Thursday, September 16, 2010

EU Problems

Henry Farrell looks at the EU's problems. Clearly seen, forcefully presented.

Pingeot on Europe

Mazarine Pingeot (François Mitterrand's daughter, for those who may not know) has this to say about Europe:

On n'a jamais tant parlé de l'Europe, et c'est une bonne chose. Certes, ce qui lui vaut ce retour à l'actualité est l'indignité de la France. Mais cette indignité, si elle nous rend en certaines heures honteux d'être Français, devrait nous rendre fiers d'être Européens.
Et si elle nous paraît lointaine, cette Europe « technocrate », il est pour elle urgent de rappeler aujourd'hui son fondement et sa vocation éthiques. Non seulement de les rappeler, mais de les prendre authentiquement en charge. Elle fera alors preuve de cet « héroïsme de la raison » qui nous fait défaut aujourd'hui.
Not bad!

The Great Sovereign Nation and the Little Boy

Pierre Lellouche, minister for European Affairs, says that France is a "great sovereign country" and that he, for one, won't stand for its being treated like "a little boy" by the European Commission. This, as Christophe Bouillaud notes in an astute commentary, is a rather remarkable statement for a minister charged with overseeing the relationship, defined by solemn treaties, between France and the European Union. These treaties impose limits on French sovereignty to which France has agreed. Either those limits are respected, or the European Union, once a centerpiece of Sarkozy's administration, becomes meaningless.

Viviane Reding, speaking for the European Commission on the Roma affair, may have been imprudent in her remarks about French policy, but she did capture everyone's attention and succeeded in making it clear that France cannot act just as it pleases in this matter, which concerns its treaty partners as well as itself. When tempers have cooled, perhaps everyone involved can take this pertinent fact on board and act accordingly. The Roma are indeed a European problem, and the problem cannot be solved by exporting Roma from wherever they happen to land.

Indeed, the situation is analogous to the economic problem, which Germany thinks can be solved if only everyone would export more. Someone has to be a net importer, in demographics as well as economics.