Blog AnalysisEuropean policy

Europe: 1 more week! And we'll talk about it again in 5 years, huh...

BeachMJQFisherman114a(BRUSSELS2) That’s it! The European campaign is fully launched in France, with a big delay in starting. And there are only a few days left to convince the undecided, the abstainers of all stripes, the skeptics. Newspapers and broadcasters are paying renewed attention to Europe, scrutinizing all the details, and are even full of articles of all kinds.

After the void, the overdose

We suddenly discover that there is no majority in the European Parliament. We discover that Brussels is full of lobbies (the horror! ;-). We dissect a series of projects undertaken or completed to which we had barely paid attention until now. After an almost total void, for five years, apart from a few peaks of interest, saturation, overdose is reached. To the point that even a slightly caring person, motivated by Europe, drops out. there is one relatively underestimated…

Europe: 5 weeks of attention for 5 years of politics

The “bludgeoning” to convince that Europe is good, it is beautiful, it is necessary… But it becomes counterproductive in the long term. The big flaw in France's armor is the absence of daily European monitoring, with a few (rare) exceptions (Le Monde, Le Figaro, Les Echos, a few specialized newspapers, etc.) -. This lack of regularity of information on Europe - particularly in the press closest to citizens (the regional press) - is one of the reasons for the ambient Euroscepticism (*).

Let's not be surprised by the rampant Euroscepticism

There has, however, been no shortage of debates, legislative progress and political setbacks at the European level. But they are covered remotely. “Brussels” always seems to be on another planet whose pulse we take from time to time. No question of investing too much. With the help of distance, the temptation to “quickly” take the dispatch that came across the AFP or Reuters wire is tempting: cut and paste, assemble, find a little angle. And it's done... If there is no dispatch, there is no information. Result: we very often discover a subject, a problem when it arrives... two or three years later on the desk of the National Assembly for the transposition of a directive for example. The inevitable feeling is that Europe is imposing its aims. When in fact, it is the French who have lost interest in the debates. This allows everyone to let off steam in a proper “Europe Bashing”.

A democratic flaw

There is a democratic “defect” there which does not need a Treaty or a Constitution to be corrected. All it takes is a little consistency, will and interest on the part of newspaper directors. There is then no need to spread out in numerous editorials, pleading excessively on the need or necessity of Europe. This will only convince the convinced... And they are fewer and fewer in number. Europe begins with daily information…

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

  • This is not the only cause. The fact that Europe (European affairs) remains very little taught at school (and even at university, apart from a few very specific specialties) is another. The – almost general – European ignorance of most of the various French officials, like many private or public executives, bears witness to this. The poor functioning of the internal market (especially for citizens), the irresponsibility of European leaders (no matter the failures, they do not call into question their mandate...), such as disproportionate salaries in relation to real skills and the permanent claim to lecturing, as well as imposing certain totally unrealistic policies and conditions, in a context of economic and political crisis. The banner displayed over the European Commission bears witness to this.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).