“Prosperity and growth, security and stability and the long term sustainability of the EU necessarily pass through the promotion of our interests and values abroad and the engagement with external threats and global challenges”, said Mr. José Manuel Barroso is president of the European Commission in 2009. He later joined Goldman Such to replenish his own prosperity…
… and here we are at the end of 2018 with Ms. Merkel taking leave soon as Chancellor, a hapless Mr. Juncker being retired off at last, a dithering Ms. May losing the thread of Brexit and much else, with the Italians threatening to demand pots of money from Northern Europe, and with the Poles and Hungarians happily feasting on huge handouts from the EU while raising their middle finger to democracy and our cherished traditional values. Macron is the least popular president ever but he continues to ride his Napoleonic horse roughshod over the population because like all of the names above “He knows best!”
But should we be worried about all of this?
The short answer is no. Europe has over-reached its limits and now reached its limits.
What can you really do with 28 or possibly 27 independent countries who speak as many languages and dialects. The EU started out as a Common Market for trade and then some bright spark started blowing his horn in favour of a federal State of Europe, a proposal that has never been put to the vote and never will on present form!
Europe has achieved a lot during the last 61 years but the present team at the top is too rough around the edges and there are just too many former politicians who have been carted off to the European fields in Brussels by their own national voters. It appears that a job in Brussels is a barn for old cart-horses to spend their last remaining days in peace before being sent off to the knackers yard.
Readers may have noticed that this newspaper is not particularly in favour of backing either Mr. Stubb or Mr. Weber for the new President of the EU Commission – see European politics.
The Germans and the French already have too much power in deciding policy – austerity has become a dirty word not because of Italy or Greece, but because the Germans use it to fill their pockets with ever increasing government budget surpluses.
It is a good question to ask why the EU has not sent a strongly worded notice to the German government to get them to balance their books and reducing their surplus that is just as damaging as the awful budget deficit threats of the Italians. And it is not only the Germans who are at fault, but also France that has excessive amounts of public debt.
Do not hold your breath and wait for reforms just yet – but we may see some light under the bridge when the oldies are replaced with younger models.
Prosperity rests on Europe’s security and stability, and voters should turn out and vote while demanding real reforms at the same time.