Europe along the British Path? The Euro and defence in the "Scenarios 2012"
The present debate about Europe is excessively - if not exclusively - centered on the Euro and the convergence criteria of Maastricht. But, emphasize Albert Bressand and Emmanuelle Maincent, the major issues lie elsewhere; they are related more to Europe's capacity to adopt an economic policy and a common foreign and defence policy. And seen in this light, the United Kingdom could well play a driving role in part because it is economically more advanced than the continental countries and on the other hand because of the Franco-British defence axis.
The authors present five scenarios for Europe in 2012 which are constructed on the basis of two main axes: on one hand the degree of economic integration, on the other the degree of "Europeanization" of defence policy which are both viewed from the point of view of "European governance".
On the basis of five contrasting hypothesis on economic integration and three hypothesis on foreign and defence policy, they present:
- two extremes scenarios that of Non Europe and that of the United States of Europe ;
- three hybrid scenarios: a scenario which contrary to all expectations would see instituted the common and foreign defence policy, not the Euro. The other the Euro without the common foreign defence policy and the third would be distinguished by differentiated Europes.
According to the authors, the United Kingdom could play a major role in this logic of political and economic governance. Economically it opposes to Franco German concepts a pragmatism which has proven its relevance especially by relying on the logic of the market. Politically because the British, in addition to the fact that they represent advanced democracy, have a long term vision of Europe which the continental countries scarcely do.
A real message of welcome to Tony Blair, this article provides useful material to leave behind the purely technical debate over the adoption of the Euro.