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Little political comments from a Euro-citizen (1) – Franck Biancheri (2004)

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 sample of ‘European people’s wisdom,’ something that is definitely worth sharing with our Newropeans-Magazine readers. And, with among them many civil servants and decision makers from within the EU institutional system who all too rarely meet with the average European.

EuroMPs perks : There is something definitely rotten inside the EU Kingdom!

To paraphrase Macbeth, when one learns about the huge amounts of money (up to 200.000 Euros a year) that EuroMPs can extricate from the lousy European Parliament funding system, one can only be shocked and feel ashamed of our democracies. When you combine it with the current scandal surrounding E-mmunities (the campaign against EU civil servants protection behind ‘bullet-proof’ lifelong immunities), it is of no small wonder that the European Parliament has never seriously tried to change this system. Most EuroMPs are much too afraid of the possible repercussions, retaliation on behalf of EU civil servants by making public parlimentary sins and their scandalous perks.

When I hear that the European Parliament would like to get control of the European Court of Auditors and therefore take its independence, I find it more than frightening. Its a democratic shame.

The Brussels/Luxemburg/Strasburg system has gone out of control because of money. EuroMps are influenced by their monetary addictions; with many suspecting that the EU civil servant judicial immunity has been used as a cover up for fraud and corruption.

Europe is a great historical project; but its current servants, politicians and top-bureaucrats, are definitely not up to the challenge. And once again this will be reflected in the next European elections.

E-mmunities : French Euro-Mps seem to be very much out of touch with reality … or maybe they simply don’t visit the European Parliament enough…

E-mmunities is generating a growing interest everytime we mention it, including among national and local politicians. Citizens everywhere are amazed that this kind of an immunity was ever created. By next week, Newropeans Magazine will publish the list 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 believe their own bureaucrats who tell them that this immunity is nothing serious (so ask why keep it?), or who just don’t care, provided they can keep on receiving their own ‘perks.’ Interestingly enough, French EuroMps seem for the most part to belong to this second category. More coming soon! -)

Turkey’s accession: So many lies from the pro-accession side

I do not know where the European citizens supporting the accession of Turkey to the EU are, because I keep on looking for them throughout Europe … and I still can’t find them. Are they a new concept, a ‘stealth citizen,’ undetectable to all save leaders and pollsters? Well, on the contrary, I bet that they will be very visible at the next European elections. Meanwhile I am amazed at 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 in this odd situation?).

Therefore here are some hints to my fellow European citizens: do not be intimidated or confused by those leaders who say the following :

. Turkey is not the issue of the next European elections : YES, IT IS ! AND IT IS THE MAIN ONE. The EU will take a decision on whether to 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 accept Muslim countries like Bosnia and Albania in coming decades; and it will not take Ukraine or Russia, predominantly Christians countries. The issue is that the European project was not sold to our 450 million citizens as a bridge between civilizations, continents and cultures; and by accepting Turkey, we will also accept Russia, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, .. : the EU will become something totally different. Fair enough. If leaders and bureaucrats want to discuss this issue with citizens, let’s do it by way of 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, advanced for 40 years now, is a major reason for the situation we are in today. Our leaders have lied to us for decades convincing citizens that Turkey will never appear on the agenda. Wel here it is. Turkish leaders have lied to their citizens for decades by telling them that the EU will welcome their country, that democracy will follow wealth. Lies again. And the oddest thing is that neither the generals (who will lose control of the country), nor the AKP, the ruling Muslim party (who will no longer be able to push religion through the state apparatus, as they are now doing), wants it. So, don’t buy these theories saying ‘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 in the EU, in particular the forces within the Commission and Member states (such as Germany or the UK) which are pushing hard for these types of outcomes, has any idea of the political and economic cost of Turkey’s accession. They are as aware of the future of the EU as the US Administration was of the future developments in Iraq when they started the war!

. And last but not least, do not believe for 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 amazing as it may seem, I have been listening to these arguments in current public meetings for European elections. First of all, the very simple idea of linking ‘brothers,’ i.e. Turks and Arabs, is historical nonsense. To put it in simple terms, they tend to hate each other. Do not forget that the Turks took the Arab countries over for hundreds of years! Secondly, who has ever seen Ben Laden calling for the EU to take Turkey inside the EU? It would most likely be the opposite.

Too much on Turkey? Well, if you think so, then go talk in a pub, a bar or a Biergarten these days, and you will see that compared to all other topics combined, this one most attracts the attention of European voters. And they are rightly interested because this debate is about the future of the whole European project; it goes far beyond the question of Turkey itself. It’s about who runs Europe: a small clique or its citizens ?

Franck Biancheri
Paris (France) – 25-05-2004

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