The New York Times and the BBC may insist that Britain is “isolated” in the wake of the Brussels (draft) agreement, but quite a few European commentators have a somewhat more nuanced view of what’s been going on. Given the choice between the grey lady and the splendidly-named Baroness Mia Doornaert (a commentator apparently well-known in Belgium and a former adviser to one of the country’s former prime ministers), I’ll choose the latter.
Open Europe quotes this from an article she has written for De Standaard:
David Cameron says no to a new European treaty, while listening to his English voters, and is accused of being someone who “blackmails” Europe. Twenty six other government leaders and heads of state don’t give their parliaments but European bureaucrats control over their budgets…this kind of top down integration carries the risk that democratic support for the Union shrinks. Europe and democracy: for now they don’t seem together. Unless you consider it democracy that elected leaders in Brussels agree upon common measures which they can’t or don’t dare to push through in their own countries.”
Quite (and check out some of the other commentary quoted on the Open Europe site).
Meanwhile French voters also appear to be a touch isolated themselves (EUObserver reports):
BRUSSELS – A majority of French people are opposed to the recently agreed EU plans for a fiscal compact treaty, with opposition Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande calling for a renegotiation of the text.
Some 52 percent of French people oppose the proposed fiscal compact, according to a poll by BVA and reported in the domestic regional press, while 45 percent back the plan.
Opposition and support for the fiscal compact in the country appears to be cleanly split along right-left lines, unlike in a number of other countries, where resistance to the accord is bubbling up from a variety of ideological quarters.