The BBC’s Mark Mardell wrote an interesting post on his Euroblog on 9 April 2009 A battle with Eurobabble.
During the USA – EU summit president Barack Obama represented the United States, but nobody represented Europe. Instead a number of national prime ministers or presidents addressed each issue.
How is the United States supposed to communicate with a cacophony of voices?
(An aside: Is strenuous American support for EU enlargement going to diminish the communication problems?)
Confusion can reign at national level, too. According to Helsingin Sanomat Halonen ja Vanhanen kehuivat Obama-henkeä (5 April 2009) both prime minister Matti Vanhanen and president Tarja Halonen denied that their competing claims to address the summit was the cause of both being denied the chance to speak.
Are there any lessons for the defenders of intergovernmentalism: freely cooperating sovereign nations (former great powers and all)?
They already have what they want: Bickering member states and leaders competing for two and a half minutes in the limelight are the political reality of the European Union’s supposedly common foreign policy.
Europe’s road to oblivion is paved with petty ambitions.
The real question is what the citizens of the European Union need for a better future.