Thursday, June 21, 2007

Last Chance for an EU Constitution?

European Union heads of state are to meet June 21- 22 in Brussels, Belgium with their top agenda item the ever controversial EU constitution. There are serious problems going into the summit.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in her final push to complete her ambitious agenda as EU president before Germany gives up their rotating leadership position in less than two weeks. The problem is if Merkel can't break the constitution deadlock -- which has lasted for years -- it will be difficult, if not flat-out impossible, for anyone else to do so in the foreseeable future. Portugal and then Slovenia are the next in line for the EU presidency -- and neither of them have enough clout to push it through. There is hope again for passage in late 2008, when France takes the EU presidency, but the Europe's leadership makeup at that time could produce even further roadblocks.

The largest concern is that a unified constitution will encroach on each state's national sovereignty -- this is why Merkel has pushed two different versions: one comprising the bulk of the original draft, and a second stripped-down version with only the bare essentials needed to allow the European Union to function as a unified bloc. Both versions are still contentious with quite a few states, with the two largest spoilers being the United Kingdom and Poland. And, even if the big three -- France, Germany and the United Kingdom -- are all on the same page, they still have to convince Poland who holds concerns about Russia.

The EU constitution is supposed to be the cornerstone of a unified Europe, but at the moment it is only further dividing the bloc. The current European leadership was the best hope for the charter to pass, but Merkel's time for clearing up any of these disagreements is quickly running out as real threats -- like Russia's new assertiveness -- loom on the horizon. (Stratfor Reports)

· Heavenly Father, only You know men and women's true hearts and motives for governing countries. May You not be snubbed as an omission in the EU Constitution any longer and may these countries acknowledge that they depend upon You for their very existence. Please bless Angela Merkel who tried to include You in the governing document, and may You raise up new European leadership who will look to You for their help and provision! We ask You to move upon the hearts of these leaders, so that this constitution may never pass until they recognize that they truly need You and not just deceptive leaders who want to follow a hollow, godless constitution!

· "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases." (Prov. 21:1)