David Cameron Andrew Parsons/ZumaPress

Het Europa van David Cameron

STOCKHOLM – De komende 18 tot 24 maanden zullen waarschijnlijk beslissend zijn voor de vorm die Europa de eerstvolgende paar decennia zal krijgen. Groot-Brittannië heeft de klok voor dat proces nu in werking gesteld. Herkozen met een klinkende – maar geheel onverwachte – meerderheid in het Lagerhuis moet premier David Cameron zijn ruimere mandaat gebruiken om een hervormingspakket voor de Europese Unie voor te stellen dat aantrekkelijk is voor alle lidstaten.

De afgelopen jaren heeft Cameron de fanatiek anti-Europese vleugel van zijn Conservatieve Partij steeds naar de mond moeten praten, al was het maar om de UK Independence Party (UKIP), die vóór afscheiding van de Europese Unie is, de wind uit de zeilen te nemen. Maar nu zijn eigen gezag aanzienlijk is versterkt, terwijl de UKIP bij de recente algemene verkiezingen als grootste verliezer uit de bus is gekomen, kan Cameron naar voren treden als de pragmatische maar toegewijde Europeaan die hij werkelijk is.

Cameron heeft het de afgelopen jaren in een reeks toespraken gehad over een Europese hervormingsagenda, gericht op de verbetering van de concurrentiekracht van de EU en de transparantie van haar instellingen. Als Cameron, met het oog op het Russische revanchisme en de wanorde die zich in het Midden-Oosten verspreidt, zich binnenkort uitspreekt over de veranderingen die Europa moet doorvoeren, hoop ik dat hij zijn steun geeft aan een effectiever gemeenschappelijk buitenlands- en veiligheidsbeleid.

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