within 6 months, a draft Treaty establishing a European Political Community. • The initiative did not survived the rejection of the EDC

Messina Conference (1955)
• The governments of the Federal Republic of Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands believe the time has come to take a new step on the road of European construction. They are of the opinion that this objectives should be achieved first of all in the economic sphere. • They believe that the establishment of a united Europe must be achieved through the development of common institutions, the progressive fusion of national economies, the creation of a common market, and the gradual harmonization of their social policies. • Such an agenda seems indispensable to them if Europe is to “Gentlemen, you are trying to negotiate something preserve the standing which she has in the world, to restore you will never be able to negotiate. But if negotiated, the influence and her prestige, and to improve it steadily the it will not be ratified. And if ratified, will not work”. living standard of the population.
The British observer at the Messina Conference

Treaty of Rome (1957)

“The neglect since 1975 by the “Europeans” among us to address ourselves to the large issue at stake about the destiny of Europe was a mistake. We should have insisted, forcefully and loudly, that we have agreed, by the terms of the preamble to the Treaty of Rome, to associate ourselves with an organisation whose long-term aim was explicitly to achieve “an ever closer union” of the European peoples. We should have discussed what this grand phrase, “ever closer union”, meant. We had accepted, after all, the “acquis communautaire”, the accumulated wisdom and aspirations of the six founding nations, before we joined”.

Recent nightmares for Europe

Bruges Speech (1988)
• If you believe some of the things said and written about my views on Europe, it must seem rather like inviting Genghis Khan to speak on the virtues of peaceful coexistence! • Had it not been for that willingness to fight and to die, Europe would have been united long before now—but not in liberty, not in justice. • The European Community is one manifestation of that European identity, but it is not the only one. • We Europeans cannot afford to waste our energies on internal disputes or arcane institutional debates. They are no substitute for effective action. • To try to suppress nationhood and concentrate power at the centre of a European conglomerate would be highly damaging and would jeopardise the objectives we seek to achieve. • We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them re-imposed at a European level with a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels. • Let Europe be a family of nations, understanding each other

French and Dutch Referendums (2005)

Tabloid Jingoism
The Sun, 12 Dec 2006 999 crew on way… after break PARAMEDICS are being forced to finish tea breaks before attending 999 calls under barmy EU rules. Ambulance staff warned patients could die after the dozy diktat comes info force today. The rules mean London crews can only get called out in the last ten minutes of their half-hour tea breaks. If there is a road traffic accident, or a heart attack or stroke victim collapses outside their station, they still cannot go to help.

The Daily Mail, 21 November 2007 EU votes on sex partner survey A census demanding details about women’s sexual partners is today being voted on by MEPs today. The Euro survey will go to every household if it gets the go-ahead. But opponents say women should protest by claiming to have had 1,000 lovers or be virgins.

The Daily Telegraph, 7 February 2003 Free-range farms will be forced to stamp every egg The future of hundreds of specialist free-range and organic egg producers is under threat because the European Commission has ordained that, from next year, every egg must be stamped with its home address.

The “ever closer union” today

How difficult is to ride a bicycle “sur place”

Is it the end of the road ?

“It is time to move on from institutional changes. We expect no change in the foreseeable future so that the Union will be able to fully concentrate on other challenges ahead”. British PM Gordon Brown

The challenges ahead
• • • • • Implementing the Lisbon Agenda Completing the Enlargement Completing the Single Market Energy, Environment and Climate Change CFSP and ESDP

THE ITALIAN PERCEPTIONS OF EUROPE • The background • The constitutional framework • The challenges today

How best to safeguard NATIONAL INTERESTS in the presence of: •Few commodities •Limited energy sources •Aging and shrinking population •No way of keeping gates closed •Cultural and institutional pluralism •Universal vision •Lessons from old and recent past


Art. 11 of Italian Constitution: Italy rejects war as an instrument of aggression against the liberties of other people and as a means for settling international controversies; it agrees, on conditions of equality with other States, to such limitations of sovereignty as may be necessary for an international order aimed at ensuring peace and justice among Nations; it promotes and encourages international

he limitation of sovereignty which , for every country, the price of the articipation in an integrated ternational nternational system, becomes less nerous the more a country is able o contribute genuinely to the definition of the policy of international fora

National Interest in International Fora :

Italian priorities
• Being part of the leading group in the European integration process • Strengthening transatlantic relations • Avoiding marginalisation at the UN

European challenges for Italy
• • • • • • • • Remain in the Euro zone mainstream Implement the Lisbon Agenda Digest the new European Social Model A common front against organized crime Tackle aggressively climate change Avoid exclusion within the leading group A single voice in world affairs Keep momentum in the integration process

THE BRITISH PERCEPTIONS OF EUROPE • The background • The constitutional peculiarities • The challenges today

The background
Britain as Europe’s rescuer:
“A determination to plan for a future beyond victory has helped to sustain the British spirit throughout the war and has produced the spectacle of a nation with its life in peril nevertheless carrying through domestic reforms of unparalleled magnitude” What Britain has done
1939-1945, issued by the Ministry of Information. 1945.

Britain as a global hub:
“If you looked at the post-bag of any English village and examined the letters coming in from abroad, ninety per cent would come from way beyond Europe” Anthony Eden, early Fifties. “Europe remained a speculative venture, all right for other countries, quite unlikely to come to anything, and, in any case, a project that could never dent the immortal verities that sustained the independent British state” Hugo Young, This Blessed Plot, London

The British constitutional peculiarities
• • • • An unwritten constitution. No to Hitler and Charlemagne …and also to Napoleon and to the Pope. “No need for change, things are already going badly enough”.

The challenges today for the UK
• Being in and out simultaneously • Leading role in global issues • Key importance of a strong national footprint • Can the UK afford the Swiss/Norwegian model ? • Is a global perspective still possible without the European approach ?

Different perceptions
Pooling of sovereignty European seat in the UNSC European Charter of Fundamental Rights European Court of Justice expansion of opportunities expansion of opportunities expansion of opportunities expansion of opportunities

limitation of prerogatives limitation of prerogatives limitation of prerogatives limitation of prerogatives


The Groucho Marx Syndrome


Some quotations from the lecture of the President of the Italian Republic H.E. Signor Giorgio Napolitano "IS THERE A FUTURE FOR EUROPEAN INTEGRATION?" London, LSE, 12 October 2006
•The question now is whether the political will is there in our countries to continue that process of integration… •Modern politics and economics have not just a national or global dimension. There exists also a European dimension as shaped and brought into operation by the integration of our countries in the Community of Six and now in the Union… •Demand for Europe has been growing and is now heard throughout the world. We have a duty to respond to this call… •Your country, with its own sensibility deriving from its own history - but then the history of every European nation is different from all others' - contributed decisively to the birth of the European ideal. First by standing up heroically against Nazi fascism during the Second World War. Then by pointing - as Winston Churchill did in a prophetic speech - to the prospect of a "regional organisation of Europe" to be undertaken without delay : "If we are to form a United States of Europe, or whatever name it may take, we must begin now“… •The endeavour goes on. It is not over and Europe still needs the United Kingdom as a source of equilibrium on the continent and as an inspiration for its civil and democratic future. We are about to

• • • • • • Europe needs the UK and the UK needs Europe Europe needs the world and the world needs Europe Italy needs the UK, Europe and the world and has something to offer to all of them