Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Another Crack in the Edifice?

Vihar Georgiev over at he EU Law Blog has written an interesting post about how Germany and France are blocking the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen.

He and I differ on one aspect, that is he is minded to belive the political eleite when it jusdged thjose benighted countries fir to join the EU in 2007,
The first question is whether Bulgaria and Romania were fit to become Member States in 2007. The European Commission believed so, and so did France and Germany at the time. However, this leads to the logical conclusion that both countries in fact experienced a deterioration of the rule of law since accession.
I feel that the political elite would have allowed nothing to get in the way of enlargement, to ensure that the EU continued to ensure its borders spread, in the words of the famous sonmg 'wider still and wider'. To me their belief that the Copenhagen Criteria had been met was a fiction, facts could not be allowed to get in the way of the EU's desires. This is analogous to the way inwhich the Greeks were allowed into the Eiurozone when everybody knew they were cooking their books.

He is absolutely right however to highlight one aspect of the story though,
The second question is whether Bulgaria and Romania can actually, at any point in the future, join the Schengen area. This is not an absurd question, since if separate Member States reaffirm their right of individual assessment of the quality of the judicial systems of candidates, it may turn out that both Bulgaria and Romania are assessed against unachievable standards that surpass the present level of rule of law in the Schengen area. Again, this is a logically derived possibility.

France and Germany should understand that answering both questions will have its consequences for the level of solidarity and cohesion in the European Union.
Merkle and Sarkozy have in this instance decided to play to the Gallery at home, rather than to pay obiescience to the faith of 'Europe'. By rejecting the communitaire method over this, they are driving a wedge into one of the European Union's cracks. What the ongoing rammifications of this will be remains to be seen, but I think that a canary in the mineshaft just keeled over and died.

I note that the Romaian President has taken umbrage about this, big time,
Traian Basescu, Romania’s president, acknowledged problems with Romania’s judiciary and the need to speed up administrative reforms.
But he told reporters at the presidential palace that Romania had met all technical conditions for entry and argued that the introduction of new conditions would breach European law and create “an unacceptable precedent”.
“We will not accept discrimination from anybody, even from the EU’s most powerful states, Mr Basescu said.
And as the FT points out elsewhere, the issue is big on the Hungarian agenda, so things could get a little sticky.
Because the issue could get even hotter, especially since the incoming Hungarian presidency had made Bulgarian and Romanian Schengen membership such a priority

No comments: