The European political elite rammed through the Lisbon Treaty to turn Europe into a Weltmacht prepared to run the globe alongside the U.S. and China. Someone forgot to inform the White House.
What happens if someone holds a U.S.-Europe summit and the U.S. doesn’t show?
The White House has decided that President Barack Obama will not attend what has been an annual summit with the European Union this spring, as Mr. Obama scales back from his record-setting foreign travel last year.
U.S. officials also said there is confusion over whether the summit will be hosted by Spain, which currently holds the EU presidency, or Brussels, where the EU has its headquarters. The State Department official pointed to the changing structure of the EU since the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon in December. This year’s summit, he noted, will be the first since the treaty formally established an EU political president in Brussels and empowered the EU bureaucracy to be the principal negotiating body for the European states.
As a result, the official said, the State Department was still in consultations with the Europeans over whether the summit was being hosted by Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, whose government heads the rotating EU presidency, or EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, both of whom are based in Brussels. Another U.S. official said that this confusion has fueled U.S. hesitance to commit to the meeting.
“We don’t even know if they’re going to have one [a summit],” said the official. “We’ve told them, ‘Figure it out and let us know.’ ”
You’ve got to give it to the Europeans. They do one thing well: create new bureaucracies and new processes. But they have less luck making other nations take them seriously. Well, better luck next time!