Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lisbon Treaty Sees Fissures On Day One

The Czech President Klaus signed the Lisbon Treaty (the last EU leader to do so) today, after the Czech Republic's constitutional court gave the treaty its thumbs-up.

But already, fissures have emerged. The Tories in the UK, who are poised to take over in big numbers by next June at the latest, are furious, and David Cameron (the very-likely next PM) is currently under great pressure to come up with some sort of legal scheme to re-transfer a great deal of power from Brussels to London. It might mean a secession, in the end: there seem to be few options left for the Tories besides total withdrawal.

Italians are also quite irate over a European Human Rights Court decision to ban crucifixes in Italian schools. And it seems that it's not a particularly politically divisive issue in Italy--they're either very attached to these crucifixes or they simply don't want Brussels meddling so deeply in their business. But this is, quite literally, what they wished for.

Disaffection and disillusionment is coming quickly at the heels of the Lisbon Treaty. Skittles and beer are not being poured on the streets in celebration, as the visionaries of the EU had hoped.

The big question: will these jitters settle, or will they undermine the process completely? The United States certainly had similar problems, and still has the occasional fight for sovereignty between a state government and Washington, but it does hold. But then again, a civil war was fought to keep it together. Surely, the Europeans will not go killing each other to preserve the Union; will that make it all too easy for the UK (and then others) to drop out?
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