Derfor er Thorning en modstander for Cameron

Fleksibilitet er OK, og debatten er god at få ud i det åbne. Men Storbritannien kan ikke få præcis, hvad de vil. Generelt er hun mest for forstærket samarbejde – ikke tilbagerulning. Derudover må det indre marked ikke blive skadet. Sådan må man formode, at statsminister Helle Thorning-Schmidt mener om fleksibilitet i Europa.

Det efterlader ikke mange muligheder for Storbritannien at manøvrere i. Faktisk er det tydeligt, at Cameron har en modstander i Thorning – ikke en allieret – hvilket Danmark ellers ofte er for Storbritannien i mange andre EU-spørgsmål. Men netop fordi, at Danmark ofte er allieret med UK – og fordi vi har de fire forbehold – vil Thorning have yderligere behov for at distancere sig fra Cameron. Når EU-parlamentarikere således tidligere har kritiseret Danmark – og forbundet os med Storbritanniens fodslæben – så har det danske diplomati udøvet brandslukkeri for at give det modsatte indtryk.

Den kølige skulder fra Danmark vil være surt for Cameron, der jo selvfølgelig har brug for allierede i EU, når han skal forhandle. Men jeg bed da også mærke i, at Cameron namedroppede Tysklands Merkel og nævnte Holland. Ikke Danmark. Vi spiller ikke en større rolle som dealmaker for Cameron. Så han overlever nok uden dansk opbakning.

Det er – i mine øjne – den helt store, europapolitiske diskussion i disse år (skarpt forfulgt af EU’s møven ind på det finanspolitiske område).

Statsminister Helle Thorning-Schmidts reaktion på Camerons tale om Europa i dag (kilde: Ritzau via dr.dk):

 

- Vi har allerede et fleksibelt Europa. Det gode eksempel er de undtagelser, vi har i Danmark.

- Men når det er sagt, har vi også brug for en stærk, fælles kerne blandt de 27, nu snart 28 medlemslande, hvor vi i fællesskab træffer beslutninger og er ansvarlige for at få dem gennemført. Så på den måde er Europa ikke et tag-selv-bord.

- Nu er det op til briterne at finde ud af, hvilken position de gerne vil have i EU. Men jeg synes ikke, at EU bliver stærkere, hvis hvert land kan skræddersy deres medlemskab, og hvis vi derved mister den kerne, som bør være fælles i EU.

I sin tale ved europakollegiet i Brugge den 17. oktober talte hun for, at Europa bør sætte principper for en fleksibel union.

Det var endda en af hendes tre hovedpunkter:

First of all, we need to learn from our mistakes and say it like it is.

Secondly, we need to make it even clearer what it is we are fighting for in Europe.

And thirdly, we need to find the right balance and principles for flexible integration.

Og her det lange afsnit:

The third and final thing we need to do is to come to terms with the fact that the EU is based on flexible integration. And at the same time be clear about the principles that should guide us as we move ahead with more flexible integration.

It has become very clear that our Union will never evolve along a straight line or fit a traditional model or theory of integration.

We are indeed united in diversity. But is this diversity challenging our unity? Is flexible integration undermining the EU by breaking Europe up into ‘ins’ and ‘outs’?

I don’t think so.

Indeed, flexible integration is a reality today and to some extent has been for years. Let me illustrate that with a few examples:

The idea of a borderless Europe with free movement of persons started as an agreement between 5 Member States in the 1980s. Now, the Schengen cooperation is an integral part of the treaties encompassing most Member States.

When the eurozone was launched, it counted 11 Member States. Now, the number is 17 with more on the way.

The Fiscal Compact has the members of the eurozone as its core and the non-euro countries participating with different intensity.

And since the Lisbon Treaty entered into force, we are now making use of treaty provisions on enhanced cooperation in everything from divorce law to unitary patent protection.

In other words, flexibility has allowed the EU to move on when necessary – often to the benefit of all 27 Member States and our common institutions.

That leads me to perhaps my most important message to you today: We should accept that Europe is in fact a multi-speed Europe.

And as I see it, the fundamental notion of solidarity, which lies at the heart of our Union, has not been compromised in this process.

Indeed, the economic crisis has demonstrated a need for flexible integration. This was evident when we adopted the Fiscal Compact in March. And I suspect that it will become evident again when we discuss how to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union.

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