La guerra de los pequeños y los grandes de Europa

El debate sobre las propuestas de una nueva Constitución para la Unión Europea, que ahora está entrando a su etapa final en la así llamada "Convención Europea", se está convirtiendo en una lucha de poder de los estados miembros en torno a visiones rivales sobre el futuro de la Unión. En el pasado, el principal eje de debate era usualmente entre los federalistas, que desean una UE más fuerte, y los intergubernamentalistas, que prefieren preservar la autonomía nacional de los estados miembros. Esto sigue ocurriendo hoy en día. Pero el debate se está desviando ahora hacia una lucha secundaria entre los países pequeños y grandes de la UE, con resultados que algunas veces son paradójicos.

El problema inmediato es la gestión del Consejo de Ministros de la UE. En la actualidad, el Consejo se reúne bajo la Presidencia de un estado miembro individual por un período de seis meses, al término del cual la Presidencia rota hacia otro estado miembro. Francia y Alemania argumentan que este sistema rotativo es disfuncional, en parte debido a la discontinuidad, y han propuesto que el Consejo nombre a un Presidente permanente de tiempo completo por un periodo de cinco años. Su propuesta fue rechazada categóricamente en una declaración conjunta de 16 estados miembros actuales o futuros, todos ellos países pequeños, donde insistían en que el principio de rotación se debía conservar como un símbolo de la igualdad de todos los estados miembros.

Ahora se ha elevado aún más lo que se juega en este asunto. Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, el Presidente de la Convención, ha apoyado formalmente la propuesta franco-alemana. El mismo día, la Comisión Europea golpéo de vuelta con una fuerte crítica a la propuesta, diciendo que crearía burocracias rivales y una sensación de confusión.

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