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A carve-up in the offing?

Posted by Richard Thursday, June 24, 2004

Elaborating on those pronouncements on the EU made by Nicolas Sarkozy (see previous story), they certainly prove – if nothing else – that all French politicians are the same under the skin, whatever shade they come in.

What is exercising Sarkozy is the belated realisation that the European Union of 25 member states is not quite the same cosy little cartel that it was with six or even fifteen members, and that adjustments must be made to the balance of power.

What he is going for is a typical French solution - the directoire option: a small group of inner nations (with France at the centre, of course) to run the show.

Blair is said to favour this idea of France moving away from the "exclusive" dialogue with Germany – although he would almost certainly get fleeced by Sarkozy – but it seems that the views of the smaller countries, often dismissed as "the dwarves", have not been canvassed.

With the constitution not yet in the bag though, countries like the Netherlands may be looking askance at developments and wondering whether they still want to be part of what is beginning to look suspiciously like an old-fashioned "great power" carve-up.