The last EU summit showed what is the biggest problem of EU countries. Prioritising. Instead of talking about really important things most of the summit and its “extra time” were devoted to a secondary problem. Yes, you read it right. The question of the UK staying or not in the EU is currently of secondary importance. The existence of the EU will not depend of the British staying or leaving but it depends on the (common) solution to the refugee crisis and its causes in Syria, the Middle East and Africa.
After David’s wish list from last November we got Donald’s answer. On Tuesday, the president of the European Council sent to the presidents of EU governments the draft of the agreement that would prevent the leaving of the UK from the EU. The letter, accompanied by the draft decision to be adopted by the European Council, represents the basis for the debate during the next EU Summit scheduled for the next 18th and 19th February in Brussels. Similarly to Cameron’s requests, the answer too is divided into four “baskets”.
3 billion euros, speed up of visa liberalisation and acceleration of EU accession negotiations. This is briefly what Turkey got on Sunday’s summit with EU leaders in exchange of limiting the refugees’ arrivals to Europe. Article 2 of the Treaty of the EU states that “The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.” However, as everything, also this values have their price.
Nothing really new or thrilling. This is how we could summarize the British “wish list”, sent by Prime Minister David Cameron to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk on Tuesday, in which are contained the “four main areas where the United Kingdom is seeking reform.” The letter and its requests represent the basis for negotiations and talks with other EU Member States during the next European Council summit in December. What are the wishes that the EU and its other 27 states should realize to keep the UK in the Union?
If there will be no fast action in dealing with the refugee crisis, “the EU will start to fall apart.” With this quote the Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar warned the heads of State of the countries along the “Balkan” refugee route, who attended last Sunday’s special summit, and other heads of State, about the seriousness of the situation the EU has to cope with. Even if he was quoted by several (European and world) media (the quote was listed also on the list of the 10 most apocalyptic warnings on EU’s future prepared by POLITICO) and it has to be taken seriously into account, it hasn’t brought any bigger action.
While in Slovenia, where the outgoing government sent to the president-elect of the Commission Jean-Claude Juncker a list of three nominees for the Slovenian commissioner, we are still discussing about the legitimacy and even legality of such nomination, the new Commission team is slowly forming. Even if it was expected that the whole team would be put together before Saturday’s European Council summit, it seems rather impossible. In fact, on Saturday it is expected the nomination of the new president of the European Council and the new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The naming of this two figures will play an important role in the filling of the Commissioners seats.