Prime Minister Gordon Brown of England clashed with French President Sarkozy over future directions of Europe. Brown was able to persuade European Union leaders to agree there would not be any changes in direction or structure “for the forseeable future.” Sarkozy wants to create a group of “wise men” who would examine the European Union in order to develop new strategies which would compel its members to more closely integrate their economies and political structures within the framework of a redeveloped European Union. He believes the time has been reached in the history of European development for a “new European dream” which entails integrated armed forces, integrated foreign policy, and more completely integrated political systems. The French president also differs with Brown over the issue of allowing Turkey to become a member of the EU, an action he opposes while Brown is more willing to consider the possibility.
As the European Union matures, it becomes more cognizant of how further economic, political, and military integration can enhance its power and prestige in the world. Sarkozoy is leaning in that direction while Brown, like many other European leaders, is not yet prepared to consider such changes. Perhaps, in the short term, Brown’s view will be accepted, but in the long term there is a strong likelihood the Sarkozy “European dream” might eventually become a reality.