Few European citizens actually realise that the European parliament has three assemblies. One in Brussels, another in Luxembourg and the third in France.
The French in the early days of the EU’s development had an insecurity pang about their own importance and insisted that the EU let them have an EU parliament in Strasbourg. And so each month more than 780 MEPs and their staff – along with hundreds of tonnes of documentation – spend about $22 million of EU tax payers’ money just to stop French bed-wetting.
Yes, the European parliament – a fake assembly which doesn’t even have the power to propose legislation – each month busies itself with pouring over draft EU directives on climate change and carbon emissions while burning 20,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions in a year itself.
If Emmanuel Macron was looking for an institution so magnificently betrothed to bullsh*t, he chose the right place when he delivered his speech this week to MEPs on how to reform the EU.
A product of the business elite and someone who so passionately devotes himself to the EU project, Macron’s delivery was not an original one but it was well received by many EU federalists who are locked into their own blinded dogma about the EU’s problems. Macron, like the federalist bigots in Brussels, believe that Europe needs more EU, not less. Amazing.
Amid the financial chaos of recent years with the euro, an escalating immigration panic which has fuelled right wing parties to new levels of popularity from a failed project in Brussels which at times looks as though it can come crashing down at any moment, Macron believes the people of Europe need to hand over more power to the elite in the Belgian capital.
And calling for EU reform is all part of that mantra, despite being an exercise in extreme futility, rather like telling your four-year-old to stop picking his nose.
The EU has proved that it cannot reform and grows woefully out of touch with the public which they consider to be a hindrance to furthering the elitest French idea of Les Fonctionairres.
In fact, what the EU has done in recent years when it ‘reforms’ is the opposite of what old Europe asks of it. In reality, during Neil Kinnock’s term as vice president, EU whistleblowers were hung out to dry while journalists were arrested in dawn raids....for being journalists and investigating EU corruption.
The ‘reform’ period, 1999 to 2004, was really about battening down the hatches and ensuring that never again would EU corruption be discovered again through whistleblowers or hacks.
And they did a good job.
It’s hard to believe, but the EU doesn’t really do democracy. It’s an elitist, autocratic, Masonic, backward organisation based on a French model of Napoleonic governance – not a modern European, pluralistic entity which respects the views of the electorate.
The European parliament where Macron gave his speech is not full of voter groups across the continent furthering the cause of consumer or civil rights, but rather teeming with literally hundreds of lobbyists who are there to ensure that Big Industry (often not even EU industry) gets to play a crucial role in drafting new business rules which push smaller competitors out of the market altogether.
Macron is part of this network and a true conservative.
Macron is calling for an EU army, a new, separate EU parliament for member states in the eurozone, common policies of tax and asylum.
And such an EU would punch way above its weight on the international scene, especially in the Middle East.
But what is Macron really up to? What is his real agenda which the call centre accredited journalists of Brussels couldn’t quite manage to weave into their copy?
Macron’s Napoleon Syndrome
Macron’s idea is of a much more dynamic and powerful EU, with him running its international division, which would play a bigger role in some of the intractable disputes around the world.
We should not forget how quickly Macron stepped in and tried to place himself and the Elysee as the first stop for both warring leaders of Libya. More recently he approached the Iranian government suggesting they modify their ballistic missile program (to appease Trump); he also saved the kidnapped Lebanese Prime Minister from an over zealous Saudi Prince’s ruse; and now in Syria, Macron is also playing a much more prolific role in not only convincing Trump to keep US soldiers there but also being his main go-to guy in Europe which shatters the EU’s own credibility while galvanising Macron’s, in one strike.
In 2009, the Portuguese President of the European Commission Jose Barosso said he had resolved Henry Kissinger’s problem of who to call when the former statesman wanted to call Europe – the EU’s own foreign policy chief.
Yet these days, we can only have pity for an increasingly ineffective Federica Mogherini who has been airbrushed out of the game altogether as Macron increasingly uses the Trump card to make a French President now Europe’s unofficial peace broker for the Middle East. Mogherini doesn’t want intervention in Syria and Macron and other EU leaders are getting tired of her.
Macron’s intentions, which were more or less identical to those of Sarkozy who even went as far as creating an organisation while in office which promoted his own unique ideas on the region, are clear.
Macron is shaping up to be a new kind of leader for a new kind of EU. The EU is not about citizens’ rights or ideas. It’s about self fulfilment for those who work the system and Macron has now shown his true colours as he vies for a new role for a French President.
The question is how far will he will wet nurse Trump, who mirrors his own quirks and ideas about governance; and how far he will go in destroying the credibility of the EU just to place himself on its mantle.
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