« Antidemocratic and xenophobic forces of Europe have always been attracted by the European unity dream, the mystic of the imperial Rome»
(FB - 1998)
" Being a citizen is a voluntary act "
(FB - 2009)
"Thinking about the future only makes sense if it is aimed at improving one’s thinking about the present and about the trends at work"
(FB - 1998)
"The European project is not a dream, but a hope. It is rooted in rationality, which is not the case with dreams. We Europeans have seen our dreams end in nightmares too often not to be suspicious."
(FB - 2005)
"The strength of a network is judged at the information level of the weakest link, or more precisely the link furthest from the centre of the network."
(FB - 2004)
"Europe's destiny is escaping the two "Greats" and it will come knocking on the door of the Europeans."
(FB - 1989)
"The history of Europe is a bit like a multifaceted diamond. Everyone sees the same diamond... but no one sees exactly the same facets."
(FB - E-storia project, 2004)
"Let us dare the future as the founding fathers of Europe did"
(FB - "From EU to Euroland", 2001)
"The European citizenship can not be decreed. The European citizen can only be born..."
(FB - 1992)
"Every state is a minority in the EU. In any case, let’s not forget that if all our states went into building the EU it is because they all felt too small to face alone both their future and the rest of the world."
(FB - 2003)
"From a single (EU) Currency to a single (EU) Citizenship. The euro is only an instrument."
(FB - 1997)
"An empire is always providing platforms where conflicts and wars prolife­rate... an empire needs enemies, whilst a Community requires partners."
(FB - 1992)
"Europe’s history has taught us that dreams and nightmares are the two faces of the same coin"
(FB - “Europe is Peace” 2006)
"Everybody wants to have a successful enlargement whereas it is a successful enlarged EU which is important."
(FB - 2002)
"It is clear that the existing national political parties can not serve two masters: national and European."
(FB - IDE, 1989)
"It takes teamwork to make Europe move forward."
(FB - 2005)
"There is nothing like one European. The European is a team of Europeans... the only way we can imagine a European, it is a team of people from different countries, not a single man or woman."
(FB - Enschede (NL) 2012)
"On the horizon with a heaven of freedom and a land of responsibility, this is perhaps the soul of Europe."
(FB - 1992)
"The future challenge for the European project is not about Europe anymore, it is about the Europeans."
(FB - 2005)
"The more Brussels speaks English, the less Brussels understands the Europeans"
(FB - 2004)
"Occupy the Future of Europe!"
("What do YOU want as a future for AEGEE?" Franck Biancheri at the 2012 Agora in Enschede)
"To combine new technologies and democratic principles to succeed in the entry of European integration in the 21st century or e-democracy at the service of Euro-democracy"
(FB - EUSV, 2001)
"In the years 00 of the 21st century, democratization can only take place in the perspective of the democratic election of a European executive that remains to be invented."
(FB - EUSV, 2001)
"We must build the European Community, otherwise Europe will soon be culturally Americanised, politically Finlandised and technologically Japanised"
EGEE I, 1984

Ukraine : call for the EU to be more than ‘preoccupied’ – Act now! (2004)

It may be just time for the EU to start being something else than ‘preoccupied’ or ‘open to membership‘ when it comes to its neighbours. When we look at the current situation regarding Turkey and Ukraine, we can see how much the EU is missing a ‘neighbourhood policy‘* and its leaders a strategic vision. (Franck Biancheri – 23/11/2004)


Beyond the seemingly very diverging position of the EU concerning Ankara and Kiev lies the same two factors: weakness and lack of vision of its leaders and institutions.


Weakness to tell the first one that whatever is said, they will not join the EU in the next 20 years at least and that it should be time to begin looking at an alternative kind of close relationship; weakness to tell the second one that though they will not join the EU in the next 20 years, the EU wants to create strong ties with this country and therefore will condition any close relationship to the respect of fundamental principles in terms of democracy and human rights.


Lack of vision with Ankara because by refusing to talk a language of truth our leaders are going to loose the referenda on the EU Constitution, while in the end generating backlash with the Turkish people too when it will become obvious that accession will not come. Lack of vision with Kiev because our leaders still believe that Putin’s Russia has some ‘right’ to keep a ‘veto’ on Ukraine’s future, hoping that it will help future EU/Russia relations; while on the contrary, everything which may lead the Russian leadership to think that the EU is not very serious about sharing common values with its neighbours will in the end weaken the EU position towards Russia.


When even the OSCE is stating that elections were not fitting with core European criteria, then there is no reason to keep on waiting. To move now regarding Ukraine and clearly say today that the EU will not work with a government elected thanks to massive fraud is not going to generate a dangerous situation; especially if a parallel message is passed to Moscow stating that the EU makes of Ukraine a test of future EU/Russia relations. On the contrary it will prevent today major unrest in this country and a possible violent development of the situation; and it will certainly prevent such kind of crisis in the future common neighbourhood of the EU and Russia. As history taught us, it is electoral fraud which endangers a country’s future; not strong reactions against the fraud.


By acting now along this line, the EU will show its capacity to have a vision of democracy and stability for its neighbours; and demonstrate that it is ready to put its actions in line with its declarations, showing that the EU has the will and the power to improve things in a sustainable way. Meanwhile it will pave the way for a consistent vision for its neighbourhood policy, which will have to deal with Ukraine, as well as with Turkey, in the coming two decades.


Franck Biancheri, 23-11-2004
Paris (France)


* Europe 2020 has just completed its GlobalEurope 2020 ‘European’ series of seminars with this topic, at a conference hosted by the Finnish Foreign Affairs Ministry. The report will be online on Thursday 25th.