domingo, junho 05, 2005

“Now for the British revolution”

"The EU after the French referendum will be very different from the discredited EU before, opening up the opportunity for Britain to save Europe from itself.
Tony Blair laid down the challenge, saying Europe must decide on its future direction in the quick-moving globalised world. Jacques Chirac retorted in his television address on Tuesday that he had not lost faith in the ‘European ideal’, and promised more of the French model, rejecting the ‘Anglo Saxon’ view, and appointing a Napoleon-worshipping mystical French nationalist as prime minister. The EU is dead; long live the EU…

British diplomats have been trying to stifle outbursts of public laughter at the fact it is the French — the FRENCH! — who provoked this crisis. They are laughing because it is the French more than anyone who created the EU, and based it on their own technocratic, centralised and elitist political model. The EU’s founding fathers were the Frenchmen Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet, whose aim was a United States of Europe, and its greatest force for integration was the Frenchman Jacques Delors. The French government has a very proprietorial interest in the Union, and has been the motor, far more than Germany, driving forward ‘ever closer union’. The Common Agricultural Policy, the single currency and the constitution are all French creations.
For the French the EU was a way of creating Europe in its image, a Greater France, bankrolled by the Germans, who were still doing penance for their grandfathers’ crimes. The French federalist model has not just meant giving the union all the trappings of a state — a president, a parliament, a flag, a currency, a national anthem, a motto (‘united in diversity’), and a constitution which decrees a national day — ‘Europe Day shall be celebrated on 9 May throughout the Union.’ …

The ‘old Europe’ model worked wonders in the fractured post-war world, but it is still fighting the last battle, unfit for the challenges of the 21st century. There is clearly a need for an EU — just not this EU. In a dense patchwork of countries, so close that if one sneezes another gets sneezed on, there is a need for rules to ensure good neighbourliness. With such intertwined economies, ensuring open borders and common standards makes us all better off. Working together, we can often achieve far greater things — such as compelling Microsoft to stop abusing its near monopoly, or enticing Ukraine out of the grip of Russia — than any country could do by itself…

The EU needs an alternative model, and there is only one country in a position to offer it. Not Germany, not Italy, but Britain. Its economy is thriving and its political status is high. Tony Blair may face some difficulties, but he is newly re-elected. By contrast, Gerhard Schröder in Germany, Jacques Chirac in France and Silvio Berlusconi in Italy are all mortally wounded.
Always defensive in Europe, pleading for opt-outs, reluctantly dragging its heels, the UK now has the possibility of taking over as the EU’s driving force. Rather than just striving to limit the damage from EU policies, it can set the EU’s direction.

Anthony Browne,” Now for the British revolution”, The Spectator


Blogger Henrique Raposo said...

É tempo de uma Europa mais inglesa, sem dúvida. É tempo de deixar de lado o pensamento monista do continente.

9:42 da manhã  

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