‘Jury’s out’ on future of Europe, EU doyen says
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – The financial crisis is likely to create fundamental changes in the EU. But the bloc is still at an early stage of formulating its response, Belgian industrialist and former EU commissioner Etienne Davignon told EUobserver.
“It’s clear that the world will not be the same after September 2008,” he said in an interview on 12 March, referring to events last year such as the fall of Lehman Brothers bank in the US, which first put in the public eye what has since become the global economic crisis.
The 77-year old Mr Davignon is vice-chairman of Belgian energy firm Suez-Tractebel and president of Brussels-based NGO Friends of Europe. In the 1960s he worked under EU ‘founding father’ Paul-Henri Spaak in the Belgian foreign ministry and in the 1980s was EU commissioner for industry.
A meeting in June in Europe of the Bilderberg Group – an informal club of leading politicians, businessmen and thinkers chaired by Mr Davignon – could also “improve understanding” on future action, in the same way it helped create the euro in the 1990s, he said.
“When we were having debates on the euro, people [at Bilderberg events] could explain why it was worth taking risks and the others, for whom the formal policy was not to believe in it, were not obliged not to listen and had to stand up and come up with real arguments.”
In the current “grey period,” Mr Davignon expects the 19 March EU summit and the 2 April G20 meeting in London to generate goodwill for co-ordinated action, but not to come out with detailed agendas.
“These two meetings are going to be important because of what [the media] will say – is it a lot of jaw-jaw and everything will get worse? Or maybe it’s the beginning of a realisation that the world will no longer be the same and we are going to do something about it.”
Six months into the crisis, EU governments are at the stage of studying technical measures such as greater bank regulation and galvanising political will for future change, Mr Davignon said. But it will take another 18 to 24 months before the full effects of the crunch become clear.
Mr Davignon spoke in favour of international bank regulation and dismissed fears that the potential creation of eurobonds – a government bond guaranteed by all 16 eurozone countries – would increase the cost of borrowing for the other 11 EU members.
“National regulation of the financial sector has been a disaster. Ireland is a case. Iceland is a case,” he said. “The fact that you are making the euro countries healthier [via eurobonds] is an element that makes the situation of the less healthy less difficult to solve.”
“That is totally unacceptable …Yesterday, a French car producer was a French car producer. A German car producer was a German producer. Fiat was an Italian producer. Now they have a French origin, a German origin, an Italian origin. But they are European producers and we told them to be like this.”
Mr Davignon predicted that deeper EU integration as envisaged in the Lisbon treaty will continue due to a “majority movement” that is “irresistible over a period of time,” even if an individual member state opts out.
A second negative referendum in Ireland on Lisbon “would put on the agenda the notion that if somebody says No, why do we have to care about them?” he said.
Godless and confused
“People understand confusedly that there is a change [in the air],” he said. “But no government will satisfy the reactions of the people. They have the greatest reticence and cynicism against anybody who holds responsibility.
“Against the business community because of the financial excesses. Also, the church has disappeared. The popular reaction is also a consequence of the fact that a number of traditional references have disappeared. People are looking for what is the reference.”
What does Bilderberg mean? Bilder means builder. The dominant minority and their guardian political experts (this is what Plato called them) consider themselves to be builders of artificial societies/civilizations outside of the natural tribe environment. Berg as in iceberg (ice-mountain) meaning a mountain, a pyramid is an artificial mountain. Bilderberg means builders of the mountain, but they are no sun king Pharaohs. The Bilderberg hotel was chosen for the first meeting. It was not a surprise they unimaginatively chose the Excel centre for the 2009 G20 meeting which you can see here has a glass pyramid entrance with a capital C letter floating above it for the missing capstone not unlike the pyramid on the back of the dollar bill with the sun eye capstone floating above that. They never grow tired of using this, it must be their corporate logo like AOL or their religious symbol like a cross. Christians use the cross as their symbol regardless of what others believe and the elite use their own symbols whether you believe in their religion or not, whether you take conscience notice of their logos and “bright” puns or not. We all know the Nazis used the ancient sun symbol, the swastika. These people are undemocratically deciding the future and the public do not know their common ideologies, it’s not a laughing matter even if their logos are.
“The Constitution is the capstone of a European Federal State” – Guy Verhofstadt, Belgian Prime Minister, Financial Times, 21 June 2004
“The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe.” – Schumann Declaration, 9 May 1950, announcing the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community
“France was just ahead of all the other countries in voting No. It would happen in all Member States if they have a referendum. There is a cleavage between people and governments…There will be no Treaty if we had a referendum in France, which would again be followed by a referendum in the UK.” – French President Nicolas Sarkozy, at meeting of MEP Group leaders discussing the Lisbon treaty, EU Observer, 14 November 2007
“Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly … All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden and disguised in some way.” – Former French President V.Giscard D’Estaing, Le Monde, 14 June 20