I wake up this morning and I see that yesterday's minimal compromise in Copenhagen finished just close to a failure, in line with the failures of the European Union.
The pictures from the negotiations of the "world leaders" show Obama and Wen confronted with Merkel, Sarzkozy, Barroso and the Swedish prime minister Reinfeldt in charge of the EU Council presidency. The pictures show the EU of the many faces, and nobody knows whether they show the EU of the single voice.
The minimal compromise presented to the plenary by the group of 30 leaders including Reinfeldt and Barroso exhibits that the European Union is not able to march ahead on the world stage among 200 countries, to foster agreements that would show us being a positive player, an international agent of change.
The leadership failure of the Danish prime minister as conference president shows a member state of the EU that makes the Union look unprepared, pars pro toto.
The fact that leaders leave the Summit before the deal is finally agreed underlines their lack of judgement, their inability or their unwillingness to lead.
It is a large international meeting and the new European leaders - Ashton and van Rompuy - were not yet present, at least not visibly. The EU appears confused and confusing looking at how it dealt with the Summit, and a clear leadership inside the Union did not seem to emerge.
The question is: Will the EU be able to appear differently in the future, at similar occasions, with a well coordinated External Action Service backing the VP/HR Ashton and a European Council President van Rompuy who is able to stand in the front lines, negotiating for the Union while knowing to keep the many faces of EU leaders together and behind him.
Will there be an EU of fewer faces but clearer messages?
I have doubts. Ashton and van Rompuy look exactly like the two personalities who wouldn't be able to keep the EU crowd together while representing the Union as a strong player at such summits.
We will see as much confusion and as few leadership in the future as we have witnessed during these days of Copenhagen - because the leaders of the nation states prefer confusion over outcome, national pride over effectiveness. And van Rompuy and Ashton are too weak to change this.
The Copenhagen Summit, despite the fact that the world "took note" of the minimal compromise from yesterday evening, has displayed the incapable European Union, the one that knows to play blame-games but that doesn't know to work effectively, the Union that raises doubts whether the Lisbon Treaty will bring any changes to the better in the near future, both regarding leadership and outcome.
(Updated at 11:07)
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