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How to Negotiate: the EU Method

John Rentoul

Europe flag 300x223 How to Negotiate: the EU MethodThe Irish government, which has just taken over the EU’s six-month rotating presidency, is (a) worrying about the UK’s possible exit, and (b) responding by saying that, no, now you mention it, David Cameron can’t repatriate any powers.

As Bruno Waterfield reports and Benedict Brogan comments.

Thus the Michael Gove thesis – that our European partners will negotiate the terms of the UK’s membership seriously only if they are convinced that we are threatening to leave – will be tested.

You have to wonder whether the more communautaire approaches of, respectively, David Cameron and Douglas Alexander might stand a better chance of success. Unless you define success as the making of impossible demands and having to leave.

Footnote: I thought we went through that stupid nonsense of having an appointed nobody as President of the Council so that we put an end to the other nonsense of having a country holding a rotating presidency. It seems we now have both daft systems at the same time. It is as if they want to make us want to leave.

Previously, in Euroscepticism posts.

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  • http://twitter.com/euro_jonathan Jonathan Millins

    On your footnote: the Lisbon Treaty provided for a permanent President of the European Council, for Heads of State and Government. The rotating presidency of the Council of Ministers continues with each sectoral Council meeting being chaired by the minister from the Member State holding the rotating presidency. It certainly doesn’t cause any problems in Brussels and most people think it works well, especially as the presidencies work in threes on joint work programmes e.g. the Irish (2013), Lithuanian (2013) and Greece (2014) via a Trio-Presidency.

  • beat_the_bush

    “Foottnote: I thought we went through that stupid nonsense of having an appointed nobody as President of the Council so that we put an end to the other nonsense of having a country holding a rotating presidency. It seems we now have both daft systems at the same time. It is as if they want to make us want to leave.”

    The question is who drafted the treaty and who and what forces kept the EU in limbo. Van Rompuy is President of the European Council, an instiution only formalised as of the Lisbon Treaty at the demands of states who prefer the intergovermental method. Guess which country supported that – OH RIGHT – IT’S THE UK.

    Many EU scholars consider this instiution to be an “anamoly” that is contrary to the concept of supranationalsim.

    So, what you are saying makes sense, from a federalist perspective, the UK has helped paralyse the EU’s constitutional makeup, whilst at the same time hypcrotically criticising it for these failings. Something that’s only possible, because journalists like yourself, genuinely know nothing of the project.

    If you want to have a more simplififed system, John Rentoul, why don’t you come clean as a federalist?

  • http://twitter.com/JohnRentoul John Rentoul

    Because I am not a federalist!

  • http://twitter.com/JohnRentoul John Rentoul

    So we got a permanent president for the bit that doesn’t need one, the heads of government, and not for the bit that does, the ministerial-level councils.

  • beat_the_bush

    Why not? You support a streamlined and simplified EU, much as federalists do. It’s neo-liberal intergovernmentalists who prefer the complex and overwhelming constitutional arrangments that we have today.

    What specificaly is bad about federalism?

    And how would you propose the constiutional structures, their relationships, and compositions be managed if you reject the federal makeup? Because I fear it would be remarkably similiar to the messy one we have now. How would you address the democratic deficit (a term of course coined by European federalist scholars in the 70’s)?

  • creggancowboy

    Ireland is not your (nor the quasi Loyalist Indy’s) forte. Gilmore is a second rate product of endemic corruption and nepotism, he is facing legal action at Strasbourg over passport allocation. Oh what would the EU do if England left? Send in tanks? Wake up and smell the cawfee Jahn.

  • greggf

    Oh I love it when experts wax lyrical about the “project” and accuse journalists that they “genuinely know nothing of the project”. Someone to blame….?
    And appointed officials (the Irish government, which has just taken over the EU’s six-month rotating presidency) start getting defensive.

    It’s a clear sign the end-game is in view.

    Whither the EU?

  • beat_the_bush

    Dream on.

  • greggf

    Bull’s eye eh, beat…?


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