Revue de presse européenne de la semaine / This week in European politics

Nouvelle catégorie sur le blog. N’ayant pas de compte Facebook, je ne peux pas vraiment relayer à un large publique tous les articles intéressants que je lis durant la semaine. Mais j’ai un blog. Peu lu, certes, mais qui a néanmoins le mérite d’exister. Donc voilà, tous les vendredis, j’essayerai de faire une liste des articles de presse (en français et en anglais) qui m’ont interpellée, intriguée ou tout simplement intéressée. Cette sélection devrait refléter mon intérêt politique principal, à savoir la politique européenne (pour les élections US, ce n’est pas ici).

Et je suis parfaitement consciente de l’ironie qu’il y a à commencer une rubrique d’actualité un 8 juillet. Au début des vacances d’été. Mais avec ma plus belle imitation d’Humphrey Bogart dans Casablanca, je répondrais « et alors? ».

Voici donc cette première sélection.

 


New category on the blog. I do not have a Facebook account, so I cannot really share with a wide audience all the interesting press articles that I read during the week. But there is this little blog. Not a large audience, but it’s a start. So I’ve decided that every Friday I will try to offer a selection in French and in English of articles published during the week that I found interesting for whatever reason (well written, loads of insight, original point of view, or even utterly amazing by the amount of lies they contain etc…). My interest is in European politics, so this is what you will find here.

And yes, I know that it seems rather absurd to start a « news review » category at the start of the summer break. But I’ll do it anyway!

 

So let’s see this first selection.

 


Michel Rocard est décédé le week-end dernier, et toute la gauche française qui l’avait humilié et ignoré lui a rendu hommage. Un bel article de Quatremer sur la solitude de Rocard au Parlement européen:

http://bruxelles.blogs.liberation.fr/2016/07/06/michel-rocard-lhomme-que-les-socialistes-ont-humilie/

 

Juncker-bashing, the latest fashion in lazy European journalism, with quotes from « unnamed sources » and some ministers and hardly any perspective on why this sudden outburst of criticism. Julien Frisch has some thoughts on the topic, and it’s very interesting as it can probably apply to any politician who finds himself in the middle of a sudden collective negative media campaign.

http://julienfrisch.blogspot.be/2016/07/why-is-there-media-campaign-against.html

A long article on the Guardian, on the « doomed » Remain campaign. The article goes beyond the usual quest for a scapegoat to justify an electoral defeat and explains the workings of the campaign, put forward both the cross-party activists who gave it all and the pettiness of politicians. A very interesting insider’s view of a campaign:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/05/how-remain-failed-inside-story-doomed-campaign

And finally a video (in English) that is slowly becoming viral (well, according to European politics standards at least).

The European Parliament has a great deal of advantages, being the only EU institution directly elected by the citizens. I find the mere idea of having a legislature of 571 directly elected MEPs from 28 countries amazing. Its powers have also been increased over the years, to the point where it is now a real counter-power to the national government represented in the Council. Unfortunately, low turnout in the elections and traditional parties’ lack of interest in the EU mean that more often than not the quality of the debate is not what it should be. To put it bluntly, Parliament’s potential is seriously underused.

And still, there are some truly amazing moments. Last year, Guy Verhofstadt‘s speech to Alexis Tsipras went viral (at the time I write, it has more than 900 000 views on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P84tN0z4jqM ). Last week, there was Alyn Smith (SNP) « begging » his « chers collègues » not to « let Scotland down » (here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-4Sc52vmI8 « only » 17 000 views). This was a passionate, heartfelt speech that owed him a standing ovation.

And then, last Wednesday, Frans Timmermans, the Dutch Commissioner and First Vice-President of the Commission, delivered a wonderful short (7mn) speech reminding everyone in Parliament (and in Europe) what representative democracy was about and how it worked. I hope this speech will be used during the campaign for the next European elections (2019). If you want people to vote, you could do much worse than showing them this: http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I123920 (at the time of writing, more than 46 000 views on the Europa website – hardly a popular platform, and more than 2 000 on YouTube)

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