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Thursday, November 07, 2013

France must take inspiration from David Cameron on Europe

This is the argument made in a very interesting op-ed penned by French MEP (and former Justice Minister) Rachida Dati, of the centre-right UMP party, for today's Le Figaro. We reported on the article in today's press summary, but we thought it was worth translating it (almost) in its entirety.

Here it is:
Is a new wind blowing through Brussels? The old myth of [European] federalism may be falling...The elite cheers the self-proclaimed 'Europeans', who, to preserve their post, write pamphlets lamenting this technocratic Europe, rejected by the peoples and origin of all populist movements. Some others want to change things, acting against the tide of the 'Brussels elite'. These are the modern, the courageous, the defenders of a realist Europe. David Cameron is one of them.

When he proposes to the British people a referendum on the UK's future in the EU, he acts responsibly. To deny [a referendum] to the British people, who are asking for it, would be the best means to exacerbate the anti-European sentiment that is on the rise not only across the Channel, but everywhere in Europe. When [David Cameron] proposes repatriating certain competences from Brussels to the national level, that's what we want too!

We believe, like David Cameron, that the future of Europe depends on it. It's with this same spirit that we must move forward with useful deregulation. David Cameron has had the audacity to put this idea onto the European agenda. Even [European Commission President] Barroso, the 'pusillanimous', has been forced to launch the REFIT programme, aimed at simplifying and easing EU law.


[French President] François Hollande is right to be cautious with the British offensive, which is good in the form, but whose exact outline we don't know yet. An ultra-liberal initiative would backfire against the people we say we are listening to. It is imperative to simplify [EU regulation] to boost the competitiveness of European businesses, especially SMEs. But this simplification must not be done to the detriment of certain rights of workers or the safeguard of citizens’ private life. However, this is a debate that deserves to be opened.
Ms Dati then goes on to address a specific EU policy area:
I plead for this simplification to be applied to the domain of energy as a matter of priority...The most serious problem [with EU energy policy] is the multiplicity of contradictory environmental, energy, and climate targets. Taken individually, these targets are laudable. But the facts have proven that, combined, they could cancel each other out - not to speak of the damage done to the competitiveness of our businesses. 

This is the case with renewable energy. Due to the subsidies it benefits from, the market is distorted as its use is prioritised. By their own nature, these sources of energy are intermittent, and cannot cope with energy demand on their own...I intend to make the ambition for a European energy policy that is more flexible in its targets and, finally, consistent, one of the priorities of the UMP's campaign for [next year's] European elections.

The UMP must finally stop hesitating about its European stance. We have never been listened to so much as when we knew how to talk and listen to the [French] people, particularly the popular classes. On Europe, they are asking us for a realist revolution. Let's listen to them!   


Anonymous said...

Not really sure she thought a single word of what she said!
Involved in the campaign for the Paris élections next march, all which is said or going to be said needs to be taken carefully.

Anonymous said...

It's not the first time Rachida Dati has taken this point of view. Two other op-eds she wrote this year :

"What if Mr. Cameron were right?" in the French newspaper La Croix :


And another op-ed written with other French members of parliament entitled "A referendum on Europe? Let's do it!" published in the French economic newspaper "Les Echos" :


Anonymous said...

If the anti eussr movement is populist then why aren't they listening, after all its only populist because unlike the politicians no one else benefits from it. It just goes to show that their propaganda regime is as much a failure as everything else.

Anonymous said...

Just more faux-EUSSR "sceptics" seeking to change the agenda from leaving the EUSR to changing it -- from escaping the prison to putting up nicer curtains on the bars.

Well, the ONLY way to improve the world is for all 28 nation states to escape the EUSSR and to try and, hopefully convict, its Brussels technocrat ringleaders to life in prison for committing crimes against Humanity.

Rik said...

It is imho a first clear sign that traditional French politics is reacting to the self created PR/Marketing nightmare and the populist rise as a consequence thereof (on the EU issue).
Policies that were a no go area have become mainstream. Immigration and now Europe being the most clear examples.

Basically the same thing you have seen with Rutte in Holland (a couple of your posts ago).

Traditional French politics has 2 main problems:
- they are in the proces of being found out that they cannot deliver on the permanent welfarestate. Basically if you need heavy borrowing to finance the Welfarestate, while you have favourable demographics, it is simply end of story when demographics start to work against you. Added that the so called (partial) solution of immigration doesnot seem to work (not unsurprisingly btw). For roughly every educated Frenchy that leaves you get an educated non-Frenchy back (zero sum) and the rest is the undereducated tribes (basically you can hire better quality workers in India and China for 10-20% of the French wages cost at the bottom of the labourmarket. So effectively you are as a country importing groups of entitlement basketcases);
- their staff is beyond, well basically anything (simply on both sides of the spectrum an utter pile of crap).
With as added problems on the right the fact that they are fighting in their own ranks and the rise of LePen (which hurts the right more than the left).

A trend we have not seen really yet is that there is a mass movement to the centre because of the populist rise (in combination with 'modern' style politics).

Very likely (see anonymus) this all is election related. And again in more than one way.
Reacting on the rise of of LePen in the polls.

