Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

European Union: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”.

The title above is a reference to a famous – though slightly tweaked – quote by Mark Twain (1835-1910). It also refers to the many articles claiming that the EU is a failing entity which about to collapse. Often these articles originate from the USA. However, the latter may be a mere consequence of my reading of English language articles.

If the patient were indeed about to die, the cause of death is probably from backstabbing. The assaults to disintegrate the EU come from many sides: China (eg, Belt and Road initiatives), Russia (eg, election interference in Brexit and USA), Turkey (eg, refugees), United Kingdom (Brexit), and USA (eg, Trump’s trade wars).

It’s odd that a supposedly terminal patient doesn’t get a peaceful stay in a hospice. Each visitor seems eager to suffocate the incurable patient. This makes me wonder whether such media reports are a case of reverse psychology and projection (my 2015 blog) or – at the very least – wishful thinking.

The continued attempts of the French President and German Chancellor for further European integration are a threat, and not only to smaller countries like “the Netherlands and the 7 Dwarfs” (my 2018 blog). The main threat is perceived by Superpowers like China, Russia and USA.

The French (1812) and German (1941) invasion of Russia must have caused an everlasting Russian trauma. Hence, I understand but do not condone the ongoing Russian efforts for disintegration of Europe. From a Russian perspective, an integrated Europe – led by France and/or Germany – cannot be trusted.

To a large extent, something similar happened to China. The Anglo-French military expeditions to China resulted in the First Opium war (1839-1842) and the Second Opium War (1856-1860). China lost both wars and was forced to accept the “unequal treaties“, a Chinese nickname. From a Chinese perspective, an integrated powerful Europe cannot be trusted.

In March 2016, former US President Obama criticized the “free riders” amongst American allies in the Persian Gulf and in Europe (eg, NYT-2016). Trump’s rhetoric towards Europe is an amplified Obama criticism. From an American perspective, Europe is getting wealthier – and by extension America is getting poorer – because Europe is not paying its fair share. 

The original goal of the European Union was “ending the frequent and bloody wars between neighbours” (Europa.eu). The success – rather than failure of that project has reminded its long-term rivals of its shared, and often bitter, history with Europe. 

Back Stabbers (1972) by The O’Jays

artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

(What they do?) 

(They smilin’ in your face) 

All the time, they want to take your place 

The back stabbers (Back stabbers)

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise

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