Two-speed Europe, maximum speed or no speed at all?

Article published on Dec. 8, 2011
Article published on Dec. 8, 2011
By Joan Manuel Lanfranco Pari Translation: Davide Martinotti The idea of different speeds for integration has accompanied the history of the EU in last decades. As a matter of fact, the EU already works at different speeds. For instance the Schengen Treaty, with all EU member states except for Ireland and the UK participating.
The EU Summit starting today is expected to add a new dimension to the idea of a two-speed Europe, as regards euro area members. The proposals tabled by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy talk about further fiscal union between the 17 euro area member states, as well as the possibility to hold monthly Eurozone summits until the crisis is solved.__

This summit is showing an eventual change of paradigm in the way business shall be carried within the EU. Merkozy’s proposals clash with Barroso and Van Rompuy stance on governance of the Euro area and the EU as a whole. Likewise, budgetary discipline proposals are not necessarily accompanied of more measures of solidarity for countries undergoing tough austerity measures. If a two speed Europe in economic and monetary terms will start taking shape from tonight on, where can we place each member state? What will be UK’s trade-off not to block further integration of the Euro area? Can Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain be sure that they would be in the core of Europe 2.0?

As heard in the Press Room and read in leaks of the draft conclusions, it seems that the leaders will for now focus on more immediate measures to appease the markets. After checking the market’s temperature, then they would move to the treaty changes envisaged in preparatory talks ahead of the Summit. The night is deemed to be long and the outcome is yet unclear. Cafebabel will explain you in detail the outcome of this crucial EU Summit.