Monday, January 06, 2014

A piece for E!Sharp on the British questions that could face the next European Commission

The British questions facing the next Commission

A piece for E!Sharp

The next European Commission, to be appointed after May’s European Parliament elections, will have more than enough on its agenda. The ‘British question’ might be one many in Brussels would prefer to put at the bottom of a list that will include questions about the Eurozone crisis and managing the growing economic and security challenges posed by the world beyond Europe.
But history could play out in a way that Britain poses the next Commission not one question, but a series of questions that could radically change the EU: questions on Scotland; about a renegotiation of UK membership; of how to handle the EU’s first in-out referendum since 1975; what to do in response to British hopes for a new treaty; how to face a host of British initiatives on economic reform or the EU’s security and international standing; and, biggest of all, how to cope with the implications for the EU should the British vote to leave the Union.