Edition: International | Greek

Home » Europe

‘This double game is destroying us’ – EU strikes back at its critics in Davos

Leaders of the European Union lashed out at the forces that could bring it down in an emotive session at Davos, days after Theresa May revealed that Britain was heading for a clean break

By: EBR - Posted: Friday, January 20, 2017

text size [–] [+]
 ”The only way to get out of this is to remove moral hazard, stop confirming the image that we’re there to make life difficult, that it’s not the member states’ fault what happens in Brussels, that the North is imposing models that don’t work on the South, that the South is lazy. These are all lies, but they lead to a huge lack of trust within nations and between nations.”
”The only way to get out of this is to remove moral hazard, stop confirming the image that we’re there to make life difficult, that it’s not the member states’ fault what happens in Brussels, that the North is imposing models that don’t work on the South, that the South is lazy. These are all lies, but they lead to a huge lack of trust within nations and between nations.”

MORE ON Davos 2017

MORE ON Europe

by Ceri Parker*

Martin Schulz, the outgoing President of the European Parliament, said that European heads of state used Brussels as a scapegoat, failing to tell their citizens that they were responsible for the decisions made there.

“This double game is destroying the European spirit,” he said, adding: “The EU is as strong as the member states allow.”

“What happens (in EU institutions) happens on the basis of a treaty that was ratified by all 28 member states of the EU. All we are doing in the Commission, all we are doing in the Parliament, happens in the frame of a treaty defined by you,” he said, addressing leaders including Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, who was also on the panel.

Schulz argued for leaders to rally around the EU, not allow its demise.

“All Europeans together, we are less than 5% of world population, Germany less than 1%. Could somebody tell me how a single country in the worldwide competition in which we’re living in, with perhaps a tendency to protectionism, could survive without the EU?”

He added: "Could we imagine today Poland, the Baltic countries, not being apart of the EU, taking into account what is happening in Ukraine?”

The European Commission, which is responsible for upholding EU treaties and managing day-to-day business, was represented by Frans Timmermans, the First Vice President. He also lashed out at the tendency to blame Brussels.

“Whenever someone has a flat tyre, whenever it starts raining when you’re walking the dogs, someone will say – that’s Brussels again,” he said. “My son says: good morning you faceless unelected bureaucrat.”

Striking a more serious tone, he spoke of the middle-class frustration at falling living standards, which is fuelling a populist rejection of the European Union.

"Unemployment is plummeting (in the Netherlands), and still at the core of society, people are disgruntled, the middle classes are unconvinced, you can’t convince them with statistics ... It’s so easy to blame the commission; we take the blame."

"The only way to get out of this is to remove moral hazard, stop confirming the image that we’re there to make life difficult, that it’s not the member states’ fault what happens in Brussels, that the North is imposing models that don’t work on the South, that the South is lazy. These are all lies, but they lead to a huge lack of trust within nations and between nations."

*Commissioning Editor, Agenda, World Economic Forum
**First published in www.weforum.org

Europe

Let’s use the new EUphoria to tackle Europe’s root problems

The pendulum of public sentiment in Europe has swung from deepest gloom to something amounting to ‘EUphoria’. This good news may be dangerous if it raises unrealisable expectations, but it is also a not to be missed opportunity

Business

Turning the linear circular: the future of the global economy

Institutions, both in the private and public sector, can always reap the public relations benefits of doing good, even while still accomplishing their goals. As resources become scarcer, a major way to enhance social performance is through resource conservation, which is being underutilized

Editor’s Column

US Senate decision: cold war or export promotion?

By: N. Peter Kramer

Last week the US Senate voted nearly unanimously for new sanctions on Russia

MARKET INDICES


Live World Indices are Powered by Forexpros - The Leading Financial Portal.

Magazine

View 2/2017 2017 Digital edition

Current Issue

2/2017 2017

View past issues
Subscribe
Advertise
Digital edition

All contents © Copyright EMG Strategic Consulting Ltd. 1997-2017. All Rights Reserved   |   Home Page  |   Disclaimer  |   Website by Theratron