Nicolai von Ondarza

Blocked for Good by the Threat of Treaty Change?

Perspectives for Reform in the European Union

SWP Comment 2015/C 50, November 2015, 8 Pages

The European Union faces a fundamental dilemma. On the one hand, pressure to reform its structures is growing. The hard negotiations with Greece in summer 2015 have revived the debate on deepening the Eurozone, while at the same time London is pushing to roll back integration, at least for itself. On the other hand, national governments reject any moves that would require a treaty change (such as transfer of powers) as politically impossible. Legal options for evading the dilemma and developing the Union by “covert integration” do exist, but these require unanimous political agreement among all the national governments – and would in the medium term require treaty changes to restore transparency and democratic legitimacy.