Home POLITICS Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…!

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…!

by asma
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Close friends in the European Commission have been moaning about having to work only in French. President Macron and his associates meanwhile have made it clear that French “is the language of the EU”.

The media generally has, it appears, been resorting increasingly to “the lessons of history”. That the French language is an imperialist factor in historical terms is an historical reality and nothing seems to have changed.

That Ukraine was absorbed by Russia both under the Tsars and the Soviet Union is an historical fact, although the implications can be debated and currently are being.

Lack of European Unity is a feature of the Continent’s history. So is nationalism and ambitions to dominate. Articles I have read in recent days seem to suggest that Britain and France are somehow engaged in a repeat of the Hundred Years War.

It is worth looking philosophically at the situation and, with respect to some great writers, to examine the contentions appearing in print and on-line. According to a sizeable number of commentators President Putin has every intention of retaking Ukraine. Could it, I have been asking myself, have even in small part anything to do with the defence agreement between France and Greece?

Not long ago there was widespread media commentary on the possibility of Greece linking itself to Russia. Greece borders the sea route from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea and on the other side is Turkey, once forecast to become an EU member state but now closer to Russia in many respects.

So, with Macron promoting a French led European defence force outside NATO, of which Greece is the first to sign up, is it possible that Putin is determined to spread Russian control in that geographical region?

Certainly the EU has failed to shape up adequately to the defence implications of a Russian “union” with Ukraine. According to some heavy weight articles Britian has played an active role avoiding German airspace to deliver weaponry to Ukraine and sending troops to Eastern Europe.

That the EU defence force promoted and led by Macron will require French as a working language while NATO currently works primarily in English doesn’t bode well should war actually break out. The idea, promoted by Macron that Europe should stop using English in favour of French has serious implications for the Republic of Ireland. It also has implications for Scandinavian countries that, even now, have electorates opposed to joining NATO. Would they prefer an EU defence force dominated by France and the French language?

Several articles I have read and analysed lately suggest that Europe has missed the boat when it comes to true unity. Nationalism is on the rampage. How would Spain respond to having military personal speaking French? What about Italy? The list is long and uncertain in terms of national attitudes.

One thing is certain and does favour France. If Russia takes Ukraine, and outright war is avoided, America’s future role in European defence is seriously questionable. The United States appears, according to relevant commentators to be in a serious and on-going political crisis the outcome of which is uncertain and hard to predict. History doesn’t help much with this, perhaps the most important question.

American revolutionaries had help from France but whether Americans would want to continue paying and risking war for a French speaking Europe is doubtful. A probable candidate for the next U.S. Presidential election is no fan of NATO and where would that leave the UK?

Perhaps history will prove to have an effect on the present So, should the EU speak French? Probably more practically – Russian!

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