According to initial comments on 29 June, a new socialist President with a new socialist government in France made the difference for Spain and Italy. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it was said, had to make concessions. Not so, we found out later. The Chancellor stuck to her position of rigid austerity policies first.
The Conclusions of the full European Council, the text is attached, don`t offer much of great interest. The Compact for Growth and Jobs, annexed to the Conclusions, is given emphasis, but does not add much to already existing plans. Like the earlier growth and stability pact, this one is a political declaration of intent and not a legally binding agreement. In addition, the Treaty of 12 March cannot as yet enter into force, given the time the German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe is giving itself to rule on the constitutionality of the Treaty.
The year long conflict over the location of the Single Patent Court was finally "solved" in a typical EU Summit way. All three candidate cities (Munich, Paris and London) get some of it.
The Conclusions can only confirm - I regret to write - the conclusions in the Epilogue to my book. Summits are unsuitable instruments to resolve major problems. At best they produce empty declarations and unclear compromises. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government reflect the complete lack of solidarity in the continuing European crisis - just as the Dutch and Finnish governments. As Stephan Hebel rightly argued in the Frankfurter Rundschau (9 July), the Chancellor is Europe`s false friend. She refuses to be honest enough to recognise that austerities of the kind she is imposing on others, are not solving but sharpening Europe`s problems. The collapse of the Euro is not even in Germany`s interest. What she ought to do is to take the lead in developing the strategies and the democratic institutions for a truly European common economic policy.