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Naveau, Jacques

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Le Soir - Belgium | 09/05/2006

Europe in a celebratory mood?

"Europe is a grand enterprise that is flapping its wings. Why, and what should be done about it?" asks Jacques Naveau, an honourary professor at the Free University of Brussels (ULB). "Gradual enlargement, without adequate institutional adaptation, the ambitions of Maastricht, adopted and interpreted in different ways, all the attendant bureaucracy, and especially the absence of any popular debate - all these things have opened wide gaps of misunderstanding at the grass-roots level. So that when one finally asks the ordinary citizen for his opinion (on a constitutional project that was intended precisely to make up for the democracy deficit), he responds 'no'. As in France or the Netherlands, but it could have been the same 'no' elsewhere. ... Where are the statesmen who will resurrect the grand enterprise? Even if it means creating a hard core? If it comes to that, Belgium would perhaps even be an enthusiastic partner!"

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