According to the most-recently published statistics, there were 185,000 first-time asylum-seekers in the EU in the first quarter of this year. Contrary to what you might think, the biggest group was not the highly-publicized Syrians or Eritreans, but Kosovars, whom we purportedly liberated in 1999.
Who are these 49,000 Kosovars? Are they ethnic Serbs suffering under ethnic Albanian rule? Or are they ethnic Albanians, because being ruled by a corrupt ethnic mafia of terrorists and organ-traffickers is sufficient grounds for seeking asylum? How many are seeking Western European goodies rather than “fleeing persecution”?
The People have demanded more coverage of EU/Eurozone politics, migration and race relations in Europe, and European history (in that order). Basically, more of the same. Let it be done.
Eurostat is launching “a series of publications on migrant integration.” A first press release shows that non-EU migrants are quarter less likely to be higher-educated, almost two times as likely to be idle “NEETs,” and over 2.5 times as likely to not have a high-school diploma as the native-born. This is considerably worse in all spheres than EU migrants.
In November 2012, then-European Commissioner for Justice Viviane Reding (mainly known to the general public for her tiff with France over Roma deportations and her advocacy of feminine quotas on corporate boards) gave a noted speech advocating a “United States of Europe.” The speech presents a history of the idea of a European federal State (mainly citing Victor Hugo, but also mentioning Washington, Bonaparte, Mazzini, Coudenhove-Kalergi, and Spinelli), and the (now common) rationale for a quasi-federal economic government to stabilize and democratize the Eurozone.
I have to admit that when Reding first made her speech I did not read it. Having been a reporter in Brussels for EurActiv, I was put off by too many moralistic exhortations for “more Europe” from the Guy Verhofstadts, the Daniel Cohn-Bendits, and other professional moralizers. This was a mistake, as Reding’s speech is interesting in presenting an account of Germanic (Luxembourgish/German) ambition and reasoning for a United States of Europe in the 1990s, and for an interesting critique of the existing European Treaties’ failures (“neoliberalism” and “national sovereignty”).
In short, the (West) Germans and a significant portion of the center-right European People’s Party (the grouping of national Christian-Democratic parties) believed that the creation of a common currency, the euro, was a prelude to a “political union,” a notoriously vague term which for them referred very specifically to a federal Europe. Reding was refreshingly frank on the weaknesses of “the rickety construction of Maastricht” and the inadequacy of Europeanists’ failure to present a clear vision of the EU’s nature and finality, arguing against the use of vague and evasive expressions like “sui generis.” Instead, she presented a clear point of view (which one can of course disagree with) meant to stoke democratic debate on where Europe should go, and that is clearly a good thing.
The admission of “neoliberalism” is important as certain prominent pro-EU authorities, such as French journalist Jean Quatremer, have thought it there role to deny left-wing and nationalist claims that the EU has a “libéral” bias. In addition to Reding’s concession of “neoliberalism,” European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has argued that his institution has remained true to its German “ordoliberal” heritage. This neo-/ordo-liberalism makes the adoption of Listian and especially Keynesian economic policies legally difficult, as pro-EU leftists like François Hollande and Alexis Tsipras have learned to their detriment.
As craigwilly.info is getting a new lease on life, what better time to consult the People on which direction to go? As such I have decided to indulge in a rare exercise of democracy. You get three (3) votes. Use them wisely!
Fine print: Results are non-binding and may be abrogated at any time should the People vote wrongly.
European Central Bank Executive Board Member Benoît Cœuré has made another highly-interesting speech on the future of the Eurozone (également disponible en français, und auf Deutsch) to the annual assembly of French ambassadors in Paris (see previously his interview with Le Monde). Cœuré covers a lot of the problems, paradoxes, and subtleties of the current situation well, and does not sugarcoat things. (Presumably because, as an unelected expert taking taking almost monarchical sovereign decisions, he doesn’t have to pander or simplify like your average politician, nor, apparently, do ECB speeches require as many OKs and approvals as do Commission speeches.) A few money quotes.
I am at the very end of my visit to Romania (more on that later), but that is no reason to not blog.
Jonathan Adair Turner, Baron Turner of Ecchinswell, former chairman of Britain’s Financial Services Board, has written a sensible op-ed on immigration. This is highly unusual for a member of any Western Establishment. (More typical is former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer arguing that childless Europeans would be fools to oppose all these illegal African immigrants, because obviously they are going to pay for grandma’s pension. A downright cooky argument given what we know about most non-European immigrant groups’ average intergenerational educational performance and welfare use in Germany, France, and Britain.) Continue reading
It has been over two weeks since I relaunched the blog and, notwithstanding some technical kinks, things have gone well with an (almost) daily stream of content and an approach which, I hope, will have helped foster debate. I am not sure if I will sustain that rhythm in general.
In any case, I will now take a two-week break as I’ll be traveling for the first time in Romania, where I will discover the peaceful Danube Delta, the inspiration behind Dracula, and communist-era monstrosities.
Posting will then be sporadic at best, although I might put out a weekly update. À bientôt !
I wrote the following article [RO] for the Romanian weekly Dilema veche as a kind of introduction for a panel discussion on Europe I will be participating in during the magazine’s summer festival. My two bani before visiting the country!
I cannot hide the fact that I find it amusing how, at a debate on a “New Narrative for Europe” dedicated to “cosmopolitanism,” the question that apparently many would like answered is: “What do you think about our country?”! Of course, it is good to see what others think of us. An accurate self-image can only come from the comparison and contrast of different subjectivities, one’s own, and that of others, and this is one of the great arguments in favor of cultural exchange.
Yesterday I reported that while European women increasingly outnumber men as graduates, they are still largely steering clear of innovation-driving STEM: “There has also been apparently no movement towards equalization in this area despite increasingly-pervasive, guilt-inducing blank-slatist ‘awareness raising.'”
This has not deterred the Brussels Regional Government to use some of my tax money to that very end. As the Brussels expat newspaper The Bulletin reports that big gov’t and big bidness are allying to dissuade young girls from pursuing their spontaneous career choice:
The European Commission wants to promote equality-of-outcomes (as opposed to equality-of-opportunity) between men and women in the workplace through increased work-life balance for families (possibly replacing the failed 2008 Maternity Leave Directive). In the fine print, the Commission notes such a policy will likely increase fertility.