A statesman without a state

The State of the Union statement by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EC, in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg (Photo: European Union 2017, EP)

How Jean-Claude Juncker surprised everybody during his State of the European Union address.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivered his State of the European Union speech on Wednesday. Contrary to what might have been expected, his address did not abound with lamentations regarding Brexit, minutiae of the economic crisis-management or the resurgence of the right in the European East. To be sure, this triumvirate of issues that cloud the Union were tackled, but swiftly and with determination – only to give way to a different tone.

The head of the Union’s executive was not, this time, reminiscent of Orpheus that looks back at his EU-ridice.

Surprising many, the head of the Union’s executive was not, this time, reminiscent of Orpheus that looks back at his EU-ridice but demonstrated a clarity of vision for the post-Brexit EU and presented an ambitious roadmap for its attainment. He captured a fresh forward-looking mood that seems to settle in, now that the fears of the collapse of the Schengen area, the euro or even the EU itself have subsided. No one was ready to see this technocrat to manage to translate this mood into operational ideas and leave the European Parliament in Strasbourg a statesman, albeit one without a state.

True politics is about asserting oneself as a player on a common stage (Rancière). When that stage is populated by nation-states, the EU has to appear strong and intelligible to its citizens in order not to be perceived as the odd one out. It is also about acting, through word and deed, rather than merely reacting, in order to create something new and extraordinary (Arendt).

So what is this novel vision for the once-again EU27? The title of Juncker’s “Roadmap for more united, stronger and more democratic Union” is indicative. We are told that immediately after the UK leaves the Union in 2019 an extraordinary summit will take place in Sibiu, Romania, where unanimity on the future of Europe would be sought in order to pass a series of reforms. In a nutshell, the time has come for convergence.

Firstly, and by far most importantly, there’s Juncker’s outright rejection of the idea of a two-tire or multi-speed Europe, which has gained traction both among practitioners and in the academia. If he has his way, there will be no institutionalization of the core-periphery partition on the continent and no “second class” citizens of the EU.

Secondly, the transnationalization of the elections for the European Parliament would be unlocked via the introduction of continent-wide lists and strengthening of the Euro-parties, so that this body would truly represent the citizens’ European interests, just as their national interests are represented in their national parliaments or the Council of the European Union.

Thirdly, and quite unexpectedly, Juncker proposed to merge the presidencies of the European Commission and the European Council. so that the Union would be “easier to understand if one captain was steering the ship”.

One can already see a Eurosceptic outcry against this seemingly federalist idea, which would assimilate the anatomy of the Union to that of a state. Yet, at base, it is nothing of the sort. The two bodies, their institutional tasks and functions remain separate. It is only that the citizens would have one less president to remember in the still overwhelmingly complicated constellation of EU politics.

Furthermore, this measure is not without precedent since we have already witnessed the prior roles of the Commissioner for External Relations (dealing with Brussels-based competences such as trade) and the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy (purview of member states) be joined under the double hat of Ashton and, later, Mogherini.

The extraordinary about Juncker’s plan is that it does not require opening the Pandora’s box of treaty change.

The extraordinary about all of the above measures is that they do not require opening the Pandora’s box of treaty change. The EU constitutional make-up would continue to be a tertium genus, something between an intergovernmental organisation and a state. The Lisbon Treaty would continue to equally protect both those who dread more Europe and those who would relegate the nation-state to the past.

To use the Aristotelian parabola of a polity-as-ship, as Juncker himself did several times yesterday, these measures allow for a more democratic and accountable EU, able to navigate the narrow waters between nationalism and supranationalism.

Moreover, this roadmap is remarkable because it can instil the much-needed confidence that frailty is no longer the condition of the EU but of those who do not evolve with time. And in the end, the following open question lurks: Can the crew achieve this with the illiberal fifth column among its 27 members?

