Thursday, June 23, 2005

Blair and the EU ... In a speech to the EU parliament yesterday, Blair laid the groundwork for his 6-month EU presidency in the second half of this year. According to the London Times, Blair didn't mince any words:
"It is a time to recognise that only by change will Europe recover its strength, its relevance, its idealism and therefore its support amongst the people. And as ever, the people are ahead of the politicians...

"We have to renew and there is no shame in that. All institutions must do it and we can, but only if we re-marry the European ideals we believe in with the modern world we live in."
That last line seems as elegant a summation as any of the political challenge the EU is currently facing ... What is typically absent in the EU rhetoric about human rights is the recognition that economic growth is the moral good which often secures them in the first place. Kudos to Blair for trying to re-work the continent's political vocabulary in such a way that both idealism and modernity can now be seen not only as compatible but complimentary.


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