December 9th, 2011
10:24 AM GMT
Editor's note: The European Council has since sent out a revised release, and added this line to the bottom: “The Heads of State or Government of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Sweden indicated the possibility to take part in this process after consulting their Parliaments where appropriate.”
According to CNN's Jim Boulden: The line is weak and a bit of "eurospeak," but it does look like the continental leaders have decided to start to circle the wagons a little bit after some much needed sleep.
Brussels (CNN) – In this era of clumping countries together with catchy acronyms, we now have the chance to coin a phrase for the EU countries not participating in the new fiscal compact.
It’s no surprise that Hungary, Sweden and the UK are out. Add to that the Czech Republic and we have a mishmash of possibilities.
I present to you the CzHuUKS.
You might of course have something much better and easier to spell and I welcome ideas. But you can't help but wonder, early on Friday as we contemplate a two-tier Europe, whether these countries have lost their ability to influence deeper integration within Europe. They might as well CHUCK it all in.
Having said that, as anyone living in Britain will confirm, it is clear there has always been two Europes. Britain and the rest.
We have just watched Croatia take a step closer to becoming the 28th member of the EU. Other countries continue to knock at the door. Among existing members, Poland says it still wants to join the euro.
Meanwhile Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told CNN’s Richard Quest last night he had no mandate for treaty change. British Prime Minister David Cameron said he could not (and would not) put treaty changes before parliament.
Frankly, there was never going to be agreement here in Brussels among the 27. If we left here with a promise of 27 countries agreeing to major, swift changes on how the EU operates, rest assured it would have only been a matter of days before it all fell apart.
Now, we have a new summit target - March. By then the “17+6” are expected to have fleshed out this morning's agreement and have drafted balanced budget amendments "at constitutional or equivalent level" as the individual central banks around Europe gear up to loan billions to the International Monetary Fund.
In July the new permanent European Stability Mechanism (ESM) should be up and running.
So, there is plenty of work to do. But now we know the CzHuUKS are out and the rest have a roadmap.
We do it all again next March.
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