Blair y su desastrosa presidencia del Consejo Europeo

Cuando los votantes franceses y holandeses rechazaron la propuesta de Constitución para la Unión Europea, el mundo supo que el proyecto europeo estaba en serios problemas. La intensa batalla de la semana pasada acerca del futuro a mediano plazo del presupuesto de la Unión ha confirmado con creces ese veredicto. También llevó a un triste fin la presidencia de seis meses del Reino Unido en el Consejo Europeo, confirmando la tradicional reputación de los ingleses como los "bichos raros" de la Unión Europea.

Los dos acontecimientos están estrechamente vinculados. Los votantes franceses y holandeses no dijeron por qué votaron contra la Constitución propuesta. Pero muchos comentaristas cree que protestaban contra lo que percibían como la admisión precipitada de diez nuevos estados miembros, principalmente países mucho más pobres de Europa central y del este. En particular, los votantes tenían temor de perder sus empleos ante hordas de inmigrantes del este, lo cual se ejemplificó en una imagen citada una y otra vez en esos días, la del plomero polaco que cobra barato.

Por supuesto, la ironía es que la mayoría de los antiguos estados miembros se habían negado a dar a los miembros nuevos un acceso completo e inmediato a los mercados laborales occidentales. En todo caso era demasiado tarde para protestar, puesto que los diez estados del este ya habían obtenido la membresía de la Unión.

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