No European governance issue at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin

Few remarks on the #FutureOfEurope event organised at the Hertie School in Berlin this week.

  • I was surprised that so few people attended where we had two of the most recognised experts on Europe on stage, Jean Pisani-Ferry and Henrik Enderlein. And this event was organised by the FT. Strange. Or is it another evidence that the Europe of experts does not mobilise? But how come the Hertie School cannot connect to the colourful Berlin life where Pulse of Europe is doing a great job?
  • I am a bit tough but I would not have chosen Julian Lang as the winner for this essay competition. Rebooting Europe is in my view not about communication. Did the FT succumb to the easy social media fashion?
  • Naturally few interesting remarks from the panelists, but well I had the impression they could not make the point, despite of the very pertinent Stand-up and fight of Henrik Enderlein. This reminded me the referendum campaign in 2005 in France where the reasonable arguments could not be received. Not very reinsuring…
  • The main point is not the result of a battle of experts, the main point is the total failure of a political process which is not a true democratic one. Time to remember that the sovereignty does not belong to the Chiefs of State and Government, but to the people. And Macron told this in Athens. But our experts prefer to stay with the speech of La Sorbonne only. More comfortable. I tried to make the point. Badly and without success. But I am still convinced, and the lack of passion in this room could only reinforce my conviction. If we are unable to create a true and effective European Democracy the current Europe will quickly die.
  • For Henrik Enderlein the most important today for Germany is not to answer to Macron or to Brussel but to build its own European plan. And Mr Enderlein to draw this very roughly when ask to:
  1. An efficient European foreign policy, border control, migrants control, security
  2. European competitiveness, investment in digital, education, with a European budget
  3. a new European economic union with real risk sharing

Then you would end with a smaller Commission, more of community approach, punishment & sanctions for those not respecting the rules, transnational lists

  • Naturally a bit vague in order to judge, but this does not seem to be very far away from Macron, does it? Then do we have really time to wait that each member state prepares its own European plan? For what? A competition of national egos?


Pity. I was expecting much more from these people whom I fully respect and always follow with big interest. Can do better, should do better. Stand-up and fight! We have no time left.


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