Everything is fine Mr. President!

Article published on March 12, 2012
Article published on March 12, 2012
By Aris Kokkinos, Lena Simon, Nathalie Jusseaume, translated by Julie Schwannecke Photo Leonora Baumann The most important decision of this summit is the re-election of the President of the European Council, confirms Herman Van Rompuy not without some humour. Being always optimistic, he said to be satisfied about the “team spirit”, which reined the debates.
As a proof the Council talked about one single voice speaking among different areas: the admission of the status as a candidate country of Serbia, and the case of Syria, Iran and Belarus.

The stability treaty was signed in this positive light. Still the things weren’t so positive as it seemed… the negotiations concerning the Euro zone have been annulated on German initiative. The reason for this is the targeting of 750 billions of Euros for the European solidarity mechanism, which will be discussed again until the end of this month. Generally the treaty foresees to reinforce the budget discipline of the member states of the euro zone. Its last objective is to establish again the confidence in the Euro zone, which will, such is the hope, boost the economy, growth and employment.

The rule of the budget balance, which will be part of the new treaty, shall provide this confidence so long expected in order to avoid a renewal of the current crises. The principle of this rule includes the balance between solidarity and the responsibility of the Member States. Furthermore the debate focussed on the EU external relations.

On the menu was the tragic situation in Syria, the tense relationship with Iran, the necessary democratic transition in Belarus and the organization of the next international conferences G8, G20 and Rio+20. Van Rompuy states that it is inacceptable to keep the things as they are. He is horrified about the situation and reminds that the Union does as much as it can in order to find a solution to this conflict. According to him two of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council are responsible for the status quo: Russia and China. Furthermore on Rio+20, the president Barroso insisted on maintaining the role of the EU as a leader in matters of environment.

The big principles, which have been confirmed during the conclusion of the European Council, were questioned by the journalists. Stijn Vercruysse, from the Flemish television VRT realised the auto satisfaction of the two presidents in a yet complicate and urgent social debate. How does Europe intend to apply its ambitious measures? With concrete plans or trustful words? Maybe with both, the future will tell us… What is finally the added value of this European Council? It certainly constitutes an important step towards regaining the confidence in the scene of European economy. This is what Herman Van Rompuy calls “a summit without drama”.