Among a number of media reports I read this week on the critical EU Budget Summit in Brussels 17th-21st July 2020, the best appraisal was made by the UK Guardian – see the list of various sources in the reference links below .
The Guardian’s Business section report was a clear assessment of what happened and why. It stated that the overall EU Budget proposal for 2021 to 2027 is just over a Trillion euro plus a 750 Billion post Covid 19 economic relaunch package [comprising 390 billion in grants and 360 billion in loans].
The big issue for EU survival and development is the totally unprecedented revenue raising powers agreed by the 27 heads of government: the EU may now tax directly [at this stage limited to corporations] and may also raise loans on the international markets. All this on its own account and for pan European purposes. This constitutes a massive step along the path towards a European Super State.
How long will it now be before the EU taxes EU citizens directly, in competition with national governments ?
an Op-Ed piece in the Guardian next day, however, bemoaned the constraints negotiated and assumed total integration to be the only desirable model. Ideologues are still not listening – Brexit ought to be a wake up call to the assumptions of the EU elite and metropolitan liberal Left intelligentsia.
Law making & adjudication, Taxation & loan raising, and maintaining Military&Police capabilities are 3 essential pillars of a State’s sovereignty. The EU has possessed the first for decades. The second is now emerging. As for the third, former German Defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen was selected as President of the EU Commission last year in order to see the Military pillar achieved within her current 5 year term of office.
President Macron was of course quick to point out his European credentials.
During the main evening news on 21st July 2020, President Macron gave his assessment to France’s principal commercial TV channel. With 20 months left before the next Presidential Election, Mr Macron was keen to point out his EU achievements.
He was looking relaxed, relieved and jubilant after getting the essentials of his proposal for the 750 billion euro relaunch package accepted by other EU government leaders. He referred to his Sorbonne speech back in September 2017 which laid out his strategy for the EU – a strategy pursued systematically ever since. He referred to gaining Germany’s agreement to his relaunch package on May 18th 2020. And he was quite clear about the historic step being taken by giving the EU entirely independent and unprecedented revenue raising powers.
The message was: it’s all working according to my grand plan.
Strategically and historically speaking, he was not a million miles from the truth.
He did of course deploy the usual legerdemain of today’s politicians – I’ll give you the world and it won’t cost you a penny. In this instance it was the triumphant news that France will get the third largest chunk of the 750 billion euro relaunch package – a tidy 40 billion euro – and this will not have to be financed by the French taxpayer. Why ? Because it’s all coming from the EU and the EU is getting it by
- taxing the nasty, naughty American Tech giants – the Apples, Googles, Facebooks and Amazons: they will now have to pay their fair share of tax in Europe and
- from environmental charges on companies who break the ecological standards the EU requires
The EU is therefore Father Christmas all year round. He didn’t mention that all this has yet to be approved by the EU parliament and ratified by each of the 27 individual member states.
For a politician of Emmanuel Macron’s calibre, such details are mere quibbles. He knows that having taken the initiative and set the terms of the debate, he is unlikely to lose. To get any agreement past 27 heads of State is close to a miracle [and this summit almost broke the Nice 2000 record]. So, anyone proposing to stop that will now need an overwhelmingly credible alternative.
What is more, anyone holding up the agreement will be accused of betraying the Ideals of the European project; of being a wrecker; of holding up the vital and pressing need to relaunch the EU economy as a result of the crisis over Covid 19 [a crisis caused by the quarantine measures imposed by governments, not by Covid 19 itself]. All this has already been deployed against the Frugal Four – the cautious and practically minded net contributing countries. The globalist liberal Media constantly portrayed them as party poopers, spoilers and wreckers.
But Mr Macron is right: his plans are succeeding. Credit where credit is due.
Yet the ultimate Credit should go to France for producing such leaders. They are achieving what Napoleon heroically attempted but could not sustain: the domination of Europe. As Jacques Delors wrote back in 1992, after consciously relaunching the European Project:
“By virtue of its sense of universal principles and its intense desire to direct the course of events, France has from the very first stamped its mark on the nature and form of the European project. And France will only be able to continue to do that if she remains true to herself, to her traditions, her culture and her character.” [note 1]
Vive la Republique; Vive la France !
[note 1: my translation of an excerpt on page 18 of Delors “Le nouveau concert Europeen” published in February 1992 by Editions Odile Jacob, Paris]
There are also very interesting comment pieces such as this showcase giveaway in the Guardian by a former adviser to Emmanuel Macron at
and finally an Op-Ed in RT interesting for its thesis that Germany rules the EU [a common fallacy !] and for its view of the financial basis of the EU