Gerhard Schroeder's federalist ideas will do nothing to improve eurosceptics' perception of the European Union. Schroeder's comments also come at a crucial time with many European Union states preparing for the introduction of the euro on January 1. While Britain is often criticised for its “anti-European feeling,” all is not well on the continent.

A recent survey suggested that the Spanish are becoming bored of the “European dream”. Membership of the European Union has brought much to Spain but the Spanish are probably just as worried about losing national sovereignty as the British. Surrendering more power to Brussels, in accordance with the “Schroeder dream,” will probably be met with a polite no from the Spanish government, especially as Brussels would be responsible for immigration policies. Probably one of the biggest parliamentary battles of the year in Spain was the new law on immigration recently approved which aims to halt the flow of immigrants from North Africa. The political fall-out continues and the leader of the Balearic government Francesc Antich was quoted as saying that he opposed the plan and was more in favour of opening the floodgates.

For people living in the Balearics the battle is with Madrid over the lack of funding. Brussels is still a long way away and many would prefer to have domestic disputes resolved first before anything more ambitious is even contemplated.

Jason Moore

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