In the Japan Times (08 September) an enlightening article by Domique Moisi on how my beloved country sees itself as the centre of Europe, and how it ought to lead the way to a bright new EU future with "the return of Franco-German leadership".
"PARIS — Regardless of who wins September's parliamentary election in Germany, the time has come once again for a major Franco-German initiative. Regardless of their economic conditions or their confidence — or lack of it — in each other, France and Germany are more than ever jointly responsible for the future, if not the very survival, of the European project.... More here.
My belated letter to the editor of the Japan Times (25 September) published on 01 October in the Reader in Council section (electronic here).
I could not disagree more with Dominique Moisi's conclusion from his Sept. 8 analysis that the European Union needs the return of Franco-German leadership". Europe, in fact, needs less leadership from its intellectual and political class. It needs to pause and take into account the will of its citizens who, when given a democratic chance — Netherlands, France and Ireland — have said "no" to the Constitution/Lisbon Treaty. But only a "yes" was acceptable! Is that democracy or hypocrisy?
Has the European project sunken so low that its nomenclature needs to invoke the magic wand of a good old post-World War II European construction dynamic — and a "spectacular security initiative" with Russia — to extricate itself from the troubled waters of the 21st century?
Frankly it is doubtful that incantations for more Franco-German leadership will do much to reassure Irish voters (on Friday).
My compatriot (Moisi) believes that, without France, the EU cannot survive the current institutional crisis, not to mention the economic one; in other words, that Europe needs more dirigisme from, well, its "center" — read Paris. Furthermore, like most members of our nomenclature of politicians and intellectuals, he discards legitimate concerns from British citizens as "provincial euro-skepticism." When disagreement is eloquently articulated by Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus, it is "stubborn ill will."
Where do we go from here when the EU leadership — and its "enlightened" intellectual elite — go down the road of thinly disguised threats of "consequences," to quote French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whenever peoples or elected politicians happen to stray from the "true path"? So much arrogance is maddening and dangerous. So, consider me one of the growing number of voices no longer prepared to stay silent.