Friday, 21 May 2010

Eurozone governance: Cameron nixes treaty change

According to the BBC, UK prime minister David Cameron has politely told chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin that he wants to play a positive role in Europe and that a strong eurozone is in the UK’s own interest.

However, Cameron excludes any treaty change giving the European Union more powers to shore up the eurozone, and he referred to the unanimity rule and the British veto. Cameron also excluded British participation in “bolstering” the euro. (By this I understand financial stabilisation measures.)

These are essentially the same things Cameron said the previous day, when he met president Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris.

UK government programme

While adding non-participation in financial stabilisation, what Cameron said is contained in the agreement between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats: The Coalition: our programme for government.

Here are three relevant excerpts:

We will ensure that there is no further transfer of sovereignty or powers over the course of the next Parliament.

We will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that any proposed future treaty that transferred areas of power, or competences, would be subject to a referendum on that treaty – a ‘referendum lock’. We will amend the 1972 European Communities Act so that the use of any passerelle would require primary legislation.

We will ensure that Britain does not join or prepare to join the Euro in this Parliament.

The inadequacy of the Lisbon Treaty rules on economic governance is in plain view. If monetary union without fiscal and political union is a structural weakness, there are two coherent responses for EU leaders:

1) Make necessary changes to the EU treaties, or
2) openly act to dismantle the eurozone.

Best wishes for the eurozone, while vetoing necessary treaty change, comes awfully close to the Leninist saying to give the Mensheviks support in the same way as the rope supports a hanged man.

Ralf Grahn