June 27, 2014

NAFTA BECKONS:

David Cameron Fights the Good Fight (Mohamed A. El-Erian, 6/27/14, Bloomberg View)

Cameron appears to have been driven by two factors in his determined attempts to block Juncker's appointment. First, he believes that the selection process itself is antiquated, frustrating Europe's pivot to a better-managed, inspiring and visionary future. As such, the credibility of Europe's historic (and challenged) regional integration process could be damaged. Second, he believes that Juncker is not the right person for the task at hand.

While other EU members seem to sympathize with Cameron's view, few, if any, wish to disrupt their established institutional approach -- and for good reason. It would involve a whole set of implicit contracts that would need to be painfully renegotiated, with uncertain outcomes for each country involved.

Reading the writing on the wall, most politicians would have abandoned the fight for a better and modernized appointment process. Not David Cameron. He has courageously campaigned for change even as his allies drop out, one after the other, from this institutional fight.

While it is hard to know for sure, I suspect that two major considerations have entered Cameron's calculus: first, the desire to use this post-crisis juncture in the EU to undertake governance reforms that many feel necessary but few have the stamina to pursue, and second, the belief that, whatever the outcome, his stance will play well to a domestic British audience that is historically deeply suspicious of Brussels.
Posted by at June 27, 2014 8:29 PM
  
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