After French President Nicolas Sarkozy's and German
Chancellor Angela Merkel's successful visits to Washington, D.C.,
U.S. policymakers might be forgiven for thinking that U.S.
strategic interests are now in safe hands in continental Europe.
However, this optimism discounts the enormous threat posed by the
Reform Treaty, which was signed in Lisbon on December 13 and is
little more than the European Constitution with a cosmetic
Under Chancellor Merkel's personal leadership, the European
Union breathed life back into the rejected European Constitution,
recasting it as the Reform Treaty. It still contains the
building blocks of a United States of Europe and will shift power
from the member states of the EU to Brussels in critical areas
of policymaking, including defense, security, and
energy--areas in which the United States finds more traction on a
bilateral basis. The treaty is a blueprint for restricting the
sovereign right of EU member states to determine their own foreign
policies, and it poses a unique threat to the British-
American Special Relationship.
Above all, the treaty underscores the EU's ambitions to
become a global power and challenge American leadership on the
Deja Vu: The EU Constitution by
The substance of
the constitution is preserved. That is a fact.
--German Chancellor Angela Merkel
In July 2003, the draft Constitutional Treaty was presented to
EU member states on the basis that it provided for "more democracy,
transparency and efficiency in the European Union." Recognizing that the
document provided for nothing of the kind, voters in France and
Holland rejected it in popular referenda, plunging the EU into an
extended period of navel-gazing.
Yet rather than concede the document's fundamental flaws,
the German Presidency of the European Union produced a mandate
that essentially returned the same document for ratification by
those member states that had not approved (or had rejected) the
draft Constitutional Treaty. The resulting Reform Treaty, which EU heads
of state signed in December, still transfers substantial
powers from member states to Brussels.
In the Words of EU Elites. Although the French and Dutch
rejections of the EU Constitution in 2005 could not have been more
emphatic, EU elites seem unable to conceal their delight at
bringing the constitution back under a new name. According to Irish
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, "The substance of what was agreed in 2004
has been retained.... What is gone is the term 'constitution.'"
Leading Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and former Chairman
of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Elmar Brok commented, "Despite
all the compromises, the substance of the draft EU
Constitution has been safeguarded." Spanish Prime Minister
José Zapatero stated, "We have not let a single
substantial point of the constitutional treaty go."
Even the drafter of the constitution, Valery Giscard
d'Estaing, predicted that cosmetic changes would be made and that
"public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the
proposals that we dare not present to them directly."
Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht observed, "The European
Constitution wanted to be readable. This treaty had the intention
to be indecipherable and it certainly has succeeded in that."
Substantially the Same. The Reform Treaty retains all the
essential components of an EU superstate that were included in
the EU Constitution, including a single legal personality, a
permanent EU presidency, an EU-wide public prosecutor, and the
position of foreign minister in all but name. It increases the
number of decisions that can be taken by qualified majority voting
(QMV) to 40 new matters, including foreign policy, energy,
transport, space, commercial policy, humanitarian aid, sport,
tourism, and investment. According to Open Europe, a think tank
based in London, this cuts Britain's power to veto EU legislation
by up to 30 percent. Overall, the treaty takes at least as
many steps toward "ever closer union" as the old constitution
and will significantly strengthen EU powers with regard to United
In a stunning indictment of British government policy, the
European Scrutiny Committee in the Labour-dominated House of
Commons reported in October 2007 that, "Taken as a whole, the
Reform Treaty produces a general framework which is
substantially equivalent to the Constitutional Treaty." It
went on to call on the British government to provide hard and
fast evidence of any significant changes between the Constitution
Treaty and the Reform Treaty and amazingly criticizes the principle
of subsidiarity as merely cosmetic. The committee's
report makes clear that the British government did not think
through the Reform Treaty and secured few, if any, exemptions from
the constitution's excesses that the EU cannot change.
Furthermore, European integration is never a finished product.
EU elites went into overdrive after 2005, acting as if the French
and Dutch rejection of the EU Constitution had never happened. As
German MEP Elmar Brok bluntly stated in 2006, "We need a
constitution, a foreign minister with a foreign service, and a
telephone number for Europe." EU Commissioner Olli Rehn
even boasted of an increase in EU assertiveness:
The EU has launched 8 ESDP [European Security and Defense
Policy] missions across three continents since the French and Dutch
referenda. We have two more in the pipeline in Afghanistan and
Kosovo. This is serious action, not a slowdown.
