Sunday 27 May 2007


Every working day Open Europe monitors the European press to fault the European Union. Sometimes the organisation publishes a longer piece like its recent “The New Treaty: What will it mean and do we need a referendum?”.

This paper deals with most of the questions on the table of European Union leaders ahead of the June European Council.

Open Europe discusses what is likely to be in the new treaty:

· An EU President
· An EU Foreign Minister, and more powers for the EU over foreign policy
· Reducing British ability to block legislation
· More majority voting?

Open Europe does not find a kind word to say about any of the reforms being discussed. It then moves on to demand a referendum.

For a European citizen it is fascinating to read arguments that totally ignore the interests of Europeans, the European Union and the good the EU could achieve in the world, given the tools.

In the end, it is difficult to avoid the impression that everything British is superior, anything European is inferior and every proposal from Brussels is a curse. Only thus can the real underpinning of the arguments be understood.

But is it really an ethical position to be member of a union only to maximise one’s chances to fly solo, to obstruct progress and to sabotage decision-making? Or is the purpose of Open Europe to beat a retreat behind the moat and to restart an era of “splendid isolation”?

Ralf Grahn

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