Friday, November 20, 2009

EU: The Next Generation

After what was thought to be a potentially crisis meeting for the current rotating chair of the EU Council Presidency, Sweden's PM Frederik Reinfeldt, the 27 heads of government came very quickly to agreement on who's going to run the massive EU bureaucracy under the new Lisbon rules. The new European President is the present Prime Minister of Belgium, Herman van Rompuy; and in a bit of a shock, the Foreign Minister of the EU will be a British peer, Baroness Catherine Ashton.

It's somewhat of a relief that the PMs didn't choose Tony Blair. Although extremely fluent in French, one of the working languages at the Commission, he has a lot of personal and political baggage. Besides having little credibility left after the sexed-up Downing Street Papers, it would seem rather inappropriate to have someone running the EU who was from a country that is presently outside both the Schengen open border zone as well as the Euro. Besides which, his relationship with the Queen wasn't exactly cordial even at the best of times; imagine having to get heck from her as well as 26 other monarchs and presidents.
The big concern of the new leadership will be trying to get the eurocracy down to a more reasonable size and to put a stop to some of the boneheaded regulations that come out of Brussels and court rulings out of Strasbourg and Luxembourg City; as well as a Parliament that has to rotate between all three cities for no apparent reason other than to make the state railways and public transit companies rich in the pockets.
I don't think we're anywhere near the "United States of Europe" that many fear, but Rompuy and Ashton will have to act quickly to put their feet forward to be taken seriously. Still, for those who haven't been paying attention to Fortress Europe, there is no question this juggernaut is about to get a whole lot more influence. There's already more Euros in circulation than US dollars and it's just a matter of time before the common currency becomes the reserve currency of choice among most nations -- as it already has with Canada.

And many may not know what hit them until it's actually the EU -- not China -- that holds most of America's staggering debt. Sweden knows what it was like a few years ago when interest rates hit 500%. It'd be very interesting to see how America would react if they faced those terms, and the nuclear missiles of the UK and France were aimed not at Russia but the States.

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