Talking to myself about foreign policy, US politics, technology, &c.

Europe – life, and politics, at a slower pace

The United States of Europe have been born. Huzzah! Or perhaps just huh. Another step on the road to ever closer union and all, but jeez they’re being dull about it.

The President of Europe chairman of the European Council is a haiku-writing Belgian waffle. The Foreign Minister coordinator of the common foreign and security policy is a non-entity with foreign policy chops that just edge Sarah Palin by a nose.

*shrug* That’s the way they roll over there, I guess. Papering over the fact that Brussels is acquiring real power by putting weak individuals in there. We get George Washington, they get a guy who enjoys meditative retreats at monasteries. Having the Mayor of Snoresville running the show makes the bigwigs in France, Germany and England feel more comfortable, I guess.

It’s also worth pointing out that unlike the Prez/PMs of the other countries, the EU president is not directly elected. Not even indirectly, as in our own goofy system.

Was at a talk today by János Martonyi, once and (probably) future Foreign Minister of Hungary. He talked in part about this “democratic deficit” in the EU and how some of the dislike for Brussels is due to the lack of direct connection to the voters. If there’s a problem in an EU country, national politicians make it the fault of those damn dirty bureaucrats in Brussels. If there’s something good that comes from the EU itself, national politicians will  claim the credit.

Not highly functional, but hey, they’ve been limping along in the right direction for the last 50 years, so I guess they know what they are doing. I’m just not expecting any strong leadership from them, even on looming disasters on their doorstep.

I guess like any adolescents they are rather moody, introspective, self-conscious, and feeling awkward about their recent growth spurt. As long as they don’t start listening to crappy emo music.

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