How can the EU resolve tension between expansion and integration?by Jonathan Derbyshire / December 10, 2015 / Leave a comment
Published in January 2016 issue of Prospect Magazine
When he visited London in June 2015, Emmanuel Macron, France’s Economy Minister, said that Britain’s attempts to renegotiate the terms of its membership of the European Union were incompatible with the “common responsibility” of member states. Britain, he said, couldn’t expect to have a Europe “à la carte.”
The UK has negotiated opt-outs from various bits of European law ever since it joined the European Economic Community in 1973, of course. But while it is the member state with the most exemptions, it is not the only country to which European legislation applies selectively—far from it. Macron’s protestations notwithstanding, the case for a “pick-and-mix” approach to EU membership is gaining traction elsewhere.