Petar Marković

Petar Marković is an Erasmus Mundus Joint Degree PhD Fellow of the Globalisation, Europe, Multilateralism PhD School at the Université Libre de Bruxelles & Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali LUISS in Rome. At the moment, he is a visiting scholar at St Anthony’s College at the University of Oxford. He previously worked as Teaching Assistant at the University of Donja Gorica in Montenegro and the Centre for European Integration of the Belgrade Open School in Serbia.


Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.

Legal note

1.    Terms and Conditions

2.    Privacy Policy

3.    Cookies Policy

 

1.    Terms and Conditions

Contact data for the web owner

This website has been created by KATOIKOS to promote their products and services.

– Name: Katoikos, S.L

– Co. tax Code:  B87123162

– Address:  Calle Campomanes 10, 28013  Madrid (SPAIN)

Registration details: Registered in the Commercial Register of Madrid.

Intellectual and Industrial Property

The various elements of this page, and website as a whole, are protected by Spanish legislation on intellectual and industrial property. The trademarks, trade names or logos appearing on this website are the property of the company, or, where appropriate, of third parties, and are protected by Trademarks Law, and of which KATOIKOS holds the legitimate license.

The information provided may not be used for commercial or public purposes, or modified. If the user downloads materials for personal and non-commercial use, warnings shall be kept about copyright and trademarks. To download and use the company logo that appears on the website, prior authorization is required.

Any unauthorised use of the images may violate copyright laws, trademark laws, the laws of privacy and publicity, and communications regulations and statutes.

Liability for Damage

KATOIKOS assumes no liability for damages you may suffer when browsing the web or in the use of computer applications that are part of it. Neither are warranties given as to the correction of malfunctions or updating of content.

Content you share with us

We may include features on this website that allow you to share your content with us and other users of the site. Please note that by sharing content it may become publicly accessible. You grant to Katoikos a worldwide, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license, without compensation to you:

 (a) to use, reproduce, distribute, adapt (including without limitation edit, modify, translate, and reformat), derive, transmit, display and perform, publicly or otherwise, such content, in any media now known or hereafter developed, for Kaotikos’ business purposes, and

 (b) to sublicense the foregoing rights, through multiple tiers, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law. The foregoing licenses shall survive any termination of your use of the site, as further described below.

For all of the content you share through the site, you represent and warrant that you have all rights necessary for you to grant these licenses, and that such content, and your provision or creation thereof through the site, complies with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations and does not infringe or otherwise violate the copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy or other intellectual property or other rights of any third party, and is furthermore free from viruses and other malware.

Rules of Conduct

When using this website and/or sharing content with us, you are prohibited from posting or transmitting :

1. any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, racist, obscene, scandalous, deceptive, false, fraudulent, inflammatory or profane material or any material that could constitute or encourage conduct that would be considered a criminal offence, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any law.
2. Any virus, worm, Trojan horse, Easter egg, time bomb, spyware or other computer code, file, or program that is harmful or invasive or may or is intended to damage or hijack the operation of, or to monitor the use of, any hardware, software or equipment;
3. Any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letter,” “pyramid scheme” or investment opportunity, or any other form of solicitation; and
4. Any material non-public information about a person or a company without the proper authorization to do so.

In addition, you will not:

1. Use this website for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose;
2. Interfere with or disrupt the operation of the website or the servers or networks used to make the website available; or violate any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of such networks;
3. Access or use this website through any technology or means other than those expressly designated by us.
4. Restrict or inhibit any other person from using this website (including by hacking or defacing any portion of the website);
5. Except as expressly permitted by applicable law, modify, adapt, translate, reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble any portion of this website.
6. Remove any copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights notice from this website.
7. Frame or mirror any part of the webiste without our express prior written consent;
8. Create a database by systematically downloading and storing all or any content;
9. Use any robot, spider, site search/retrieval application or other manual or automatic device to retrieve, index, “scrape,” “data mine” or in any way reproduce or circumvent the navigational structure or presentation of this website, without our express prior written consent.

Links

Kaotikos  reserves the right to remove any messages or statements or cancel any links.

