Archive for juin, 2014

A French message to Britain!

mardi, juin 24th, 2014

A French message to Britain: get out of Europe before you wreck it!

This article by French Socialist and former Prime Minister Michel Rocard was published in Le Monde on 5th June, 2014 and then on-line in English in The Guardian (www.the on 6th June, 2014.

« The European Union is on its knees but you, the British, want to block even small steps to democratic legitimacy. »

« Now you pretend to want to exit; the majority of your people are in no doubt about it. But you have a banking interest in remaining to capitalise on the disorder that you have helped to create.

So go before you wreck everything.

There was a time when being British was synonymous with elegance. Let us rebuild Europe. Regain your elegance and you will regain our esteem. »

France: Cleaning up the political mess after the earthquake

mercredi, juin 11th, 2014

On Monday 26th May, France woke up shocked after the political earthquake it experienced with the result of the European Parliament elections. The French left, the Socialist Party (Parti Socialiste, PS) reached a poor 14% of the votes, while the right (Union pour un Mouvement Populaire, UMP) scored 21%; the most striking performance however was the 25% score of the ever stronger far-right party, the Front National, (FN). The result had been forecasted in polls during the months preceding the vote. Contrary to the presidential elections of 2002, when Jean-Marie Le Pen made it to the second round against Jacques Chirac, the rise of the FN was not a big surprise, but still a shocking development. After a little more than a week, the blast of the election results has faded and the press moves on to make its headlines on political scandals concerning the UMP. It seems that there is a lot to do to clean up this electoral and political mess ? but what and whose mess is this?

Read more below in this article by Pauline Lucas, European Public Affairs:

Blair & Merkel leave Cameron in a perilous position?

lundi, juin 2nd, 2014

Benedict Brogan writing today (click on the link below) in his political blog (The Telegraph on-line, 2nd June, 2014) thinks interventions by Tony Blair and Angela Merkel leave PM David Cameron in a perilous position on Europe.

According to Mr Brogan

« Downing Street has denied German claims that David Cameron said Britain would leave the EU if Jean-Claude Juncker is chosen as president, but that hasn’t stopped them being widely reported. »
« Accompanying the headlines is a sense that Mr Cameron has gone public too early on Britain’s opposition to the Luxembourg federalist. »

[particularly as it is also reported today that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is already working to gather support for the candidacy of Mr Junker.]

In addition, Tony Blair has entered the debate with a speech to the CBI this morning in which he will try to put himself as the head of the « Save Europe » movement. According to Mr Blair:

« It has to be a debate elevated to a Europe-wide level, with Britain playing a leading role, not just a negotiation of Britain’s terms of membership. It has to be about what is good for Europe as well as what is good for Britain. »

Benedict Brogan thinks that all this makes the Prime Minister

« vulnerable to the charge that his position on Europe is not a big strategic argument based on principles, but a series of carefully judged tactical gambits designed to keep one step ahead of Nigel Farage [of UKIP] and numbers of his backbenchers. »

Mr Cameron has chosen to make his stand against Mr Junker, and perhaps has been misquoted in suggesting this as a break point for future UK membership of the EU, but will need the support of Germany to succeed. Without the support of Mrs Merkel he seems to have put himself into a perilous position.