“It is a bizarre situation..”

What do the political scientists think of this? Taoiseach Brian Cowen has been describing the negotiated package of measures on the Lisbon Treaty as a “very major step towards delivering the way forward”. But at OpenDemocracy, John Palmer points out the “bizarre situation” Europe now finds itself in.

It is a bizarre situation: one where all the governments of the European Union will legally bind themselves not to impose on Ireland measures which none of them ever had the slightest intention of doing in the first place, and for which no provision is made in the Lisbon treaty.

The summit in Brussels agreed to a further move, namely to defer indefinitely plans to introduce a smaller, more effective and more streamlined European commission. This will mean that all member-states in the enlarged union will continue to have a commissioner of “their own”. But the fact that members of the commission have to swear an oath that they will not be advocates of the national interest of their country of origin, but rather of the collective European interest, seems to have gone unnoticed. After all, the job of national advocacy is the responsibility of national governments which form the EU’s council of ministers.