Faire ou défaire l'Europe

Le refus suédois d'adopter l'euro met à nu le choix fondamental auquel l'Europe doit maintenant faire face. Lentement, très lentement, l'Union Européenne approche de son moment de vérité quand ses membres devront se mettre d'accord sur le type d'union qu'ils souhaitent. S'agit-il d'une Union fondée sur l'intégration politique, qui évoluerait alors peut-être vers une véritable fédération ? Ou s'agit-il d'un club économique flexible, essentiellement fondé sur un marché économique unique avec quelques ajouts optionnels de nature politique ?

Cette question confronte l'UE depuis ses premiers pas et jusqu'à ce jour les États membres ont relevé le défi en avançant au rythme des plus réticents. Cela va peut-être changé maintenant. Cette année, ou l'année prochaine, il apparaîtra peut-être clairement que le gouffre entre les nationalistes et les fédéralistes est trop important pour être comblé. À ce stade, les fédéralistes verront s'ils peuvent trouver le moyen de poursuivre entre eux. Si cela se produit, une Europe à deux vitesses se mettra en place, avec un centre intégré sur le plan politique et des circonférences plus ou moins intégrées sur l'extérieur.

L'idée d'une Union à deux vitesses ou à géométrie variable fait l'objet de débats depuis bien longtemps, habituellement comme moyen de ménager les eurosceptiques qui traînent des pieds au sein des gouvernements britanniques qui se sont succédés dernièrement. Généralement, ces débats ont tendance à se conclure sur l'idée qu'une Europe à deux vitesses serait extrêmement difficile à négocier. Ainsi, dieu merci, l'idée d'une Union à géométrie variable semble avoir perdu de son importance quand Tony Blair arriva au pouvoir.

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