Wednesday 6 January 2010

Britain in 2010: A better year for Europe?

Yesterday’s Grahnlaw blog post dealt with Charles Grant’s view through the CER’s rose-tinted spectacles at the UK Conservatives’ aims in Europe: Britain: A constructive EU curmudgeon? (5 January 2010).

This British “best case scenario” envisioned a Tory government selective about the repatriation fights to pick with the EU member states, mindful of national budget and financial sector interests to pursue, and ready to contribute constructively to some parts of the European agenda.

European engagement in UK terms is setting the bar at basement level in comparison to the European Union as a whole.

Moderation and constructive approach have to be compared to other British opinions in order to appear.

On 1 January 2010 Open Europe Blog published a post with the headline: 2010: A Better Year For Europe?. In essence, it was only an advert for an article on Conservative Home:

Lorraine Mullally: The Conservatives must do better than Labour at representing Britain’s interests in Europe (31 December 2009)

What Mullally labels as needed “radical reform” translates into a call for party leader David Cameron and the Conservative Party to stop and to reverse the process of European integration, at least with regard to Britain.

The comments section brims with distrust of Cameron’s resolve, threats of defection to UKIP, proposals for unilateral revocation of the Lisbon Treaty, calls for various referendums on the European Union, denouncements of the undemocratic nature of the EU, complete disbelief in the possibility to reform the EU etc.

Well, there is one commentator with positive views on the European Union. He is from Ireland.

The best way to describe the mentality of the Conservative activists is by misquoting Douglas Jerrold: The best thing I know between the European Union and England is – the sea.

Not much constructive participation for European integration to expect from that quarter, I would think.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. Ideas on Europe is an experiment by the University Association for Contemporary European Studies UACES to entice academics down from their ivory towers to engage in informed analysis, comment, dialogue and debate on all things European in the “real”, i.e. virtual world of ordinary mortals. This potentially important multi-user blog is listed among the nearly 500 great euroblogs on multilingual, our common “village well” for fact, opinion and gossip on European affairs.

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