In addition, plans are already afoot for the next round of
European integration following Lisbon.
"[T]o address the future of the European project," French
President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed "a Committee of Wise
Men," later named the Reflection Group. The Reflection Group's
mandate covers major areas of public policy, including social
and economic policy, global security, energy, climate protection,
and the fight against international crime and terrorism.
The Reflection Group's conclusions will then be advanced by the new
EU President, who will be afforded vast powers under the Reform
Treaty and be elected by QMV, depriving Britain of another
Moreover, Article IV-444 of the Constitution Treaty has been
inserted into the Reform Treaty to allow the EU to reform the
treaties by QMV without convening an intergovernmental conference.
This constitutes a massive erosion of nation-state power.
The intentions of EU elites could not be clearer: The juggernaut of
EU integration will continue until the creation of a United
States of Europe.
The Case for a Referendum in
Britain is different. Of course
there will be transfers of sovereignty. But would I be intelligent
to draw the attention of public opinion to this fact?
--Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister
Every member state with the exception of Ireland will avoid
putting the Reform Treaty to a vote in a popular referendum.
Denmark and Britain in particular have gone to extraordinary
lengths to avoid doing so, despite popular support for holding
referenda in both countries.
The Labour Party won the 2005 general election with a manifesto
promising to put the draft European Constitution to a
referendum. Following its revival as the Reform Treaty, the
government initially argued that the Reform Treaty is a very
different document and that a referendum is therefore
unnecessary. Significantly, the government has since abandoned this
reasoning, arguing now that it has negotiated U.K.-specific "red
lines" against further European integration in sensitive areas such
as foreign policy, tax, and immigration.
However, the European Scrutiny Committee report warned that the
government's much-vaunted red lines are in danger of unraveling.
The committee's findings are especially significant because
Labour Members of Parliament unequivocally advised their own Prime
Minister that "the red lines will not be sustainable."
Open Europe states that British "opt-outs" with regard to
justice and home affairs and the Charter of Fundamental Rights
(CFR) are so badly worded, loosely configured, and poorly designed
as to be nearly worthless. In fact, the Prime Minister acknowledged
that Protocol 7 of the Reform Treaty does not equate to an opt-out
from the CFR, and the European Scrutiny Committee is of the opinion
that the CFR will eventually take effect in Britain under Britain's
wider legal obligations to the European Union.
Significantly, former Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher
has argued in favor of a referendum, stating that assurances
from Brussels are not to be trusted and that Britain's red lines
are not sufficient to protect its sovereignty. As she noted,
"We've heard it all before only to see more and more powers grabbed
A Populus survey for the BBC on October 12 showed that three out
of four Britons want a referendum on the revamped EU
Constitution. A poll for The Sunday Telegraph on
October 14 found that two-thirds of voters believe there should be
a referendum on the treaty. Not only is there a
compelling case that the Reform Treaty is substantially
similar to the Constitution Treaty, but public trust is at stake.
As Conservative Party leader David Cameron recently stated,
"Labour put it in their manifesto that there should be a
referendum and it is one of the most blatant breaches of trust in
modern politics [that] they won't give us that referendum."
Long-serving British MP Bill Cash argues that 27 million British
people have been denied the opportunity to express a view on
Britain's relationship with the European Union. In light of the
clear constitutional changes implied by the Reform Treaty, now
is the best time to give them that opportunity.
Foreign Policy Implications
any action on the international scene or entering into any
commitment which could affect the Union's interests, each Member
State shall consult the others within the European Council or the
Council. Member States shall ensure, through the convergence
of their actions, that the Union is able to assert its interests
and values on the international scene. Member States shall
show mutual solidarity.
--Treaty of Lisbon
EU integrationist Richard Laming, director of Federal Union,
argues that, as the Single European Act brought about the Single
Market and the Maastricht Treaty created the euro, the major
success of the Reform Treaty will be to strengthen the EU's role in
foreign affairs: "Henry Kissinger's famous request for a phone
number to call will now have an answer."
