One Mouth, One Voice?
One of the prettiest phrases in politics is the demand that Europe speak “with one voice.” For 40 years, this has sounded as plausible as it is unrealistic, thanks to the capacity for Europe’s residual nationalism to promote cacophony. So, since 1914, the erosion of power that European unification was supposed to stem has continued to advance. And with the rise of the newly industrializing countries the decline is accelerating.
The most intelligent proposal for retarding this process came from Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organization. “When a European makes a statement...Either they say the same thing, then it is boring; or they don’t say the same thing, then they don’t influence the result. The solution should be that Europeans speak with one mouth. Not with one voice, but with one mouth.”
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