NM – 25/05/2004 – From time to time, rather than making a longer editorial on one or the other EU current issues, I will try to elaborate those ‘little comments’ reflecting discussions, debates I have with average Europeans like me in various parts of Europe. With an average of a dozen conferences in 3/5 different European countries per month, in front of audiences ranging from students to diplomats, from farmers to metropolitan elites, from NGO activists to businessmen, I believe that I am collecting an interesting sampling of ‘European people’s wisdom’. Something definitely worth sharing with our readers. And with, among them, many civil servants and decision makers from within the EU institutional system who too rarely meeting with the average European.
EuroMPs perks: There is something definitely rotten within the EU Kingdom!
Paraphrasing Macbeth, when ones learn about the huge amounts of money (till 200.000 Euros a year) which EuroMPs may be able to get from the lousy European Parliament funding system, one can only be shocked and feel ashamed for our democracies. When you combine it with the current scandal of E-mmunities (EU civil servants being protected by ‘bullet-proof’ lifelong immunities), no wonder why the European Parliament never seriously tried to attack those immunities. Most EuroMPs were much too afraid that EU civil servants will make public their own sins with their scandalous perks.
When I listen that the European Parliament would like to get control over the European Court of Auditor and therefore terminates its independence, it is more than frightening. It would be a democratic shame.
The Brussels/Luxemburg/Strasburg system has gone out of control because of money. EuroMps are under money addiction; many are suspecting that the EU civil servant judicial immunity has been used to cover up fraud and corruption. Europe is a great historical project; but its current servants (politicians and top-bureaucrats are definitely up to the challenge). And once again this will be reflected within next European elections.
E-mmunities: French Euro-Mps seem to be very much out of reality … or maybe they do not go enough to the European Parliament
E-mmunities is generating a growing interest everywhere we mention it, including among national and local politicians. Everywhere citizens are amazed that such an immunity was even able to be created. By next week, the magazine will publish the lists of those who are in favor of suppressing it, those who do care about real democracy and equality in front of the law; and of course the list of all the others, who think believe their own bureaucrats who tell them that this immunity is nothing serious (then why keeping it?), or who just do not care, provide they can going on receiving their own ‘perks’. Interestingly enough, French EuroMps seem to be very much entering this second category. More soon! -)
Turkey accession: So many lies from the pro-accession side
I do not know where are the European citizens supporting the accession of Turkey within the EU, because I keep on tracking them throughout Europe … and I cannot find them. Are they a new concept the ‘stealth citizen’, undetectable but to leaders and pollsters? Well, on the contrary, I bet that they will be very visible on next European elections. Meanwhile I am amazed by the incredible number of lies and manipulative arguments used by the ‘pro-Turkey’ side. Because if you do not find citizens supporting the idea, you find a large number of ‘leaders’ doing so (is the fact that large lobbies are pouring out money to support the accession playing a role to explain that odd situation?).
Therefore here are some hints to my fellow European citizens: do not be intimidated or confused by those leaders saying the following things:
. Turkey is not the issue of next European elections: YES, IT IS! AND IT IS THE MAIN ONE. The EU will take a decision on whether start negotiations with Turkey or not by the end of 2004; and the Parliament has a strong say in the process.
. You are xenophobic if you do not support the accession of Turkey: NO, YOU ARE NOT. The problem is not religion as the EU will take Muslim countries like Bosnia and Albania in coming decades; and it will not take Ukraine or Russia which are Christians. The question is that the European project was not sold to our 450 million citizens as bridging civilizations, continents and cultures; and that if we take Turkey, we will take also Russia, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, .. : the EU becomes something totally fair enough. If leaders and bureaucrats want to discuss this whole issue with citizens, fair enough, let’s do it and make a referendum. Otherwise every single democratically aware citizen should vote for a candidate saying ‘NO’ to the accession of Turkey.
. We will say ‘yes’ but it will take decades and we will ask for a European referendum before Turkey enters the EU: SHAME on those who say that. THEY LIE TO YOU as much as they intend to lie to the Turkish people. DO NOT TRUST THEM. This continuous lie, for 40 years, is a major part of the situation we are into by now. Our leaders lie to us for decades making citizens think that Turkey will never ever come on the agenda. It is now. Turkish leaders lie to their citizens for decades by telling them the EU will welcome their country, that democracy will come together with wealth. Lies again. And the oddest thing is that neither the generals want seriously their country to get into the EU (they will loose their control of the country); neither the AKP, ruling Muslim party, wants it too because they will not be able to push religion throughout the state apparatus (as they are doing by now). So, don’t buy these theories that ‘lies can lead to truth’.
. We control the process and we know what we are doing: THEY LIE AGAIN . NOBODY KNOWS HOW IT COULD BE DONE . Nobody within the EU, in particular the forces within the Commission and Member states (such as Germany or UK) which are pushing hard for such an outcomes, has any idea of the political and economic cost of the accession of Turkey. They are as aware of the future process as was the US Administration aware of future developments in Iraq when they started the war!
. And last but not least, do not believe one second that ‘if we take Turkey, there will be less Muslim terrorist attacks on Europe’. THIS IS COMPLETELY FALSE ; the contrary would probably more accurate. As much amazing as it may be, I have been listening to such an argument in current public meetings for European elections. First of all, the very simple idea of linking as ‘brothers’ Turks and Arabs is an historical nonsense. To put it clearly, they tend to hate each other. Do not forget that Turks took over for hundreds of years the Arab countries! Second, who has ever seen Ben laden calling for the EU to take Turkey inside the EU? It would most probably be the contrary.
Too long on Turkey? Well, if you think so, then go to discuss in a pub, a bar or a Biergarten these days, and you will see that compared to all other topics combined, this one does attract the attention of European voters. And they are right to do so because it is about the future of the whole European project; it goes far beyond the question of Turkey itself. It is about who runs Europe: a small clique or its citizens?