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Call for an immediate embargo on Russian gas!

Waiting for Putin to take the initiative would make the cut-off no longer a sanction. The European Union is tearing itself apart over the question of stopping Russian gas and oil imports. It thus assumes, without a qualm, the opprobrium of financing the Russian war effort to the detriment of imperative humanitarian considerations, relayed by the unbearable spectacle of the exactions and suffering endured by the Ukrainians. This iniquitous stance, justified by the need to maintain the fragile, barely reestablished “unity” of the 27, is precisely what will definitively destroy it. The argument that the suspension of hydrocarbon purchases will be enacted “as soon as possible” is a peak of hypocrisy, rarely reached and reminds us of this sentence of…

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Immigration will tear France apart.

The “sovereigntist” proposals of the LR candidates are incompatible with France’s membership of the European Union. Brussels, 7 November 2021 The apparent unity shown by all the LR candidates to the “candidature” on the question of immigration puts a particular responsibility on the shoulders of the journalists in charge of moderating the debates, the first of which will take place on Monday 8 November on the LCI TV channel. How can one decide between the candidates who all make proposals without ever considering the practicalities of their implementation, the compatibility of their proposals with French constitutional law or with the European or international treaties to which France is a party? Let us specify that these proposals are by definition exclusively…

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European, Politics, Uncategorized

2021 will be the making or the undoing of the European Union.

Covid 19 is an opportunity for the Commission to implicate the “Citizen” in future of the Union. The European Commission, under President Ursula von der Leyen, is determined to extract the process of European integration from the rut in which it has been stuck since the signing of the Lisbon treaty. The conclusion of the Brexit Agreement opens the way to focus its efforts on its new priorities. In addition to the environment and digitalization, circumstances have led it to embrace vigorously its involvement in healthcare, a domain previously reserved to Member States. Its dealing with the pandemic has considerably reinforced the pertinence of its interventions, be it in relation to the economic crises (Recovery Plan), its flexible interpretation of…

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European, Politics, Uncategorized

Disappointments!

The Franco-German communiqué pre-empts both the Council and the Commission. The Brexit dead end is taking too much room. I would have enjoyed rejoicing, with no second thoughts, over the new European horizons unveiled at the recent Franco-German summit. Indeed agreement between their leaders is a precondition to badly needed reform to ensure the EU’s survival. It is vital to reinvigorate a disabused public opinion which has been misled into believing that the Union rather than the Member States (“MS”) is responsible for the weaknesses for which it is blamed. Unfortunately, the announcement on Monday evening of an “historic agreement” between France and Germany concerning the financing by the EU of an unprecedented economic stimulus package, is further illustration of…

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Inequalities

“Liberté –Egalité -Fraternité”, this emblematic motto adorns the front of every French Town Hall and boasts the new values that the country adopted on the morrow of its great revolution. Since then France has undertaken, with undeniable success, to propagate them worldwide. If the words seem to form a coherent juxtaposition, they express, nevertheless, concepts that belong to complementary but by no means identical, categories. “Liberty” can be classified as belonging to the list of “human rights”, limited only by the freedom of others. “Equality” is an aspiration towards which one can yearn without ever reaching it. “Fraternity” is a sentiment, applied voluntarily, aiming at reducing inequalities. The social compact implicit in the adoption of this motto is based on…

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The EU “On the Road”

Since May 14th the European Union can, once again, start moving forward following the inauguration of President Macron. It was a near thing that the European project, initiated over 60 years ago, came a cropper under the violence of nationalist and populist assaults. If the victory of Emmanuel Macron appears evident with the benefit of hindsight, one should recall that in the first round of the election, over half the voters backed anti-European programs and a further quarter favoured a Union under French domination. Furthermore, in the second round, the risk of having a choice limited to two anti-European extremists was decided by only a few hundred thousand votes between the four main candidates. Had the race been between Le…

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The French Legislative Elections

The debate surrounding the € should not be shelved! The strong showing of President Macron in the second round of the presidential elections was due, in part, to the disastrous demonstration of incompetence and ignorance by his rival, Marine Le Pen, concerning monetary affairs. During the current parliamentary election campaign, she is desperately attempting to bury the matter by postponing any decision concerning the National Front’s position in relation to the Euro. It remains, however, of great importance that the French voter be fully informed with regard to policies that affect deeply the country’s “monetary national sovereignty” and the wealth of its population. President Macron has put the further integration of the Eurozone at the very heart of his program….

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Commentary on: EU paper on deepening EMU

(European Commission: First published on 31 May 2017) (https://ec.europa.eu/commission/publications/reflection-paper-deepening-economic-and-monetary-union_en/) 1. Introduction The publication of the Commission’s “Reflection paper on the deepening of the economic and monetary union” is very disappointing both by its lack of originality and ambition! With regard to originality, the first half of the text is limited to a history of EMU (recalling the significant improvements implemented since the financial crisis) and, as far as the second half is concerned, to updating prior documents, in particular of the “Five Presidents Report” (detailing the road map to be completed). The document doesn’t contain a single new noteworthy proposal or explore avenues to overcome the blockages that currently hinder the implementation of measures that are needed to ensure the…

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Are we the new Sleepwalkers?

Are we the new Sleepwalkers? In a world that has lost its bearings, emotional outpourings are more and more often supplanting rational analysis. Be it in reaction to a terrorist attack (Barcelona) or to the tweets and untimely declarations of Donald Trump (Charlottesville- North Korea), etc., comments concerning these events suggest all too often narrowly focussed solutions which, however sensible they may seem, fail to consider the context in which they are supposed to be implemented. Thus, on the matter of the future of the European Union, there seems to be a developing a consensus on the added value of a common approach in areas such as climate change, the environment, the fight against terrorism and defence while “nationalist” and…

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“Germany must overcome two demons!”

Commentry on Pierre Defraigne’ article in “La Libre Belgique” (30/08/17) As is often the case, I share much of Pierre Defraigne’ analysis; nevertheless, reading this article leaves me somewhat dubious. Indeed, if the usual references to “non-interference” in the internal affairs of other countries are to be expected, they seem here to be a pretext to put the spotlight on the responsibilities that, according to the author, Germany should assume unilaterally. The analysis and the critique of the current situation is based on the belief that it is in the country’s (short term) interests to preserve the status quo in light of the domination it exercises both through key European mandates it has secured and the sheer economic and financial…

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