Haute tension aux Pays-bas

La Belgique et les Pays-Bas, deux membres fondateurs de l’Union européenne, sont de plus en plus divisés sur la signification de ce projet. Le Traité de réforme de l’UE est aujourd’hui au centre de cette mésentente, mais ses racines sont plus profondément enfouies. Selon les rapports de presse, le désaccord est devenu si grave que le président français Nicolas Sarkozy a dû intervenir.

L’Europe ne peut se permettre un combat de coqs entre ces deux membres fondateurs, il est donc grand temps de remiser les émotions et de passer en revue leurs différences de points de vue sur l’avenir de l’intégration européenne. En tant qu’ancien secrétaire d’État néerlandais aux Affaires européennes et coordinateur du Benelux, je pense que les Pays-Bas et la Belgique peuvent à nouveau jouer des rôles complémentaires.

Depuis le tout début, ces pays représentent les aspects différents de l’identité européenne : la Belgique, en tant que pays industriel, orienté vers le continent, bilingue et intermédiaire avec le sud de l’Europe d’un côté, et les Pays-Bas, avec sa tradition agricole et commerciale forte, et son orientation anglo-saxonne et atlantique de l’autre.

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