4 November, 2007
In another post I have already pointed to the symbolic irony of calling the new recently approved EU Treaty the “Lisbon Treaty”. As Lisbon has become synonymous with the over-optimistic, neo-liberal “competitiveness first” drive (the “Lisbon agenda”) of the last two Commission Presidents, the LisbonTreaty will be no more and no less than the final conjugation of that belief in the “new economy”.
But, of course, the world has fundamentally changed since the ambition to become the world’s most competitive economy was defined. With 9/11, the spectacular economic boom of China and India, the urgency of climate change and the new “energy chaos” (supply-demand crunch, exploding oil prices, energy nationalism and the looming end of the fossil fuel age), a new vision for Europe is needed, a vision which is blatantly absent in the new Treaty.
How much the EU leaders who are set to sign the “Lisbon Treaty” are living in their reality-lacking ivory towers will moreover be demonstrated by their absurd one-day trip to Lisbon and Brussels on 13 December. As the Times (“Treaty signing farce blights EU showpiece“) has calculated, the flights of the EU leaders to Lisbon to officially sign the Treaty and then fly on to Brussels to hold the rest of their December summit will produce more than 135 tonnes of carbon dioxide. (BTW, the Times forgets to calculate the amount of kerosene needed to make these trips).
So three cheers for the Lisbon Treaty or should we call it the “Carbon Treaty”?
See also The Economist’s Certain Ideas of Europe blog.Willy De Backer