The Lisbon Reform Treaty is demonstrably a political treaty, but
it was made available in English only on July 30, 2007. The British
government was effectively asked to agree to this far-reaching,
major international treaty after less than five months to study it.
In December 2007, Foreign Minister David Miliband dutifully signed
away British independence and self-determination.
Speaking with One Voice. The EU has attached great
importance to the treaty's granting of a stronger voice on the
Within the framework of the principles and objectives of its
external action, the Union shall conduct, define and implement a
common foreign and security policy, based on the development
of mutual political solidarity among Member States, the
identification of questions of general interest and the achievement
of an ever-increasing degree of convergence of Member States'
The EU boasts that the Reform Treaty compels member states to
speak with a single voice on external relations. With a single
legal personality, Brussels will now sign international
agreements on behalf of all member states. With breathtaking
arrogance, the European Commission claims that with the Reform
Treaty in place, "The European Union is uniquely well placed to
find the answers to today's most pressing questions...and to see
European values promoted effectively in the global
community." However, the EU has been anything but
effective in speaking with one voice about today's greatest global
challenges, such as Islamic terrorism, the Balkans, and Darfur.
Under the current framework of the Common Foreign and Security
Policy (CFSP), the EU has an extensive arsenal of sanctions:
diplomatic sanctions, boycotts of events, trade sanctions,
financial sanctions, arms bans, and travel restrictions.
However, it has refused to use this incredible sanctioning power to
fight the broader war on terrorism, just as it continues to
implement the barest of sanctions against Iran. Not only is the
European Union Iran's largest trading partner, accounting for 35
percent of Iran's total imports, but The Wall Street Journal
notes that total EU trade with Tehran has increased since
the Iranian nuclear program was discovered. In 2005, Italy
and Germany ranked as Iran's second and third largest trading
partners, respectively, having moved up in the rankings from
With its range of policy instruments, the EU already has
significant economic and diplomatic leverage but, more often than
not, chooses not to use it. Its strategic interests often contrast
with U.S. interests, and with European military and civilian power
invested in the CFSP, rather than in NATO, America's interests
inevitably lose out. The biggest security threats facing Europe and
the U.S. are asymmetric and constantly evolving. Thus far, NATO
under American leadership has been working with a handful of
its closest allies at the forefront of this struggle, but the U.S.
cannot be expected to continue providing this leadership if the
transatlantic alliance is downgraded.
The Reform Treaty proposes to abolish the EU's "pillar
structure," in which member states maintain a strong national role
in foreign affairs. America needs to recognize the dangers that
this would create. In the few areas where the EU does speak
with one voice--e.g., the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO)--the United
States has lost traction in dealing with its European allies on
anything resembling a bilateral basis. Frequently, it has found
itself pitted against an institution that has predetermined its
position and is intent on morally opposing American policy.
This sets a dangerous precedent. If the EU's ability to curtail
nation-states' decision making at the IPCC is replicated in wider
areas of foreign policy making--such as a decision to join with the
United States in military action--America will find itself isolated
and facing hostility from an organization that has been endemically
anti-American in recent years.
Significantly, the new EU foreign minister has the possibility
of presenting an EU position at U.N. Security Council
meetings. As is seen on a regular basis, the rules of EU horse
trading put enormous pressure on member states to negotiate away
key positions in exchange for maintaining blocking votes against
something even more damaging. With the expansion of QMV, the U.K.
now requires more allies to block onerous EU measures and will
therefore be obliged to engage in this horse trading. America could
easily lose its last ally in the Security Council.
Implications for the Special
[W]e have our own dream and
our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but
not comprised. We are interested and associated but not
The institutional and political constraints of further
European integration will severely limit Britain's ability to build
international alliances and make foreign policy. The greatest
damage would be to Britain's enduring alliance with the United
States. In political, diplomatic, and financial terms, no good has
come from limiting Britain's geopolitical outlook to the European
continent, and certainly no benefit can come from a deeper EU
absorption that limits Britain's time-tested relationship with the
No incident more ably contrasts the depth and breadth of the
Special Relationship to the illusions of the EU alliance than the
2007 Iranian seizure of 15 Royal Navy personnel. While Britain's
European neighbors scurried to protect their sizeable
investments with Tehran and refused to specify any
retaliatory measures in support of a fellow EU member, the
United States demonstrated unequivocal support of Britain by
conducting the largest U.S. naval exercise in the Gulf since
2003. By deploying aircraft and warships in
support, America effectively guaranteed that it would stand
shoulder to shoulder with Britain at any cost during this major
The European Commission states that "The legitimacy of the
European project must be grounded both in what it does, and how it
acts." It goes on to argue that the Reform
Treaty "will encapsulate a Union of mutual support and mutual
protection." Europe's betrayal of Britain's military
personnel during the Iranian crisis demonstrates its
willingness to postpone its notion of European solidarity at will.
