Why Tusk’s Proposal is not so Bad

Should the other EU member states rebuff the UK’s reform demands and seize the opportunity to amend the Constitutional treaties instead? Unlike Federico Fabbrini, who in his post of the 3rd of February proposed they should, I will argue that European integration doesn’t follow a linear path, and it may therefore be necessary to give in to some requests. This would not lead to EU disintegration.

The EU is facing troubled times.. The public opinion is bombed with unsettling news of threats – or presumed threats – to the very existence of the Union. The gruesome violence of the Islamic State and the refugees trying to escape it are examples of external factors which have an internal dimension: how to deal with refugees and terror? There are then internal factors. In addition to the long-lasting, economically and socially devastating, energy-consuming Eurozone crisis, recent developments on the prospect of the United Kingdom leaving the EU have made headlines. David Cameron has promised – and continues to promise – a referendum on UK’s withdrawal from the EU before the end of 2017. His Conservative government is now trying to “re-negotiate” UK’s participation to the EU. The UK asks not to take part in further political integration; that national parliaments should be entitled to veto EU legislation; to redefine the relation between the Eurozone and the non-Eurozone countries; and to limit access to social benefits for citizens of other EU countries who move to Britain. The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, seems well inclined to accept UK’s requests in his letter to the other Heads of State and Government released on the 2nd of February. This “hot potato” deserves the full attention of analysts. A reflection on the possible reactions of the EU, whose “clear objective is to have an agreement of all 28 at the February European Council”, scheduled for the 17th of February, is therefore now a top priority ...

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