23 OCT 2010
By Stephen Castle | NYT
BRUSSELS — The European Union’s last effort to enact a new treaty took eight years, prompted referendum no votes in three nations and has so far failed to deliver convincing results.
So could the Union really be about to risk the same thing all over again?
Less than a year after the Lisbon Treaty, the bloc’s rule book, came into force, an effort to alter it became likely this week when France supported German calls for fresh changes — this time to shore up the rules governing the euro.
Policy makers in Berlin hope that the modifications will not require reopening the Lisbon Treaty, but can instead be tacked on to an uncontroversial treaty that the Union must agree to when it admits Croatia as a member.
But in the European Union, things rarely end up that simply. Already analysts warn that any new negotiation could open a Pandora’s box — and might trigger referendums within the bloc.
Any revision needs approval by all 27 governments. Charles Grant, director of the Center for European Reform, said that if there was a treaty change “there is a danger that other countries will jump on the bandwagon and introduce their pet likes and dislikes.”
Read entire article