The EU's decision to suspend its own travel ban to invite
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to the 2007 EU- Africa
Summit, despite Mugabe's record as a brutal tyrant and systematic
abuser of human rights, is startling additional proof that the
European project is grounded in positions that are often at odds
with British interests and at times even with common
Britain has found its strongest, most enduring alliance in its
Special Relationship with the United States. Consistent and
recurring cooperation, systematic engagement, and enduring
bilateral relations have defined this relationship.
Ultimately, the Special Relationship is special because
shared values and common interests bind the two countries in ways
that are beyond the reach of unelected and unaccountable EU
elites. The common political, diplomatic, historical, and cultural
values that are shared by Americans and Britons actually mean
something. Further still, Britain and America are prepared to
defend these values--with military force if necessary. Common
values mean something only if both parties are ready to defend
Neither Britain nor America should view deeper EU absorption as
preferable to Britain's historical and proven links with the United
States. The treaty's foreign policy agenda, led by the CFSP and an
independent defense identity, is clearly designed to counterbalance the American
"hyperpower." Britain should no longer risk its
enduring alliance with the United States to pander to
anti-American sentiment in Europe: As Sir Winston Churchill
simply put it, "Never be separated from the Americans."
Enduring Alliances Matter.The European Union's global
outlook is fundamentally different from that of the U.S. The EU
places full faith in "multilateralism as the best means to solve
global problems." Speaking in New York in 2005, EU External
Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner argued that security
and prosperity are in fact dependent on effective multilateral
systems. The EU believes that diplomacy trumps all
other foreign policy tools in addressing international threats and
that economic sanctions and military operations should be used only
as "a last resort."
Brussels is an enthusiastic proponent of the International
Criminal Court, global abolition of the death penalty, the Kyoto
Protocol, and various other international treaties that have proven
unpalatable to the United States. Under the new Reform Treaty, this
phenomenon will only grow worse. Just as the EU has become an
increasingly confrontational trade actor, unafraid to square off
against Washington, the EU will become more aggressive in the
foreign policy arena too.
The EU's intervention over America's proposed expansion of the
Visa Waiver Program to Central and Eastern European nations should
be taken as a sign of things to come. Just as the United States is
on the verge of admitting additional countries to the program, the
European Union has demanded competency in this area and has
disallowed member states from pursuing bilateral negotiations
with the United States. EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini has
said, "This is a matter of European competence and we cannot accept
that it should be negotiated country by country. I simply won't
In what can only be described as a calculated act of sabotage,
the EU has put inordinate pressure on EU member states not to sign
bilateral agreements and is instead promoting retaliatory action at
the EU level, which has grossly inflamed the situation.
The EU's desire to supranationalize visa policy in such a
confrontational manner is a sign of how it intends to deal with
Washington on future foreign policy matters.
In this regard, it is vital that the U.S. recognize the value of
dealing with its enduring allies on a bilateral level. In its
desire to create "One Europe," the European Security and Defense
Policy (ESDP) has duplicated NATO security structures and
significantly reduced the possibility of traditional
alliance-building by the United States.
Replacing individual European allies with a single EU
foreign minister in any context or institution is a bad idea.
Inevitably, even if unintentionally, American interests will lose
in the discussions that matter most. As Henry Kissinger noted in
When the United States deals with the nations of Europe
individually, it has the possibility of consulting at many levels
and to have its view heard well before a decision is taken. In
dealing with the European Union, by contrast, the United States is
excluded from the decision-making process and interacts only after
the event, with spokesmen for decisions taken by ministers at
meetings in which the United States has not participated at any
level.... Growing estrangement between America and Europe is thus
being institutionally fostered.
