They are usually sensible folk, the Dutch, and even, I am glad to say, beginning to be a touch more doubtful about the benefits of the EU they have helped bankroll for so long. Unfortunately, the fact that it’s now Holland’s turn to take up the EU presidency (it’s a six monthly rotating appointment, somewhat like being J-Lo’s significant other), has gone to those once stolid Dutch heads.
Their prime minister, Harry Potter, has decided to hold a conference dedicated to “European Values”. Yup, that’s right. This conference (scheduled for September 7th) is designed to “initiate a discussion about the underlying principles of the European union, about what values the European Union represents and about what these values mean to the citizens of the EU.”
Since those values mean absolutely nothing to the EU’s unfortunate ‘citizens’, you would think that this conference could be over in about five minutes.
“The conference on 7 September is the first of a series, meant to bridge the gap between those who are engaged in shaping Europe on a day-to-day basis and intellectuals who reflect, from a distance, on Europe as it develops. The series will culminate in an intellectual summit, called “A citizen of Europe” on the eve of the European Council in December, with the participation of prominent thinkers and politically and socially influential figures.”
Words fail me. The same, unfortunately, will not be true of the “prominent thinkers”.