But also this gal is a possible leadership candidate.
Basically a combination of an Obozo and a Rutte. Total crap but might work the first period (and after that you do a Rosler).
People want something new that is clear. But they want new policies (mainly delivering on promises) and not only new faces.
But as said it works usually the first period (like Obozo shows, it took about 5 year before he was found out, but usually it goes much faster).
Probably for traditional parties therefor an immigrant candidate might give a short term solution. Voters are confused and find it difficult to judge the situation.
A lot of them even will have in their middelclass uncertainty rather take the gamble on the not being called a racist side and go for the 'friendly' solution rather than tough strauctural measures). But that group is eroding fast all over Europe.
But longer term it only works when you have Tiger Woods material and not when it is a Lewis Hamiltion (just as average as a lot of others). And this women simply looks to be pretty average on policies and strategy. And will deliver as little as the present bunch. Anyway it is as said earlier an improvement from the current so called leadership overthere, who have incompetent, boring and dull written all over them.
And who knows you only have to beat the ones in the ring (which are Hollande (type failed schoolteacher and LePen which still has a dodgy image for large parts. Not for her own voterbase but you roughly need 50% to get really elected (meaning you need to be pallatable for middle groups as well).
But as said it will be a one day fly (if she ever makes it to that stage).

jon livesey said...

One virtue of a referendum is that it forces the two sides to put forth their cases.

Too much of the time the EU can get away without defending its case, because it just "is". If enough time goes by without a debate, it feels as if we have all given up, and resistance is useless.

I would like to see the EU explain why it should not go back to being a free trade area with benefits we can all understand.

Today, people like Reding are calling for an EU Prosecutor and an EU counter-intelligence service, and the main argument he has really boils down to the EU existing and therefore "needing" these things.

We need to insist that the argument that what exists needs to become bigger and more powerful must be justified, not merely assumed by default.

Freedom Lover said...

Perhaps Rachida Dati likes Cameron for this reason. David Cameron says that if a Conservative government is elected in 2015, there will be a referendum on EU membership by 2017. For sure that means the second half of 2017.

The EU calendar will tell you that the second half of 2017 is when Britain will next hold the rotating 6-month presidency of the Council of the European Union.

That means that in the second half of 2017, the prime minister or the chancellor or the home secretary or any one of a pack of Cabinet ministers – home secretary, education secretary etc, will have the right to chair any one of the 10 configurations of the council – & will be in front of the mics and cameras after every big EU meeting in the second half of 2017.

For 6 months, British ministers will be appearing alongside whoever replaces Van Rompuy, Barroso etc. For six months, the UK prime minister and his senior cabinet ministers will be able to pose as if they were "at the heart of Europe", and are influencing events & leading the EU, exactly at the time the referendum campaign is underway.

More, Cameron will be able to convene many EU meetings in Britain, not in Brussels. The six months will be one photo opportunity after another of Britain posing as the leader of the EU elite who have been summoned to the United Kingdom.

But is will be just a pantomime, meant to deceive the British people, most of whom don’t know how the EU works. Cameron will confuse the British people over the powers of the president of the European Council & non-existing powers of the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. And this pantomime will be played out during the referendum campaign.

If we have a referendum at all, that is. Cameron may slip out of it exactly as he slipped out of a Lisbon Treaty referendum. Still, most of us believe that, if we get an in/out referendum, and the out vote wins, then we've won & we're free at last.

Don’t let's kid ourselves. We need to remember what the former Russian dissident, Vladimir Bukovsky said: these EU votes "are a trick for idiots. The people have to vote in referendums until the people vote the way that is wanted [ie by the EU & the British elite]. Then they have to stop voting".

In the EU, a "Yes" vote is forever. A "No" vote is only ever temporary, as the Irish have found out twice. So it is nïave for any of us to think that if we win a vote in a referendum to leave the EU, then that the battle's won. It is not. It is just the end of the phony war.

What was done to the Irish after they voted "No" to the Lisbon Treaty in 2008 will be done to the British - if they vote "No" in 2017.

If Cameron is still prime minister, the British government and the EU elite will work together to overturn any UK referendum that amounts to a democratic rejection of the EU.

Indeed there is no sign in Brussels at present that the EU is in any way worried over Cameron’s talk of a referendum. Of course they aren't worried. Cameron has been open in his willingness to collaborate with the EU forces.

Some of us may recall that the UK's prime minister admitted in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais last April that he would not take Britain out of the EU just because a referendum result was a vote to get Out.

This is what happened. The reporter from El Pais asked Cameron, if in the case of a victory in the referendum for the "out" vote: "Would you be willing to leave the Union?" Cameron’s reply was: "I would not".

The interview was circulated at the European Commission, & was further confirmation to the EU elite that Cameron is one of them. He is a collaborator - like most of the current politicians in Britain & France etc!

Anyoldiron said...

The people in most Country's usually vote for those Parties that they are "attatched" to and here in the UK ALL THREE MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIES WANT TO REMAIN IN THE EU-FOREVER. If you want FREEDOM from foreign rule you have to vote for those that want out of the EU -to freedom. As long as you remain in those Parties -or vote FOR them- that want the EU to make the laws that even THEY have to follow, then cominue doing what you do at present.

The EU is already looking ahead as far as 2020, 2030, and 2050 it is obviously there for the long term. It really is up to each of you and where you place your cross.