Defense. The EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy
has always intended to assert the EU as a supranational actor on
the world stage in the place of nation-states. The Reform Treaty
gives great momentum to the CFSP and the ESDP, its defense arm
program. The treaty states:
The Union's competence in matters of common foreign and
security policy shall cover all areas of foreign policy and all
questions relating to the Union's security, including the
progressive framing of a common defence policy that might lead to a
Although Gordon Brown argues that unanimous voting will remain
in the area of foreign and defense policy, the imposition of QMV in
three major areas is a significant loss of U.K. sovereignty in
defense. Under the Reform Treaty, QMV would be
introduced for the appointment of an EU foreign minister;
the selection of member states for participation in permanent
structured cooperation; and the stature, seats, and operational
rules of the European Defense Agency.
The fact that its primary European ally, the U.K., will not have
the power to veto the appointment of the EU's primary foreign
policy actor should be enough to make Washington nervous. However,
the enhanced role for this unelected minister should cause even
greater concern. Under the treaty, the EU foreign minister will
have the power to appoint EU envoys; a bigger profile, budget, and
diplomatic corps at his disposal; the right to speak on behalf of
member states in multilateral institutions (including the U.N.
Security Council upon request); and the right to propose EU
military missions on behalf of the European Commission.
Brussels clearly intends to become the U.S. Administration's
first port of call in conducting its European foreign policy.
However, the Administration should not expect the warm
response that it gets in London and other national capitals.
Including the EU foreign minister in the European
Commission is especially significant. The European Commission is a
supranational body that deliberately forbids its members from
taking positions in their own national interests. It
is a supranational body as opposed to an intergovernmental
one, representing the first time that the CFSP has entered the
Foreign policy has always been deliberately preserved in
the intergovernmental field--at least technically, if not
realistically--for the purpose of allowing member states to
maintain a self-determining and independent position. Now
member states' foreign policies will effectively be decided by an
unelected, unaccountable Brussels bureaucrat, and for the purpose
of judicial adjudication, the integrationist European Courts of
Justice will have supremacy.
The EU has already made substantial doctrinal and organizational
progress with the ESDP and has created an infrastructure dedicated
to rapidly advancing the program and realizing increased
capabilities. The centralization of this key sector under the
Reform Treaty could not be starker.
Nor should it be assumed that this increase in capabilities will
necessarily evolve in a positive direction. Most European nations
need to continue transforming their militaries into modern armed
forces. NATO's Allied Command Transformation, with its existing
expertise and American leadership, is the perfect vehicle for
coordinating these changes. However, the duplicated European
Defense Agency, which was founded in 2004 without any legal basis,
will be the primary agent for coordinating defense acquisitions,
and it will not necessarily even consider NATO's wants and
needs. It is also unclear whether this highly politicized agency
has the experience to streamline and improve Europe's defense
capabilities to meet its defense needs.
Britain has a unique opportunity to withdraw itself from further
integration in this field. Although Britain has lost its power to
veto the integrationist plans of other member states under the new
enhanced cooperation arrangements, it does have a modicum of
opportunity to halt the creation of a separate EU defense identity
by virtue of its superior defense position within Europe.
EU defense integration makes sense only with British involvement
because most EU member states spend far less on defense than NATO's
recommended 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and have
far less operational experience than Britain's battle-hardened
troops. Britain may be able to frustrate Europe's
separatist and discriminatory defense ambitions and reorient the
defense discussion back to NATO in spite of the Reform
However, if Britain chooses to opt into deeper involvement in EU
defense plans, there will be profoundly negative consequences.
Inevitably, larger member states will end up subsidizing Europe's
overall defense budgets. More seriously, deeper involvement in EU
defense will detract from member states' NATO obligations and
further decouple the EU from NATO. The creation of duplicate
military structures and doctrines with autonomous decision-making
powers independent of NATO represents a major geopolitical
rupture between Europe and Washington that serves neither
The U.S. Administration should not even consider backing an
independent European security and defense policy in exchange for
France's possibly rejoining NATO's military command structure. As
former U.K. Shadow Defence Secretary Bernard Jenkin recommends on
behalf of the Conservative Way Forward, France's involvement with
NATO should be considered only if France reaffirms NATO supremacy
in European defense and security and if NATO can be confident that
France will not engage in deliberately disruptive policies.
