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European beauty (I)

February 9, 2011

Oscars ceremony is close enough to tempt me in announcing my trendy nominations.

What else to do, when January the traditional Sales period is done, boutique and grand
distribution people aka managers (even consultants) are savoring juicy Excel total
sheets, longing libidinously for the next major freaking fake – St. Fallentime. Well… it
might be something in between, but I wouldn’t wish to insist or intrude… As Feb seems
to be designated the month for Sales in Politics.

I’m not referring here to my Belgian Government ordeal or hardly marketable options,
mais rather consider EU innovative approaches and launching of revolutionary calls
on indeed actual, stringent issues, in the light of latest developments in Arab world,
especially in Egypt and Tunisia. For the moment… Anyway, it appears some obsolete
PCs will be made redundant. Or, for marketing sake Sale price is reduced and some
categories would qualify for installments notwithstanding. The bad news is PC stands
for Political Correctness, en revanche the good one is the season has just begun.

I have the opportunity (or strategy?) to be involved almost on a daily basis with EU
Institutional environment and lately the unavoidable trend is to accommodate a certain
circumstantial boldness, regarding cornerstones of our governance system, such as
democracy, representation, legitimacy, state of law, power of the people, etc. People,
people… but what kind of people and which power… it is not that simple anymore!
Appropriateness of these nice export merchandises to be delivered in some sensitive
areas has come under serious question.

Well… this is quite something. It is huge, epochal, indeed revolutionary and paradigm
shifting, some attributes are now loaded with substance, unlike their use in volatile EC
2020 strategy orientations for instance. Ok, but what shall we do without our precious
chewing-gum delicacies, which seem essential in managing the whole cooking
establishment? Probably nothing special… as the respective sacred cardinal versets
represent anyway just exterior variables in the real functionality of the system in the
real world. And this is notably true in the Westside story, where oligarchic muses play
a decisive role.

The interchangeability, vacuousness and versatility of some fundamental categories of

our system of values made me realize a second-hand dimension in habitual mythical
interpretation of facts and consequently I’m heading to more glamorous Showbiz

Here are the nominations for best European features:

* La Dolce Vita and Pastoral Symphony and La Vita è Bella

At category: Cultural heritage and patrimony, historical distinction, traditions and

source of civilization.

Rationale: The European multifaceted mosaic comprising a tremendously rich diversity

of cultures, languages, traditions, customs, the well-preserved anthropic and natural
habitats, etc. represents an inimitably important asset. Perhaps this uniqueness is a
paramount feature in defining the quality of European savoir-vivre. The distribution in
non-alphabetical order casts stars such as: Mozart, Salzburg, Paris, Van Gogh,
Dostoyevsky, lake Constance, Joyce, Baudelaire, Brancusi, Einstein, pata negra,
Roma, Darwin, Sighisoara citadel, Stonehenge, Alhambra, Enescu, Karol Wojtyła,
transhumance, Kant, Napoleon codes, Saint-Exupery, Eiffel, Grimm, Vienna, The
Danube, palinka, Pinocchio, Chopin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Moulin Rouge, Don Quijote,
Douro vinyards, English cottage, Brot Wurst und Biergarten and so on and so forth…

* Borderless and Alice in Euroland

At category: EU integration and adoption of own currency – Euro.

Rationale: EU construction proved to be a progress momentum, especially after joining

membership of former communist countries. The process of enlargement hopefully will
continue with the Balkans states and further east. It is worth mentioning the contribution
of new EU Members in aggregating a common economic space with enhanced
competitive edge and rediscovered European spiritual dimension. The disappearance
of borders and existence of Euro are success stories for everyday life and increased
mobility, multilateral exchanges and tangible sense of facility.

* A Fistful of Dollars

At category: Still attractive for financial fluxes, for confident investments and traditional
transactions in decent financial purgatories, such as Luxembourg or Monaco.

Rationale: There is still a glamorous spell, a fascination and a certain je ne sais quoi,
which seduces money to come over, feel great and settle down. But capital cannot live
by itself, it hates solitude and badly needs owners, who need properties, clubbing,
Louis Vuitton and some power to exercise on. The design of relationships building
might seem irrelevant, yet the precarity of options inexorably leads to the same
conclusion: somebody needs to assume Decision and the location could be also a
yacht at quay in St Jean Cap Ferrat harbour.

