Michael McDowell: EU might have disintegrated if it failed to agree post-Covid stimulus deal
Deal does not determine whether federalists or realists have gained the upper hand
Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte and French president Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday at the EU summit in Brussels. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq, Pool Photo via AP
There are three principal ways of looking at the European Union project. Eurosceptics reject the EU in its entirety. Euro-federalists imagine that it is inevitably developing into a federal, sovereign superstate – the so-called “good empire” advocated by Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt. Euro-realists see the EU remaining a partnership of individual member states with limited pooling of sovereignty and competences.
The deal done in Brussels over the past five days does not determine whether the federalists or the realists have gained the upper hand. In truth, the budgetary process for 2021-2027 was always going to be difficult – with or without the Covid-19 crisis.