By Hugo Dixon
Hugo Dixon is Editor-at-Large, Reuters News. The opinions expressed are his own.
When European Union leaders dine in Brussels on May 27, conversation is likely to revolve around three Ps: the poll, the priorities and the people.
Many of those sitting around the table, notably France’s François Hollande and Britain’s David Cameron, received a drubbing in the European Parliament elections. They will be reflecting on the rise of euroscepticism in many EU countries and the appropriate forms of response.
There are basically four main options: stick with the status quo; push for further European integration; unravel some of the integration that has already been achieved; and reform the EU to boost competitiveness.
The main underlying source of disenchantment is the recession still gripping some parts of the EU. Given the high level of unemployment, particularly among the young, and the likely slow pace of economic recovery, maintaining the status quo is an option that can be quickly ruled out.