July 1, 2008
Day One of the French Presidency increases my worries. From the Schumann Plan to monetary union, the big ideas which fashioned European integration have been mainly French. But the tenor of the rhetoric of the French leadership leaves me incredulous and worried.
“No-one understands the European Union, not even me”, says Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner. “Europe appears as a problem rather than a solution.”
“We must reconnect with the citizens”, says Président Sarkozy. “We must change our method of construction.”
As I’ve previously written, the principal fault lies with the Member State leaders, who do not explain what the EU does and talk about ‘Brussels’, often in a derogatory manner, not revealing that they have the final word in Brusssels.
It certainly does not help for Kouchner to pretend that even he does not understand. Nor does it help for Sarkozy to continue to attack the Commission, in particular Commissioner Mandelson, and the European Central Bank.
I view the forthcoming visits of the President to Ireland and the Czech Republic with trepidation.
“We have prepared this presidency with much humility”, says Prime Minister François Fillon.
Vraiment?Author : Stanley Crossick