The EU needs to tackle a new threat: international organised crime. Europe's criminal underworld is taking advantage of new opportunities to commit crime that come with the increasing mobility of people, goods and services across national boundaries.
The Lisbon agenda embodies a paradox. Progress made by the member-states has been slow and patchy. The German presidency in the first half of 2007 is playing down Lisbon, fearing that the process has been discredited by the EU’s failure to meet its targets.
The EU puts out a lot of reports, studies, evaluations and announcements. So far this month, the Commission has released around 80 major documents. Many of them are too specialised, too long or simply too dull to attract wider interest.
Top of the agenda when Jacques Chirac meets Angela Merkel today in Berlin will be the crisis at Airbus. The European aircraft manufacturer has been forced to suspend a restructuring programme following inferference from both the French and German governments.
“We are not the first who meaning the best have incurred the worst”, is a line from tragic heroine Cordelia in Shakespeare’s King Lear. But it could apply equally well to the architects of the EU’s failed constitutional treaty, also a tragic but unfinished saga.