No federal Europe at sight

The last EU summit of the year will not take the path of economic and monetary union closer. A federal Europe remains unreachable. The fault lies with Berlin and Paris, who have agreed to bury the roadmap which was presented to them by Herman Van Rompuy. The debate on the future of the Union has been kicked into the long grass to return in 2014, after the German and European elections.

François Hollande and Angela Merkel are doing a stark disservice to the European Union. The Franco-German duo, for once in agreement, yesterday decided to bury a strategic debate on the future of Europe. It’s a debate that has been delayed, confuscated or even prohibited.

Before the meeting, the 27 EU countries had committed to adopting a “roadmap” policy before the end of the year. This was to set out the milestones of an “intégration solidaire” (united integration), to use a cryptic utterance dear to French President Holland. What financial solidarity? What common budgetary capacity? What democratic oversight?

It was not about wrapping up every issue, or engaging in an irresponsible headlong rush, but about setting in motion all the institutions of the Union, and, above all, about opening up a major and open debate. For at least two reasons: the survival of the euro zone is at stake, and the 27 member states have not averted the disaster by deciding, at each one of the numerous “last chance” summits, on another move forward regarding financial solidarity amongst themselves.

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