Why are we losing to Farage

24 Oct

Farage won. We could argue if it is a pyrrhic victory or not. Regardless, for now, Farage won. A sociopath, a clown, a racist and arguably a corrupt man won against the Europe.

His lies but also his rude and aggressive attacks against European Institutions have triggered more often than not laughable replies. If somebody calls you an idiot a polite reply in a mind-numbing Euronarnian jargon helps nobody but proves to many that Farage might have a point.

The European institutions are weak.

The European Commission with few exceptions is lead by politicians that are mediocre at best. A good part of them are vulnerable to attacks due to their previous political lives in parties that were or are struggling with corruption scandals and nepotism. Some are simply a liability and most are far from being even a small asset for the European Commission. As it is the case with many Director Generals, Juncker has the political intelligence, vision and charisma of a multilingual boot. Recently, in Romania he met enthusiastically and completely illogically with some of the most corrupted and toxic Romanian politicians.

The Romanian Commissioner is an embarrassment for the European Commission and she is far from being an exception.

It is true that some of the smartest public servants available work for the Commission but they are a minority. A good number of them happen to be British. Unfortunately their intelligence is often in strident discrepancy with the intellectual capabilities of their politically appointed leaders.

The Commission is also stuck in a losing paradigm. The European Social Funds should well be called the Harry Potter Funds as a good part of funding allocations is based on a remarkable but inexistent ability to read the future.

The way the funding process is designed is a nightmare for anybody that wishes to change the realities at the grassroots and the way its priorities are implemented is even worse. The Commission together with (often inept) national politicians managed to create an industry of fake solutions based on fake reporting and wrong incentives that makes lying at fancy conferences and seminars and not hard work in the communities to pay off.

Afraid of not losing their budgets, services within the European Commission prefer to finance the same type of projects that proved to be great on paper and mediocre if not disastrous in reality.

The same types of problems are to be found within all the other intergovernmental organisations with the important distinction that nepotism within is slightly or much worse.

Depending financially on the support of some of the biggest abusers of human rights such as Russia and Turkey and ravaged by corruption scandals within the Parliamentary Assembly the Council of Europe is a good example of a great idea risking becoming a joke due to an increasingly dysfunctional institution that is unable to reform itself.

The European Parliament is no exception. The most popular European politician leads the third biggest party and had no chance whatsoever in the elections for the president of the Parliament. A close ally of Berlusconi with similar qualities as Juncker is holding that position.

But not the weakness of European Institutions is the main problem. I will argue that a culture of lip-service, an obsession for finding always the minimum common denominator and a major lack of spine is what puts in danger the European Project.

Imagining that Russian propaganda and shrewd populists and extremist politicians can be fought with an incomprehensible diplomatic jargon and financial sweeteners is as delusional as pretending that the European Union is fine and we should keep the existing status quo.

Reform is needed. And that should start with inspiring leaders. Timmermans is one but he is far from enough.

 

 

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