EU Constitution: dead or alive?
The same ought to be demanded of our EU leaders.
On the one hand, the British Foreign Secretary declares the EU Constitution to be ‘a grandiose project that failed’ – i.e., it is dead. On the other, the Chancellor of Germany insists there will be a constitution by 2009 – ie, it is very much alive, albeit in suspended animation. In this she is joined by the President of the Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, who believes that the provisions of the constitution, and in particular the creation of an EU foreign minister, need to be revived. The German presidency is to be the mechanism by which this is achieved.
Konrad Adenauer once stated: ‘Germany has a divine mission to save Western Europe.’ Since the era of Charlemagne, the notion of a German destiny or fate has been deeply engrained in the German psyche; it is an instinct which has driven Germany in the past, and one to which Hitler frequently referred in his speeches. Helmut Kohl also had dominance and destiny at the forefront of his thinking when he said: ‘The future will belong to the Germans...when we build the house of Europe... In the next two years we will make the process of European integration irreversible. This is a really big battle, but it is worth the fight.’
This salvation for Europe would entail Germany overturning of the expressed will of the French and Dutch peoples. They have, of course, marched over them before. But they have never vanquished the British, and quite what the United Kingdom will make of this is dependent on whether anyone bothers to ask them. While Mrs Beckett is sounding a little sceptical, she did observe the need for a codified document, because the EU ‘is a very different beast at 25 or 27 members than it was at 12 or 15’.
Did she say ‘beast’?