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Soft porn for the down side

Read the Salauds de l'Europe Guide to the Eurosceptics
Forfatter: Jean Quatremer
Forlag: Calmann Lévy
As the last pacifist utopia of the modern world, the European adventure must continue, writes Jean Quatremer, who can still quickly become the useful idiot of the world.

This article is machine translated by Google from Norwegian

Les Salauds de l'Europe. Guide to the Eurosceptics – "Europe's asshole. Practical Guide for Euroskeptics »is led by Jean Quatremer, the French newspaper Libération's correspondent in Brussels for 20 years. Few topics get as many minds in the boil as the EU. Jasid emphasizes the historical perspective of peace, cooperation and brotherhood; Needs financial hardship, unemployment, bureaucracy and coercion. The last thing we need is a book that pushes us into old trenches, and Les Salauds de l'Europe is fortunately not one. Instead, the author makes an interesting attempt to renew the debate, seen from both sides.

Useful idiots. Has the EU project gone too far or is it too short? Removing internal borders to facilitate trade and movement between countries, and introducing economies of scale to assert themselves on the global market, has not prevented de-industrialization in Europe. Cutting down on the lowest possible level of taxation and lack of social security border increases has set EU countries against each other. Proposals such as the Bolkenstein Directive – later the Services Directive – that would give Polish plumbers the right to outperform colleagues in other countries with their home pay levels, showed how economic theory trumped political understanding.

The descriptions of the EU's lack of control over the Schengen countries' external borders and the catastrophic human consequences of the eurozone's institutional weaknesses are readings that are guaranteed to give Trygve Slagsvold Vedum a slight erection. Especially in the first chapters, Quatremer serves examples of the EU's inadequacy and atrocious fades on a silver platter for EU opponents. Lenin's concept of useful idiots - people who, without even knowing it, are being manipulated to go ahead of others – are given new meaning in Quatremer's EU: Europeans are the useful idiots of globalization. Poor as a result of his desire to remove borders, and with his eyes closed on currency manipulation, environmental crime and social dumping, we easily go down to his knees to suck in a few doses of Chinese capital. With the US and EU-dominated Bretton Woods Institutional Protective Game Rules, European companies are prohibited from owning their own operations in China. With forced technology transfer and access to the world's largest market as a carrot, we volunteer all of our best cards. While the United States has never hesitated to introduce trade policy countermeasures, EU countries remain powerless, watching technology, industry, jobs and economic growth slowly but surely weather.

Europeans are the useful idiots of globalization.

The powerlessness of the example. The Brussels elite requires the EU to open the markets to foreign investors in an exemplary way, which could create increased prosperity, according to Smith, Ricardo and Heckscher-Ohlin's theories of the merchant community's excellence. China only allows companies with 51 percent Chinese ownership. In the United States, 70 percent of all public tenders are reserved for US-owned companies. In the EU, however, 90 percent of the public procurement market is open to the world. And Quatremer doesn't stop there: We also get a staggering glimpse into all the good, the salary levels and the privileges of European Commission officials, in addition to most of the scams and corruption scandals. It was Jean Quat.
remer who in 1999 dug up the story of EU Commissioner Edith Cresson, whose lover wrote travel bills when the two spent the weekends together in the city where Cresson was the mayor. The story led to the Santer Commission having to go and the EU's worst crisis back then.

That all this is explained as a bankruptcy statement by the man that former French Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine called "the ayatollah of federalism" makes the first part of Les Salauds de l'Europe closest to soft porn for norwegian website.

What would Europe look like today if the EU had not seen the light of day?

Global perspective. So what does Quatremer want to paint the EU hell on the wall? Is it just to entice people into confirmation enthusiasm, and then lead them out again? Well, as the author writes: First he deals with all the main accusations against the EU, and then examines them in the seams to find out whether they are correct or incorrect. The criticism of European integration must be solid and well-founded in order to bring about change, says Quatremer – it must not be based on incomplete or conspiratorial arguments.

This is where the porn metaphor ends, without EU critics being disappointed for that reason. Quatremer is soberly factual in its historical descriptions of how EU cooperation came about. It is liberating to read about French and German intrigues and failures from a European standpoint far from Paris and Berlin. Quatremer puts Europe and the EU's historical development and challenges into a global perspective without relying on solid solutions. However, France is central – after all, the country was the engine of EU development.

Towards the end, the book takes a new turn; it is as if the author is no longer able – to keep his journalistic and show, don't tell-line. Instead, he hampers what reforms are needed for the EU to survive and defend Europe: cutting back on the bureaucracy, reducing the number of commissioners and salaries, creating a separate chamber for the eurozone member states of the European Parliament, made up of a mix of national and European elected officials. Then he ventures into something as spectacular and imaginative as a never-so-small counterfactual story. What would Europe look like today if the EU had not seen the light of day?

Europe is the last pacifist utopia in the modern world and so the adventure must continue, the book concludes. It sounds elegant and poetic in French, but platonic and distant in Norwegian, which in itself is one of the reasons why the European dream never really takes root in Norway.

Out of the trauma. In Brussels, Jean Quatremer goes to great lengths, much because he shoots from the hip – but also because he is a thinker who dares to speak Europe's case and master the art of talking about the EU in short sentences. If a Norwegian publishing company with Quatremer's balls had given us Norwegians access to the Frenchman's refreshing Europe perspectives, we might be able to get rid of our old EU traumas once and for all.

“The EEA is so eighties,» said Erna Solberg at a meeting during the previous government's Europe dialogue. Not only is the agreement from the 1980s; With the Center Party's progress on the polls, the unbearable ease of EEA existence can finally be put at risk. Then Europe's asshole and Jean Quatremer can become useful idiots in a long-awaited and renewed Norwegian debate.

Paal Frisvold is the author of the book Towards Europe.

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Paal Frisvold
Writer for MODERN TIMES on Europe issues.

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