I live in Brussels. That means I will be writing in this blog about the referendum mostly from the angle of the EU institutions and their officials. But not this week. This is one of those weeks when Brussels in limbo.
You could imagine that is because no one here is getting bothered about the outcome of the referendum, and you’d be right. Any concern expressed about Brexit is merely a gesture. The EU establishment know Brexit is not going to happen.
You might also reckon that since the sun has finally come out EU officials have other things to do. But the dead-zone here in Brussels this week has another cause. Yesterday the EU institutions were closed because it was Ascension Day, a national holiday in Belgium.
Today the EU institutions are closed again because – and if you need an insight into the eurocrat mentality, here it is – why bother to go into the office for just one day after a holiday? Best to use Friday as ‘un pont’ (a bridge) to a four-day weekend.
On top of that, the European Commission and some of the other EU institutions will be closed again on Monday because Monday is Europe Day. It marks the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration in 1950.
The declaration opened the door to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the first of the supranational ‘communities’ which have led us to where we are today.
The ECSC was of course no community. It was a German-dominated coal and steel cartel that left large corporations free to co-ordinate their prices and shut out competition. It was run as a French-dominated bureaucracy in a democracy-free zone.
You can understand why the EU calls this event a cause for celebration. The launch of the ECSC is the creation myth of their world. Which is why, according to a European Commission press release, six European Commissioners will be back in their home countries on Monday to participate in celebrations of the anniversary.
Of course the statement does not actually say that the commissioners are traveling to their ‘home countries.’ Commission policy is that no one in the commission is to be identified as from any particular country.
The correct phrase, if a commissioner or commission official finds he must refer to his motherland, is to refer to it only as ‘the country I know best.’, Therefore, Commissioner Andrus Ansip is listed in the commission press release merely as being in Tallinn.
Tallinn is Estonia’s capital city. No identification is made of Ansip as Estonian (nor is there any mention of capital cities – so nationalistic, the idea of capitals) much less that Ansip is the former prime minister of Estonia, an ancient nation whose people resisted control by Christianity until the 12th century (a good measure of national grit).
The commission press release also tells us Commissioner Maros Sefkovic will travel to Brastislava.
That is the capital of Slovakia. Sefkovic is a former diplomat for Slovakia. In other words, once he was the voice of his country abroad. Now no mention is made of his connection to Slovakia, a nation with roots as deep as the ancient Le Tene Celtic culture. He has been reduced from the voice of his ancient nation to Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of energy union.
And on it goes with the other commissioners fanning out across the Continent to celebrate Europe Day in countries which dare not speak their names. The creation of ‘Europe’ began in 1950. Before that, there was not much but war. Or so we are to believe. And such men as Ansip and Sefkovic collaborate in the myth.
The commission will of course let any commissioner say ‘Europe is my country’ as often as he likes. Say ‘Estonia is my country’ once too often and the pension could be in danger.