The fundamental criticism expressed by Franck Biancheri in 1992, remained dead letter, so that “the democratic imposture” became a real “betrayal of the elites” political and media … leading us inevitably to the gigantic existential crisis in which is struggling for more than 10 years the whole project of European integration. The excerpt below introduces Chapter II of the book “Europe: Community or Empire?” (special publication by Editions Anticipolis, 12/2017) in which Franck Biancheri denounces the archaism and anti-democratism of the European elite and national political classes. Re-reading Franck Biancheri’s anticipations makes it possible to understand the causes of failure and to build the next Europe on a better understood lesson. The Europeans must imperatively discover the European genius of Franck Biancheri, this great man of the history of the continent, to feed the nascent Euro-citizen consciousness.
What is this caricature of democracy in which one is supposed to have only one rational, moral, intelligent, responsible choice, the other choice being the one made by idiots and bad guys?
A Community under the monopoly of archaic elites
As we have said, the Community process must be based on two fundamental principles: democracy and the preservation of diversity.
The current inadequacy of the Community’s democratic procedures and the low credibility of those procedures for preserving diversity represent two major political mistakes committed by Community leaders. These errors are largely responsible for the wave of mistrust, even rejection, going through the public opinion’s minds for a few months. These reactions have deep and ancient roots. The question of the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty has been the catalyst of the European Community. If these feelings are expressed more openly and loudly in the countries where a Maastricht referendum is held, they are very strong in most other member states as many polls show.
The responsibility of the leaders of the Community is total. Their refusal to consider the necessary implications of the principles on which the Community is openly based is now leading to this dangerous situation which may lead to a divorce between public opinion and leaders on the Community issue.
Alas, there is still no university, school or training institution which can train a European politician, teach him about the diversity of the Community, the variety of Europeans, the problems at the heart of each people, the way Community institutions really work, etc. So, the politician could not develop this ability in school!
His experience comes mainly from his voters. Now, our politician today, whether he is president or deputy, is elected only in his own country by people from his own country, who speaks his language, which is not that of other Europeans. He will therefore never have the opportunity to develop a European experience for lack of European voters to encourage it. Nor is it his party that will bring this experience or training to him. Indeed, political activism is a good school for teaching the realities of a Community. But since there are no European parties covering the areas between Copenhagen to Seville, our poor apprentices of Community leaders must content themselves with constantly travelling the roads of their origin country, discovering the other countries and their people only as tourists, like all their fellow citizens (who are not leading the Community).
Community leaders are aware of this risk of divorce. Everyone, right and left, in France as in Germany, in Brussels as well as in Strasbourg, insist on their populations on the terrible risk of refusing to ratify the Maastricht Treaty. But this threat remains unacceptable from a democratic point of view. It is absolutely scandalous that those who have held the monopoly of the leadership of the European Community for the last 35 years, the only architects and writers of the Maastricht Treaty, have supported public opinion: “We are great democrats, we consult our populations to know whether they are in agreement with the treaty, by direct ways (through a referendum) or indirect ways (parliament). But beware, you can not refuse it, otherwise it will be the end of the European construction!”.
What is this caricature of democracy in which one is supposed to have only one rational, moral, intelligent, responsible choice, the other choice being the one made by idiots and bad guys? …
Read more in “Europe: Community or Empire?” by Franck Biancheri, 1992.
Order the book here: Editions Anticipolis (special publication, 12/2017)