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Europe's blinkered optimists

25 November 2018

Europe's blinkered optimists

‘We dance and we jump and we are so happy'. Nothing to do with the approach of Christmas, but in proclamation of next year's European Parliament elections. If it were up to the Parliament's Secretary-General, that would be the message. Tomorrow he'll be in the EP to give his side of the story in the framework of the annual budgetary control. Let's see then if he can explain why the official information campaign connects so seamlessly to the message being promoted by Macron, Verhofstadt, and to a somewhat lesser extent the Greens. And why the campaign prefers to exclude all of those who, rightly or wrongly, believe that the EU has done nothing for them.

Believe Macron or Verhofstadt, currently enjoying a bromance in support of the Liberal ALDI in the European elections, then you'll understand that the European Union is one big party. And all those who have lost their jobs or been plunged into deep poverty as a consequence of austerity policies imposed by the EU, they're simply bitter people. They don't belong in the hubbub of the elections. No, it's all about getting the boys and girls who've made it or are going to make it to the ballot box. They're aiming at the 10%, confident that the 90% will follow of their own accord, because who doesn't like to party? The Greens follow a similar strategy, although they do have more to say about the social problems in the EU. But you have to want to go along with the drive towards a European superstate. Otherwise you don't count, and you're nothing bit a prematurely aged lad or lass. Where is this party? Why, in Brussels, of course!

Unbridled marketisation, the enormous influence on European policies of the multinationals and of banks and other financial institutions, has ruined the EU and made it guilty of completely asocial politics. The lives of the 90% are anything but one big party. It's often a matter of worrying if you can get through the month. You lose your grip on your life. And all of a sudden the noises coming from the party sound a lot less festive. Those in Brussels are certainly filling their own pockets. But what, people ask, are they doing for me? A real information campaign for the European elections, which are indeed important, would tell an honest story. It would admit that major mistakes have been made over the last few years in the area of social and economic policy; that the enormous salaries and 'reimbursements of expenses' in Brussels stand out glaringly against the still enormous poverty in Europe; that the differences in levels of prosperity which are in part a result of Brussels' policies are only growing. Such a campaign would show understanding for all of the criticisms of the EU and seek dialogue. That's what I'm going to ask the Secretary General to do tomorrow: stop the music, the party's over and it's time to go looking for the people who don't vote because they can expect nothing from the EU. Bad news for Macron and his ilk, but good news for everyone with a social heart, and eventually for the EU as a whole.

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