• European Parliament, Strasbourg, 11 September 2013
• Debate: State of the Union
Statement by the President of the Commission
Well, Mr Barroso, not just you but the entire unelected government of Europe and a chance perhaps for our citizens to reflect on where the real power lies in this Union.
I’ve listened to you for nearly ten years – full marks for consistency – you are a man that likes fixed ideology, you probably picked it up when you were a communist or Maoist, or whatever you were, and for the last ten years you’ve pursued euro-federalism combined with an increasing green obsession.
And yes, it’s been good – for bureaucrats, for big businessmen, for landowners, it has not been a bad decade. But it has been a disaster for poor people, unemployed people and those on low wages.
The euro which you believed would give us monetary stability has done the very opposite, it was a misconstruction from the start, and it’s pretty clear that youth unemployment, at nearly 50% across the Mediterranean, is probably nearly double what it would have been as a direct result of the misconstruction that is the euro.
They’re in the wrong currency, but I know that you’ll never ever admit to that, and the euro I think will die a very slow and painful death. But you’re all in denial about that.
But it’s the green agenda that I find really more interesting. You keep telling us that climate change is an absolute top priority, and you’ve been greeted with almost hysteria in this place over the last ten years.
Well, those of us who have been sceptical about this have been mocked, derided, called ‘deniers’.
We’ve argued from the start that the science wasn’t settled, and we’ve argued very strongly that the measures we’re taking to combat what may or may not be a problem are damaging our citizens.
And we’ve been proved to be right. Tens of millions forced into fuel poverty, manufacturing industry being driven away because of course our competitors in China and in America are going for cheap fossil alternatives and of course wind turbines blighting the landscapes and seascapes of Europe.
And still today you go on about green growth. Well, the consensus is breaking behind you – you know, [Industry] Commissioner Tajani the other day said that actually we face a systematic industrial massacre.
It is time to stop this stupidity and to help you [holds up colour pictures] there is the NASA photograph last August of the northern icecaps. And there is the NASA photograph this year of the icecaps. They increased by 60% in one year. Leading American scientists are now saying we are going into a period of between 15-30 years of global cooling.
We may have made one of the biggest stupidest collective mistakes in history by getting so worrying about global warming. You can reverse this in the next seven or eight months. You can bring down peoples’ taxes. If you don’t, they will vote on it in the European elections of next year.
“Well next year’s European elections will not be contested on the old division lines of left and right and several group leaders have agreed with that today. Frankly that is all irrelevant.
It will be contested between those of us who believe in national democracy within the nation state; and those who believe that the 28 countries that are part of the EU are better governed by these institutions. That in a sense is what this comes down to.
But Mr Barroso, those of us who believe in national democracy do not want to take us back to the Western Front or 1914. Those of us who believe in national democracy will say to you that it is a healthy assertion of identity.
But it also shows a deeper understanding of why the problems of Europe were caused in the past. It is democratic nation states in Europe that are stable and will not go to war with each other.
I will remind people that without the vote in the House of Commons two weeks ago that we would now be at war in Syria. What better proof can there be that nation state democracy can be a force for good.
Video source: EbS (European Parliament)