The afternoon panel of the Sound of Europe conference?? Wallström is back, but looked a bit nervous and had negative body language, Plassnik looked serene and calm, Danskeckguber looked smug, and Moisi too. The best quote at the start came from Geremek: “Mozart is what we want, Wagner is what we’ve got” I think that sums things up well. Plassnik got a lot more confused though: “If we do not want a supermarket or a superstate, we cannot promise what a supermarket or a superstate can offer.” What is that supposed to mean for any citizens?
The recurrent theme is that each and every speaker talked of the importance of appealing to the new generation, yet apart from Mark Leonard, they are all old ??? has the ludicrousness of this in the conference not dawned on any of them?
Elmar Brok, chair of the EP’s External Relations Committee, was so unimpressed in the audience that he fell asleep throughout most of Javier Solana???s introductory speech, but then managed to wake up and deliver a succinct critique of the Lisbon Strategy, yet somehow out of tone of the rest of the debate which had been more fluffy and cultural until that point. Wallstr√∂m disagreed strongly with Brok, stating that the member states had their action plans. I tend to agree with Brok though – the EU has no way to force Member States to reform their economies.
Wallström pointed out that Europe meant frisches Leitungswasser (fresh tapwater) – i.e. that this was a symbol of what we had managed to achieve in Europe, as a symbol to the rest of the world. Don’t think this will explain Europe to many EU citizens though!
Throughout the whole discussion there was basically no mention of leadership. Do these people just assume Europe will find solutions to problems if we change the vocabulary we use, and talk to the citizens more? I doubt it.
More early tomorrow before all of this starts once more…