Government officials from two key EU countries (the U.K and Italy) who have been struggling to deal with many topics affecting the organization, primarily the migrant crisis that has been stemming from the nearly five year old Syrian Civil war have recently said that they have come to an agreement saying that the EU needs more reforms in order for it to become a successful organization.
“Italy and the U.K agree on the need for a reform of the EU, simplifying it’s functioning, it’s procedures and it’s rule” a joint statement read in the U.K newspaper the Guardian on Tuesday December 15th, 2015, published by U.K official, Phillip Hammond and Italian official, Paolo Genitiloni.
The organization has been struggling to deal with a wide array of topics which have popped up over the last couple of years including the Greek debt crisis which threatened the very existence of the EU following a turbulent summer of politics in the Mediterranean country and also the rights of EU countries to protect their sovereignty amidst the free flow of refugees. The latter of which is one of Britain’s key issues with the organization.
“We can work together on an EU reform package that deals with specific issues such as the role of national parliaments, competitiveness, economic governance, and welfare, in order to make the EU simpler, more efficient and less bureaucratic” the statement continued.
However, despite all the progress that has been made, there are still many topics that have placed a major divide between Britain and the EU, primarily centered around the issue of immigration and borders.
EU President Donald Tusk said, that there was “significant progress” in dealing with U.K negotiations. He continued, however by saying, “This Thursday, we will need to focus especially on the controversial ones (topics)”. “The stakes are so high that we cannot escape a serious debate with no taboos” the President continued.
One of the issues that has caused a drift between Mr. Cameron and EU officials is a proposal by Mr. Cameron that would ban EU migrants from receiving in work tax credits.
“Cameron has botched his negotiations with EU leaders” Jeremy Corbyn, who is the leader of the opposition Labour Party in the U.K. “He had tried to bludgeon leaders into his flawed reforms and failed.”
In a recent poll, 56% to 35% said that they would like to stay with the EU under the current agreement. However, there has been a rising anti- migrant sentiment amongst the EU countries as many countries have elected right wing politicians amongst the backlash of the free flow of migrants into many EU countries.
“The poll underlines the importance of David Cameron securing a negotiation package which is seen as credible by swing voters” Raoul Ruparel said, who is a member of Open Europe, a Eurosceptic group who has generally opposed the bringing together of Europe under one body.
28 member countries make up the EU.
The issues of migration has also placed a strain on national budgets amongst many of the EU member as the countries being affected by the migration crisis, have to overspend to compensate for security and also benefits for the migrants.
In conclusion, it is important for these two key countries to come to an agreement with the EU that would keep the organization together as a whole amidst all the turmoil that the organization has already undergone and with the past the Europe has with two world wars and to see it as an opportunity to avoid major conflicts like those of the past in the future.
1) Reuters Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-italy-idUSKBN0TY0QG20151215
2) Guardian Link: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/dec/15/david-cameron-hopes-summit-paves-way-deal-eu-reform
3) Guardian Link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/16/the-guardian-view-on-the-eu-summit-a-chance-to-get-it-right-on-refugee-policy