Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing


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The White Paper presented last week by the European Commission to the European Parliament and to the people of Europe says nothing new – nothing we did not already know.

The White Paper offered five scenarios, to satisfy all. (1) Carrying on, read: Business as usual. (2) Nothing but the Single Market, read: Europe of Merchants. (3) Those who want more do more, read: A multi-speed Europe.(4) Doing Less More Efficiently, read: Back to square one. (5) Doing much more together, read: In the constellation of dreams.

While all options are outlined in the White Paper, it does not mention the pre-conditions for each one, how each scenario will materialise, what are the factors that may impede it and who will be the drivers to make it happen.

The White Paper was a very good homework exercise, prepared by three or four technocrats who have excellent linear thinking, but not related to politics whatsoever. As such, the White Paper is addressed only to other technocrats and not to the people of Europe – not the ordinary citizens.

Politics is not mathematics. It is physics and, in our times, the fact that our institutions are coming to an end – making room for socio-political innovation – it is quantum mechanics. When you think that you measure the subatomic particle, it is already gone.

Indeed, the White Paper, does not address neither the problems of Europe nor the problems of its citizens.

The citizens do not care if cars will have Wi-Fi. Citizens care about problems of minor importance for the gods and semi-gods of Berlaymont. They care about the trivial, minor things such as austerity and unemployment.

As for political Europe, its major problem is not the quality of air but the rise of extremism, offspring of uncontrolled populism, which is looming all over the Western world.

This leads to the real issue that the European Commission, being the executive of the European Union, must deal with – not tomorrow, but yesterday. It is the content of our democracy and the validity of our moral and political principles. But who besides Jean-Claude Juncker and three or four of his Commissioners can understand this? Unfortunately, very few can understand it. This means we are far behind from addressing our problems because the arrival of one swallow does not a summer make.

And those very few in Berlaymont who understand politics, in view of the March 25 summit, should think again what message the Italian daily La Republica was trying to convey with its article a few weeks ago. At the time, the Commission, in a rather naïve, if not childish reaction, precipitated to label it “fake news” a.k.a. “disinformazia”. There are two newspapers in Italy that have never ever carried any “disinformazia,” Corriere della Sera and La Republica. What, not often, they carry carefully phrased, are messages breaking like thunders on a sunny day. Berlaymont, of course, never had real access to any of them.

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