Friday

21st Jun 2019

A superpower but not a superstate

British Prime Minister Tony Blair held his speech of the European future Friday at the Polish Stock exchange in Warsaw. Blair voiced the vision of a European superpower, but not a superstate. He also welcomed new member states to participate in the European parliamentary elections in 2004 and to have a seat at the table at the next IGC.

Tony Blair described two possible models for Europe.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

‘One is Europe as a free trade area, like NAFTA in North America. This is the model beloved by British Conservatives. The other is the classic federalist model, in which Europe elects its Commission President and the European Parliament becomes the true legislative European body and Europes principal democratic check.’

Then he expressed his visions of a third model in which the European Council should play a more important role and a Second Chamber of the European Parliament would be created.

‘The European Council should above all be the body which sets the agenda of the Union. Indeed, formally in the Treaty of Rome, that is the task given to it’.

‘Just as governments go before their electorates and set out their agenda for the coming years, so must the European Council do the same. We need to do it in all the crucial fields of European action: economic, foreign policy, defence, and the fight against cross-border crime. I am proposing today an annual agenda for Europe, set by the European Council,’ Mr. Blair said in Warsaw.

The British Prime Minister said enhanced cooperation is an instrument to strengthen the Union from within, not an instrument of exclusion. But it must operate within the framework of the European treaties, he emphasized.

'Efficient decision making in an enlarged Union will also mean more enhanced cooperation. I have no problem with greater flexibility or groups of member states going forward together. But that must not lead to a hard core; a Europe in which some Member States create their own set of shared policies and institutions from which others are in practice excluded. Such groups must at every stage be open to others who wish to join.'

‘The difference now is that we must, from the beginning, operate within the framework of the European treaties, not outside it. Italy and Germany have suggested joint police operations at the Unions external borders. That kind of cooperation between groups of countries seeking to achieve goals agreed by all, and in the interests of all, will become common place,’ said Tony Blair.

Finally the British PM proposed the creation of a second chamber of the European Parliament and a charter of competences to define what should be done at the national level and what is to be done at a European level.

‘We should decide what is best done at the European level and what should be done at the national level, a kind of charter of competences. This would allow countries too, to define clearly what is then done at a regional level. This Statement of Principles would be a political, not a legal document. It could therefore be much simpler and more accessible to Europe’s citizens.

I also believe that the time has now come to involve representatives of national parliaments more on such matters, by creating a second chamber of the European Parliament.

A second chamber's most important function would be to review the EU's work, in the light of this agreed Statement of Principles. It would not get involved in the day-to-day negotiation of legislation - that is properly the role of the existing European Parliament’.

Tony Blair also said, he wants new member states to participate in the European parliamentary elections in 2004 and he would like them to have a seat at the table at the next IGC.

Solana: Europe to become a Super Power

EU member states must realise the importance of their role in the World, said the EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana in an interview.

An enlarged EU with 25 member states would have double as many citizens as the US and four times as many as Japan. "We have no choice, we must play a role", Mr Solana said.

Four states block EU 2050 carbon neutral target

Poland, with the support from the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Estonia, blocked a commitment to climate neutrality by 2050. It is now just a footnote in the summit conclusions.

Additional summit over top EU jobs looms

It's quicker to elect the pope than to agree on the new EU leadership, quipped the Irish prime minister at the start of the EU summit - which may end only with another summit soon to pick the top jobs.

Opinion

EU must counter Kushner's so-called 'peace' plan

This so-called "Deal of the Century" on Israel/Palestine is likely to be no more than a big sham, and the US-led economic peace workshop in Bahrain will hardly change this perception.

Tusk wants quick deal on EU top jobs at Thursday summit

EU leaders will be discussing the new EU leadership positions - with France and Germany split over the largest political group's lead candidate. It might take an extra summit for leaders to come up with final names.

News in Brief

  1. Four sentenced to life for 2015 migrant truck deaths
  2. Johnson vs. Hunt to replace May as UK leader
  3. EU leaders take aim at Russia's role in Ukraine
  4. EUobserver appoints new interim editor-in-chief
  5. Ombudsman: Tusk's staff should record lobby meetings
  6. Tusk now 'more cautious' on top jobs decision at summit
  7. Mogherini: my replacement 'needs security experience'
  8. Irish PM: 'enormous hostility' to new Brexit extension

Opinion

What's going on in Moldova - and what next?

Over the weekend, as private jets evacuated prominent members of the Democratic Party and their allies, Moldovans celebrated the peaceful power transition. Looking beyond the euphoria that surrounded the celebrations, the new government is facing many challenges.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  3. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  5. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  6. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  7. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  8. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody

Latest News

  1. Four states block EU 2050 carbon neutral target
  2. Additional summit over top EU jobs looms
  3. EU advisor roasted over Russian media interview
  4. EU must counter Kushner's so-called 'peace' plan
  5. Tusk wants quick deal on EU top jobs at Thursday summit
  6. EU keeps North Macedonia and Albania at arm's length
  7. What's going on in Moldova - and what next?
  8. EU officials prepare for US extravaganza on Palestine

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  2. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  5. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  10. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  11. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  12. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us