…. what you can usefully put-off till tomorrow. There is still a lot of confusion surrounding what has, and what hasn’t been decided in Brussels. On the Constitution Treaty it seems there will now be an open-ended ratification period. What this will mean in practice is hard to see. The answer you give to this question seems to depend on whether or not you think that the French might change their minds after 2007. I wouldn’t be very optimistic on this front. Amongst economists the winds of globalisation are now reaching gale force, but on the political front, amongst voters, protectionism (both in the EU and the USA) is clearly gaining ground. Since I think this latter issue is every bit as important as the remoteness of the politicians when it comes to how people vote, and since I think the calls for protectionism may grow louder, I don’t anticipate that 2 years from now the general climate will be any more favourable to a ‘Treaty-like’ project, in fact, in all probability, quite the contrary will be the case. Globalisation will not be ‘rolled back’, it has already gone beyond the point of that being a viable possibility, but the process off its ‘ratification’, or if you like extension, may well take a “time out”.
The EU is to ?pause for reflection? for up to two years in a bid to resolve Europe?s constitution crisis. Europe?s leaders will next revisit the issue in Spring 2006 as the EU?s constitution deadline of November next year gets kicked into the long grass. Luxembourg?s Prime Minister and EU presidency holder Jean-Claude Juncker hinted that a new constitution deadline could be over two years away. ?After the ?non? and the ?nee?? the November 1 date? is no longer tenable. Those that haven?t ratified won?t be able to do anything until mid-2007,? he said late on Thursday night.