This site may include hyperlinks to other web sites that are not owned or controlled by Katoikos. Katoikos has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, privacy policies, security or practices of any third party websites.

Content may be hosted on YouTube or other social media. Those operate their own set of terms and conditions and privacy policy which are separate to the ones presented on this website. Katoikos no control over and assumes no responsibility for, the content, privacy policies, security or practices on YouTube or other social media.

 The right to terminate your access

Katoikos reserves the right to terminate your access to this website at any time if you do not comply with these Terms and Conditions or you infringe Kaotikos’ rights in the content provided on this website.

Governing Law

These Terms and Conditions are governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Spain, without regard to its choice of law provisions.  You agree to the exclusive jurisdiction by the courts of Spain.

Changes to the Terms

Katoikos reserves the right to make changes to the Terms and Conditions from time to time. You acknowledge and agree that your continued access to or use of this website will constitute your acceptance of such changes.

2.    Privacy Policy

Kaotikos takes the protection of your personal data very seriously and collects, processes and uses your data only in accordance with the standards of the legal data protection regulations.

Data is collected, processed and used with technologyes of the provider web trends for marketing and optimisation purposes and also for sending news and information you may be interested in by any electronic services, such as email or SMS.

Our website user’s database is registered at the Spanish Agency of Data Protection. You have the rights of access, rectification, deletion and opposition, regulated in articles 14 to 16 of the LOPD.

For this, please write to:

KATOIKOS (Data Protection) Calle Campomanes 10, 28013, Madrid (SPAIN)

Or send an email to info@katoikos.eu. Your ID will be requested for these issues.

3.    Cookies Policy

This site, like many others, uses small files called cookies to help us customise your experience. Find out more about cookies and how you can control them.

This page contains information on what ‘cookies’ are, the cookies used by the Kaotikos’ website and how to switch cookies off in your browser.

If it does not provide the information you were looking for, or you have any further questions about the use of cookies on the Katoikos’s website, please email info@katoikos.eu.

What are ‘cookies’?

‘Cookies’ are small text files that are stored by the browser (for example, Internet Explorer or Safari) on your computer or mobile phone. They allow websites to store things like user preferences. You can think of cookies as providing a ‘memory’ for the website, so that it can recognise you when you come back and respond appropriately.

How does the Katoikos’s website use cookies?

A visit to a page on the Kaotikos’s website may generate the following type of cookies: Anonymous analytics cookies.

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc., a Delaware company whose main office is at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View (California), CA 94043, USA (“Google”).

Google Analytics uses “cookies”, which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyze how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information on our behalf in order to track your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.

Anonymous analytics cookies

Cookier Name Origin Aim End
__utma Google Analysis 2 years since set –up or update
__utmb Google Analysis 30 minutes since set –up or update
__utmc Google Analysis When browser sesión ends
_utmt Google Analysis 10 minutes since set –up or update
__utmz Google Analysis 6 months since set –up or update

How do I turn cookies off?

It is usually possible to stop your browser accepting cookies, or to stop it accepting cookies from a particular website. All modern browsers allow you to change your cookie settings. You can usually find these settings in the ‘options’ or ‘preferences’ menu of your browser. To understand these settings, the following links may be helpful, or you can use the ‘Help’ option in your browser for more details.

Cookie settings in Internet Explorer
Cookie settings in Firefox
Cookie settings in Chrome
Cookie settings in Safari web and iOS.

 

© 2017 Katoikos, all rights are reserved. Developed by eMutation | New Media

Become a
Being up to date with Europe only takes a few seconds.
Your information will never shared with a third party.
logo
subscriber!
Get our periodical newsletter sent to your inbox!
I have read and agreed the Privacy Policy (required)
Become a
Being up to date with Europe only takes a few seconds.
logo
subscriber!
Get our periodical newsletter sent to your inbox!
Your information will never shared with a third party.
I have read and agreed the Privacy Policy (required)