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The wit and wisdom of José Manuel Barroso

He has a plan, doncha know, and it runs to 48 pages. His prose style, or that of his translator, leaves much to be desired, however.

Highlights I have extracted for everyone's delectation:

Europe has managed to develop a social market economy and a model of society that surpasses the destructive dichotomy of unregulated markets or overpowerful states....We must put human dignity at the heart of our endeavours. A values based approach provides the right foundation for the pragmatic task of delivering solutions for our citizens. European policies must be policies aimed at results for the citizens. This is the way to close the gap between the reality of European integration and people's perceptions.

Good luck extracting any meaning from that one.


At the same time, an effective and responsible reform of financial markets must be implemented swiftly, so as to re-centre markets on the ethical basis essential for both success and legitimacy.

Oh dear. That's the sound of the entire financial services sector decamping for Zurich, NY and Tokyo.

The basis for the strategy is our commitment to open and sound markets. Internally, it is based on a staunch defence of the internal market, and the competition and state aid rules, which provide a level playing field guaranteeing access and opportunity for all, irrespective of size or might – namely consumers and SMEs. Externally, it is based on the rejection of all forms of economic protectionism, whilst defending the European interest firmly and without being naïve.

Up until the last clause I rather like that bit, as doubtless the EU's markets will continue to have barriers to African farmers and so forth.

I have a passion for Europe. For me, the European project goes much further than its economic dimension. It is based on the values of peace, freedom, justice and solidarity, and it must mean advancing people's Europe.

Find me one Briton in a hundred who knows what a eurocrat means by solidarity. Go on, ask colleagues, fellow drinkers and civilians in general. They will not have a clue, I promise.

Anyway, he's cooked up a nice little graphic to depict his scheme:

And at that point I discover I have lost all desire to wade further through his europrose.

But it would selfish not to share Barroso's signature with a narrower audience:

I'm paging Dr Freud right now.

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Blogger Nick Drew said... 9:53 am

what a hotch-potch:

- outstanding signature, highly artistic, must have used a first-rate graphic designer (at our expense, natch)

- crap diagram, must have used a third-rate management consultant (at our expense, natch)

- acceptable philosophical jumping-off point (see the Mazower quotation I used here)

- junk-philosophy eurocrat conclusions

I await Dr Freud's analysis with interest  



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