Although the treaty reins in Britain's ability to veto
integration in the defense sphere, it cannot force Britain to fund
this dangerous endeavor. With one of the strongest and most able
military forces in the world, Britain has a practical, if not
political, veto that it must use to maximum effect. Although the
politics driving the CFSP and the ESDP do incredible damage in and
of themselves by marginalizing U.S. influence in Europe, a
military-ready EU force completely independent of the
transatlantic alliance would be far worse.
Europe: An Economic or Political Issue?
surrender in Portugal will sign Britain up to a Treaty that
will allow the European Union to undermine the last vestiges of
Britain's competitive free market, bringing to an end the reforms
introduced by Margaret Thatcher.
--Robert Oulds, The Bruges Group
America has enormous interests in Europe's economies. The
European Union and the United States collectively account for 40
percent of world trade and investment and around 60 percent of
world GDP. The EU-U.S. trade and investment relationship is
worth almost $3 billion per day.
Some people argue that the European Union is essentially an
economic question rather than a political question. Even under
the most generous reading, this is a misguided assumption. Yet
even on purely economic grounds, the arguments are clearly moving
away from further European integration, both for member states and
for the United States.
The U.S. is the EU's largest trading partner and is greatly
affected by much of the regulation churned out by Brussels. Open
Europe recently found that the current body of EU law--the acquis
communautaire--is a staggering 170,000 pages. Of these, over
100,000 have been produced in the past 10 years.
Further centralization of power in Brussels therefore presents
the U.S. with long-term challenges in its economic relationship
First, European elites continue dogmatically to defend
the European social model against global competition. A group of
nine EU member states issued an open declaration in February 2007
calling for stronger social, environmental, and work
protections, which will only further sap economic growth. At
the Brussels summit in December 2007, EU leaders signed a
declaration calling for "strong social dimensions and respect for
the environment." As America's biggest trading partner, the
EU's failure to enact free-market reforms and its agreement to
wide-ranging socialist provisions such as the Charter of
Fundamental Rights will automatically have a negative effect on the
Second, the EU is acting as the world's greatest
regulator. Overregulation is one of the primary obstacles to
Europe's achieving anything resembling the goals of the 2000 Lisbon
Agenda. Günther Verheugen, European Commission
Vice-President for Industry and Enterprise, estimates that EU
regulation costs _600 billion, or about 5.5 percent of total
EU GDP. This contrasts poorly with published EU
estimates that the Single Market provides trade benefits of just
_165 billion. The EU has demonstrated a profound
inability to undertake serious economic reform, despite numerous
pledges to do so. Significantly, the Reform Treaty does not make
any pledge to deregulate.
The EU is now exporting its growth-sapping formula to the rest
of the world. The International Herald Tribune recently
described the EU as the "global antitrust regulator," arguing that
as the world's most activist and assertive regulator, the EU now
determines the antitrust regime for big American companies.
The EU is also quickly globalizing its precautionary-based
approach to risk management. During the U.N. climate change
conference in December 2007, convened to reach a Kyoto II deal, the
EU threatened to boycott a key environmental conference in the
United States if America failed to agree to specific numbers for
emissions cuts. This comes on the back of Commissioner
Günter Verheugen's proposal to impose an EU "green tax" on
imports from countries that are not part of the Kyoto Protocol.
Having failed to sign the U.S. up to the first Kyoto Protocol
through moral posturing alone, the EU is apparently considering
flexing its economic muscle to compel America to sign this time
around. Notably, the Reform Treaty references the "international"
fight against climate change, which was not contained in the EU
The EU's control of member states' trade policies limits the
freedom of free market-minded countries such as Britain to fashion
trade policies more consistent with their bilateral interests.
Britain generates 16 percent of EU-27 GDP, is one of just
three EU countries with working-age populations that will increase
in the next half century, and is the world's third-largest trading
Britain's export markets inside the EU are shrinking, while
its export markets outside the EU, including in the U.S., are
growing. Britain imports as much from outside the EU as from
inside, despite the customs duties and non-tariff trade
barriers imposed by EU membership. With its entrepreneurial
Anglo- Saxon economic model, strong Commonwealth ties, English
language, and powerhouse financial capital, Britain is increasingly
being damaged by Brussels' excessive regulations and statist model.
