Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
Never let it be said that the European Union doesn’t get things done.
It may have a slightly maddening way of going about it — last-minute, late-night summits, hours and hours of sweaty, closed-door negotiation, multiple conflicting plans put forward by the likes of the Finns, the Italians and, who knows, the Estonians – and then, hey presto, like the proverbial rabbit out of a hat, at 2 in the morning, a $1 trillion deal to haul the world back from the debt-crisis abyss. All in the name of European unity.
As one Brussels policy analyst put it somewhat delphically : “The EU is not crisis resistant, but perhaps it is crisis proof.”
But is it any way to run a region of 27 countries and 500 million people, the world’s largest trading bloc, with a gross domestic product of more than 12 trillion euros — nearly a quarter of the world’s output?
There is a difference between crisis management and getting things done only in a crisis, and the EU sometimes appears to have a tendency towards the latter. Think of the mammoth, three-day negotiations over the Nice treaty in 2000, the running battle to get the Lisbon reform treaty approved last year, and the way the EU President Herman Van Rompuy and foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton were appointed after backroom dealing last November.