Doctor of medicine and former student of the ENA, Aquilino Morelle was counselor to Lionel Jospin for five years (1997-2002). In 2011, he led Arnaud Montebourg’s campaign during the left-wing primary, before becoming political advisor to François Hollande at the Elysee (2012-2014). He has just published The Opium of the elites. How we defeated France without making Europe (Grasset, 592 p., 25 euros).
In your book, you look back over several decades of European construction. Your caption: “How we defeated France without making Europe”. Is the situation so serious?
It is above all a book on France, its discomfort and one of its main origins: Europe. France and Europe are now so intertwined that I am talking about “Franceurope”. We have reached a key moment in European construction. After attacking our economic, budgetary, monetary and social sovereignty, the Maastrichian system is now seeking to achieve our political sovereignty. I am thinking of the July 15 decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union, indicating that the 2003 Community directive on working time should apply to our armed forces. Can we imagine that a submariner, for example, is a worker like any other? Beyond the grotesque nature of this judgment, if the French authorities did not react to it, it would be extremely serious for our national security.
You say that, from its inception, the construction of Europe has taken the wrong direction. What do you blame the founding fathers?
Their project in 1950 was openly federalist; it was a question of building the “United States of Europe”. After the failures of the European Defense Community and the European Political Community in 1954, the federalists understood that their “big night” was illusory; they therefore chose to advance in masks and to go through the economy: this was the 1957 Treaty of Rome.
But, as early as 1965, the President of the European Commission, Walter Hallstein, wanted to relaunch federalism and transform the Commission into a European executive. This project ran up against De Gaulle’s refusal and led to the “empty chair crisis”, resolved with the Luxembourg compromise (1966). Twenty-five years of status quo ante followed. With the arrival of a true federalist, François Mitterrand, the offensive resumed, via the “turning point” of March 1983.
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