The presentation of a white paper on the future of Europe by the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, in the European Parliament on March 1 provoked a heated debate in Brussels.
The paper represents a constitutional reform blueprint aiming at EU unity after Britain leaves.
The 32-page-long proposal includes five scenarios laid out before the EU leaders for discussion during the upcoming EU summit to be held in Rome on March 25 (Saturday). The summit coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, signed in 1975, which led to the creation of the EU.
The first of the five scenarios suggests that the EU should “carry on” its course with minor changes. Such changes include deepening the EU’s single market, pooling certain military capabilities, and speaking with one voice regarding foreign affairs. Most other issues, including border control, remain at the discretion of each individual member state.
One drawback of this scenario lies in the lack of agreement on future issues facing the EU, including its change of management and the continuous improvement of border control. Failure to reach agreement could encourage some states to maintain their own internal control systems.
Although France and Germany hailed Juncker’s white paper, it has been set out shortly ahead of the elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany, where polls suggest a possible win for far-right parties which, in all three countries take an opposite stance to the EU, calling for nation-states, border control, and an end to the flow of refugees, which could shatter Juncker’s proposed scenarios.Dr. Ibrahim Al-Othaimin