* In a Better World

At category: Climate change and environmental issues, sustainable development,

EE/RES, bio-agriculture and traditional local products.

Rationale: Europe enjoys a leading positioning in these matters and this kind of positive
tendencies should be encouraged. Quality of life, the living standards imposed greater
care for these essential issues. Healthy food and appropriate preparation, good air and
water, independence from fossils fuels are assets worth building on and trends to be

* The Social Network

At category: Resourceful communitarian potentialities and capacity to aggregate

innovative approaches, independent thinking streams.

Rationale: By its nature, Europe is probably the most heterogeneous space of

expression for professional bodies, media, journalists, independent thinkers, cultural
operators, opinion makers, artists. This privileged situation resulted in abundance of
ideas, judgments, opinions, peer reviews, analyzes, speculations, viewpoints. It is
merely the incongruous qualitative structure of respective pool of actors that secures
trustworthy results.

The spectacle would not be complete without the popular Razzie Awards.

Here are the nominations:

* The Devil’s Advocate

At category: Unproductive formalism, dissimulation and pretending performance.

Rationale: There is still an enormous amount of schizophrenic behavior at all levels,

from top politicians and government, to middle class, entrepreneurial environment and
simple subjects, who most of the time would prefer to be lied and hate to assume a
rigorous responsibility. People speak, act and react in certain chablons at work, in the
public space generally, but actually they think and behave quite differently in their
private reasoning or environment. Moreover public or private institutions,
organizations, corporations are developing this doubling, tripling, etc. nature on a
programmatic basis and as an intrinsic prerequisite in playing the game. The freaking
rules of this game are considered immuables and inherent, most of the time being
labeled as expressions of general interest, decency, politeness, civility, good sense,
professionalism, aso. Naturally and of course this is far from being an European

* Louis de Funès in German

At category: Weak power centre and insufficient coherence.

Rationale: Until now Europe failed in positioning itself as leading voice in the global
concerto. The actors are more or less talented, but the direction is surely inconsistent,
lacking coherence and without requisite charisma. The Franco-German leading force
can always be enjoyed as suitable gag situation.

* Modern Times

At category: Diminishing competitiveness as global player.

Rationale: Globalization has changed the rules of the game. Other regions are
emerging as staring actors from an economical, financial, technical, industrial-
manufacturing, exportation perspective and it is not just about BRIC countries.

* The Office

At category: Rigid business modeling, modest growth rates and ineffective

entrepreneurial endeavors, especially for the start-up phase.

Rationale: Certainly, 2 digits growth rates are hardly imaginable, but the way to do
business, the speed of translating new ideas, innovative market opportunities into
feasible business models truly is a handicap in comparison with nowadays tigers.
European managers seem quite restful and some white-collars are experts in acting
on Mark Knopfler’s ‘Money for Nothing’, the soundtrack of their lives seemingly. This
is particularly true for Brussels Bureaucracy Festival and its propagandist, inefficient
approaches based upon self-satisfactory scenarios.

* The Way We Were

At category: Aging, romantic years and lost generation.

Rationale: Obviously the population in Europe is experiencing dramatic aging process.

The next generations will have to put up with this unavoidable trend and search for
compensatory solutions.

Hors concours et pour la bonne bouche – Le Grand Restaurant

If you noticed too many American productions as European illustrations, it is probably

because Charlot, der Vagabund was originally produced in London. And again the
grand prize for winning the game in La Vita è Bella was an US tank.

Finally, would like to express my gratitude and give thanks to those who made possible,
who in fact incited to and inspired this intervention i.e. politicians, media, Frederic T.,
respectable citizens and last but not least, ordinary participants in street revolts in
Cairo, Tunis aso. I reckon they deserve a great deal of compassion and undisimulated
respect for their genuinely idealist query towards basic human liberties. Nonetheless,
putting own lives at stakes for don-quijotest pursuits merits at least a sincere reflection.
Show must go on




Accredited lobbyist to EP/EC