Ah Mr Juncker. Surely you jest. Isn’t it kind of ironic that you urge the governments of member states to refrain from holding referendums surrounding EU membership. Shouldn’t the answer be crystal clear? – why would member states propose referendums if your stewardship of the EU has led to Utopia? Could it be that your constant threats to the voters of these member states answer your own concerns? If indeed membership to the EU is of such high value, why did the Swiss hand back a long standing free pass to join earlier this year? Why have the Brits voted Brexit? Why did the Hungarians vote 98% against your asylum seeker proposals? Why did your good friend Martin Schulz resign last week? Is it they all see the inevitable end of the EU?
On Dec 4 you have two big events – the Italian referendum. Either outcome doesn’t help the EU. A rejection of constitutional reform (as proposed by the referendum) has little to do with the EU. However, when Renzi staked his career by threatening to quit if a ‘No’ was carried won’t automatically lead to a snap election. However the market might interpret the euro-skeptic 5-star Movement’s rising popularity as a potential winner when that general election comes around. A “Yes” outcome will buy time in the short term for the EU but I wouldn’t be using such an outcome to become complacent again – actually a more concerning risk for the EU to think it validates their vision.
On the same day, the Austrian presidential re-run which looks like right wing FPO candidate Norbert Hofer should win given the fraudulent voting the last time in May will throw the light back on your earlier threats to ignore the outcome and punish Austria for exercising democracy. It seems your comments to politely request that Mr Hofer goes easy on him.
Then we have the French presidential elections next year. Once again, to keep Marine Le Pen out the conservatives have to shift to the right and she will take a more balanced stance (to a point). The question is will the French want Diet-Coke Fillon or Classic Coke Le Pen. While the French may see her as an unpalatable choice to a degree perhaps after Hebdo, a beheaded priest, truck driving lunatics in Nice, terrorists in Paris and numerous other murderous events perhaps the French will try what they haven’t done before because like the French rugby team they blow hot or cold – there is rarely middle ground.
So once again Mr Juncker, best look at yourself and the parlous state of the EU before you start begging for member states to back you after you’ve ridiculed them because you thought you had (as Jerry Seinfeld once said) ‘[upper] hand in the relationship’