Analysis: The European Constitutional Crisis and the Strategy of Patience

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In this article of the Quarterly „Integration“ of the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP), Daniel Göler and Mathias Jopp take systematic look at the proposed initiatives to solve the constitutional crisis.

While there have been a number of initiatives by Europe’s top politicians on the present constitutional crisis recently, on the whole these have merely amounted to an inchoate package of proposals that rather convey a sense of helplessness. This article takes a systematic look at the options being proposed. From this analysis, it becomes clear that all models have their particular risks of a failure whereby those based on renegotiations are confronted with even higher uncertainties in terms of achievable results and the likelihood of full ratification. Hence, the authors conclude that the reflection period needs to be expanded, the ratification process in countries with a formidable parliamentary majority continued, and the ratification problem in France, which holds the key to Europe’s constitution, be solved in 2007. The best strategy is one of patience which invests in the enlargement of the group of constitution-positive member states in order to minimise the group of constitution-negative countries before trying to broker a final deal.

A full version of the article (in German) can be downloaded here.

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