Thursday, March 24, 2005

l'Europe social

On France Inter, an interview with Laurent Fabius, 24 Mar ( listen again, not yet online when I looked) sets out the arguments on the French left for a 'no'. He favours deepening of the EU before widening and says we need a new text of the  constitution, with 3 circles: France / Germany, Spain / Portugal, Benelux and possibly others; the new countries from Eastern Europe; Turkey, Ukraine and the Maghreb;

In the first or inner circle, France and Germany would be able to keep their 'social protection'.

The new countries from Eastern Europe are said to be not like Spain and Portugal: they seek a niche (créneau) exactly through their lack of social protection. According to Bernard Guetta's earlier commentary, they are seen as strengthening the camp of Great Britain, the 'liberal' and atlanticist camp. (Spain's position could of course be seen as temporary: would it have been accorded the honour of inclusion in the inner core if Aznar or the PP were still in power?)

Turkey, then, is banished to the outer circle, along with the North African countries, which nobody expects to join the EU even within the next 20 years. They will however be offered 'democracy and peace'. Europe is either divided or diminished, depending to how you look at it, a Europe-wide market in the services sector is not allowed and the economies of the core are carefully protected.

The Independent had this story on its front page - 'A smoking gun, at last?' - Law of the war ...


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