Will the European Union itself become the first real institutional victim of corona? It seems that the warning signs are already there as we see genuine anger and vitriol across the 27-nation bloc from people of all walks of life, who fall victim to the 21st century plague.
What Corona has re-impounded is the uselessness of the EU, its impotence and delusional idiocy and above all its futility. Even those across Europe who believed passionately in the bloc, now see it for what it is. In the words of the Serbian president, “a fairy tale”.
Need convincing? Just look at how the European Commission president is so enfeebled that she can’t even unveil any kind of rescue plan, either for those infected or for the millions who have to suffer, lose their jobs, or small business that go under.
At the end of February, the Commission unveiled a 250m dollar aid package. Oh yes it did. You might have missed it, or didn’t quite see it properly if you didn’t have your reading glasses on, as articles next to it on Google, flanked Spain’s 220 BILLION euro aid package.
But wait. You might be wondering how the European union is able to give 500m euros of its own cash to dictator of a country in Central Africa which has been thrown into turmoil following the same despot’s coup d’état but not manage much for the entire 27-nation bloc as Europeans drop dead like flies.
It’s all about competence. A little known secret, until now, about the EU is how the European Union puts on a great show, by paying cash to EU media giants to subsidise their reports from Brussels, and pretends to the greater public that it has competences and power in areas where, in fact, it doesn’t.
Any Brussels-based hack, worth his weight in Mules and Frites, will tell you that two chief no-go areas which are sacred are health and culture. But don’t let that stop Brussels from blowing billions and billions of euros of taxpayers money on setting up and running a “ghost ministry” in the name of pan-EU healthcare policy. Yes, the EU actually has a directorate of health, run by a Greek called Stella Kyriakidou. But like foreign policy, it’s yet another one of these talk shops which doesn’t actually do anything.
Yes, the European Commission’s own Directorate General of Health is a white elephant, which is why not only have you not heard or seen this Greek lady in front of the media’s spotlights, but the EU also has no real power – and therefore no cash – for healthcare, which is what the corona pandemic would fall under.
So, in short, add ‘health’ to the growing list of competences which the EU claims to have, but in fact are bogus. On that same list, ‘foreign policy’ is a good contender for the top place and yet the EU’s foreign diplomatic service, the EEAS, blows over a billion dollars a year just on keeping 130 odd “diplomatic missions” around the world open. That’s one billion dollars with a ‘b’. And all we have heard from the aged, bumbling Mr Magoo – ‘ol Josep Borrell – about corona is that it is a “global problem”, which he muttered recently in a spammed social media video clip. Is that code for “we can’t really do anything about it. Sorry”?
Of course, Borrell could. He could propose that the 1bn dollars a year blown on his own diplo yaddah yaddah service be diverted to saving Europe’s small businesses. Or jobs. Or face masks. Anything.
But that’s about as likely to happen as Borrell himself, standing up to Donald Trump and defending Iran against crippling, and morally bereft US sanctions. Yet nothing comes from Borrell on this subject. Can Iran assume that the EU has totally abandoned it? And that, in reality, Brussels wasn’t the great architect of the so-called Iran Deal, that is claimed to be? Can Tehran assume, that in its darkest hour, that the EU is simply a cheaper, poorer grovelling cousin of the White House? Yep.
And what about immigration? Could or should that be added to the White Elephant list of non-competences, which EU taxpayers fund, which is failing spectacularly as we witness the total implosion of the so-called Schengen Agreement?
Corona has shown us that the US is not the super power it might like to think it is, as there was no leadership from Trump around the world. It has also shown us how London, Paris and Berlin are helpless when it comes to health crises and that the concept of unity is very limited at best. Presently, what we are seeing is a new war emerging which pitches NATO countries against their foes over face masks. Germany recently lashed out at the US which “confiscated” a shipment of facemasks heading towards Berlin cops; France and Spain are also at loggerheads over a consignment of face masks from a Swedish firm based in Lyon, got swiped by the French government before they could be delivered to Spain which ordered them. Turkey is also in the news for face mask banditry, but this time threatening to nationalise firms which make them on its own turf. While all this kicks off, Trump holds a press conference defending his decision to take face masks from Putin.
But where is the European Union in all this? What is Josep Borrell doing? In fact, celebrating. According to his own twitter Feed we see that the former Spanish FM was self-pleasuring over the news that Albania and Northern Macedonia had got the “green light” to begin accession talks with the EU.
The EU is getting more insular and elitist. It can’t help but think of its own priorities no matter how banal they may seem to outsiders. When countries join the EU, even those on the edge of darkest Europe, this gives EU officials a massive rush, as though expanding the club provides temporary relief to the reality that the building is falling down – like using gasoline to put out a fire, it provides a small flare, a distraction which endears the viewer, while he realises that he’s in the midst of an inferno.
How will the European Union survive this stunning lack of dynamism and misplaced priorities? It’s hard to imagine it will hang on as the lack of any real power or influence is even being picked up by journalists in MENA countries who watch such things carefully. Corona has its own media dynamism which hundreds of millions of euros of cash which MEPs voted should be put aside to “assist” EU media report on the EU, cannot buy.