Britain should re-adopt a free-trade outlook on a global scale and
not restrict itself to Europe.
The United States should be wary of President Sarkozy's
insistence on removing the EU's policy commitment to free and
undistorted competition from the Reform Treaty. Sarkozy did not
even attempt to hide his intention in doing so: "The word
'protection' is no longer a taboo," he said.
America cannot expect to see Britain's free-market Anglo-Saxon
economic model to win out over the statist and sclerotic Rhineland
model with the Reform Treaty in place. Britain's exemption from the
vastly prescriptive Charter on Fundamental Rights will be
worthless. As EU Commissioner Margot Wallström has made
clear, "The Charter will be binding...for Member States when th[e]y
implement EU law." Even though the CFR cannot be invoked in
U.K. courts, it can be invoked in the European Courts of Justice.
Since the supremacy of EU law has been established in precedent,
Britain cannot seriously hope that its exemption from this
manifesto for socialism will be realized.
What the United States Should Do
In its policy toward Europe, the U.S. should:
- Avoid any tacit, public, or diplomatic endorsement of
the European Reform Treaty. U.S. leaders and diplomats at all
levels must not give EU members or EU elites the impression-- in
public or in private--that the U.S. supports further European
- Understand that the Lisbon Treaty is a political
process intended to realize a United States of Europe. This
treaty is not about the functioning of the European Union, but
rather an evolution of political integration. The U.S. must
abandon the long-held view that the European Union is a valuable
- Recognize that further European integration and the
relentless and unstinting drive behind ever closer union threatens
U.S. strategic interests. Congress should hold hearings to
analyze the Lisbon Treaty's implications for the transatlantic
- Explicitly state that building enduring bilateral alliances
is a U.S. foreign policy priority. The Administration should
build bridges between peoples by facilitating safe and secure
travel by implementing legislation passed in 2007 to reform and
expand the Visa Waiver Program. Congress and the Administration
should encourage commercial and political interchange between
America and its friends and allies on a bilateral basis as an
important foreign policy priority.
- Work with key European allies, especially the United
Kingdom, to reaffirm NATO as the cornerstone of transatlantic
security and to ensure that the Bucharest Summit in early April
is successful in putting NATO once again at the forefront of the
transatlantic alliance. At the Bucharest Summit, the United States
should specifically reaffirm the minimum benchmark for NATO
members' defense spending (2 percent of GDP). It should also make
the Allied Command Transformation Initiative the primary agent in
determining members' military transformations. The Administration
should make clear both that the U.S. will not back the ESDP as the
price for French re-admittance into NATO's military command
structure and that re-admittance will impose certain obligations on
- Support calls for the United Kingdom and other European
Union member states to hold referenda on the Lisbon Treaty as part
of the ratification process. In line with the Labour Party's
commitment and as part of a strategy to reinvigorate public trust
in government, Prime Minister Gordon Brown should undertake a free
and fair referendum in the United Kingdom.
The Reform Treaty
contains major advances for the European Union's capacity to act.
Indeed, in some areas we even went further than in the
--German Chancellor Angela Merkel
If there was ever a time for the White House to become unnerved
about further European integration, this is it. The Lisbon
Treaty is like no other. It spells out the central political goal
of ever-closer union, which will ultimately distance London from
The European Commission's comment that "Europe has changed, the
world has changed" is correct. The world faces both unprecedented
threats and unprecedented opportunities that require greater
flexibility for member states to act. The Reform Treaty denies
sovereign states the ability to do that and further limits their
right to build alliances with the United States.
The Reform Treaty calls for swift ratification with a view to
coming into force on January 1, 2009. Britain is uniquely
positioned to fashion a European Union that better serves British
and American interests, and its reluctant signature of the
Reform Treaty in Lisbon can be reversed. America should send its
special ally a clear message that the U.S. will support
Britain in reasserting its sovereignty.
Sally McNamara is Senior
Policy Analyst in European Affairs in the Margaret Thatcher
Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby
Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage
Foundation. Erica Munkwitz, an intern in the Davis Institute,
assisted in preparing this paper.