Occasionally I have nightmares and recently I feared being invited to a dinner and being sat next to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. I don’t mind so much that his political positions are totally antithetical to mine, I know many such people and they are cordial and interesting. But Mr. Junker goes beyond that, he’s a deeply unfriendly, malicious, vengeful man.
When he’s not drinking himself into oblivion, he keeps a little black book he calls ‘Maurice’, a kind of Nixonian shit-list of all the people he does not like. I’ve never seen Maurice, but I have a feeling that he must be Tolstoy like in terms of volume.
Unlike dignified world leaders who congratulated Donald Trump on his victory, Mr. Juncker has become more emboldened in his open disdain for the next American President. He has issued a condescending statement in which he said, “We will need to teach the president-elect what Europe is and how it works… I think we will waste two years before Mr. Trump tours the world he does not know”.
Later he called Trump ‘pernicious’. Perhaps after a few more bottles of wine, Mr. Junker might tell us what he really thinks. The fact of the matter is that Jean-Claude Juncker is a deeply condescending man. He has insulted President Putin, he now belittles President-elect Trump, he is mean spirited to European leaders who have political disagreements with him and most crucially, he is dismissive to the political and social desires of the peoples of Europe.
Even if I were a supporter of the European Union which I am not, I would certainly warn that Mr. Junker’s presence as the face of the EU is the PR equivalent of having Van Gogh be the mascot of a hearing aid company.
The fact of the matter is that having someone who appears to be Eurosceptic in the White House, has exposed the EU for what it has always been, a political arm of American dominance over Europe. It’s no secret that the US government and CIA were deeply interested in uniting Europe politically after the Second World War.
From the American perspective, it would be easier to have a unitary and monolithic European political power structure, rather than have to negotiate between small nations with competing and divergent interests, in an attempt to formulate a cohesive western policy.
Of course, when one hears the statements of prominent EU leaders, this isn’t the case. According to them, the EU is an independent body that pursues relations with America as an equal rather than a subordinate. This was never true, although during the Delors Commission, the idea got closer than ever before or since to being a manifest reality for two reasons.
First of all, during the Delors Commission, European policy became far less Atlanticist in nature and more importantly between 1985 and 1995 the US had other things on its mind namely, the final sad chapters of the Cold War, the Gulf War, military and political domination of non-EU Eastern Europe through NATO and breaking up Yugoslavia.
But recent years have brought the EU back into America’s political sphere of influence. This has exposed Junker as an emperor without clothes. If the EU were truly as independent of American influence as Junker would like the world to believe, he and his cohorts would not be so panicked at the mere idea that the new US President might make this into an actual reality. The fact is the EU cannot survive without American political cover.
If America cuts the cord to the EU and simultaneous to that, Eurosceptic movements continue to gain traction in France, Austria, The Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Italy and to a degree even in Germany itself, the project will be finished. It will either have to transform itself into a loose cooperative confederation or it will simply die, leaving future generations to decide upon the nature of political and trade relations between European nation-states.
Whilst Donald Trump has promised an expanded programme of job creation, this doesn’t seem to apply to the big wigs in Brussels. Jean-Claude Juncker may eventually find himself out of a job. Think of how friendly he’ll be then.