Our letter to Jean Monnet #
Cher Jean Monnet,
If you returned today from the United States to the European Union, as opposed to when you did at the end of WWII, as a green cardholder you would have your financial information automatically sent by a founding Member state - France - to a non Member state , you would not be able to invest in a myriad of funds and you would be told by EU officials that too bad if your bank closes your account, the PAD is there to ensure you have the most basic means of payments.
You would be victim of widespread discrimination yourself , and witness with despair all European Institutions involved turning a stubbornly blind eye to it all and observe with pain Commissioners lying in Parliament and competent authorities ignoring to the best of their immense ability EU treaties and EU laws.
And yet it would have taken you and the other Founding Fathers less than 3 minutes to understand that this EU’s open display of contempt for both EU citizens and EU laws contributes greatly to what seems to be - Brexit being the latest installment - a growing disenchantment for your European project.
The relaxed nonchalance with which EU institutions insult or ignore the intelligence of the citizenry and its representatives is truly unbelievable!
The oft repeated argument that only a united Europe can stand its ground against the United States, China, Russia, India etc… seems sadly farcical when the tax authorities of Member states become the willing informers of the US IRS and sign treaties to turn European financial institutions into tax collectors for the Americans, while the CJEU rules the US do not offer sufficient guarantees and repeals the Privacy Shield.
Finally and this is the most mind boggling : why give such a loaded pistol to the United States? Let us not forget the threat of the euphemistically called 30 % withholding tax on the US revenues of funds and banks deemed non compliant that the US can impose unilaterally, and thanks to FATCA legally, on EU’s financial institutions.
To us, FATCA feels like highway robbery with the victims cheering on the perpetrators.
The recent past shows that the US are very good at weaponizing their laws, so why give them more ammunition by signing treaties like FATCA?
Is there, in addition to widespread indifference to EU law, a pandemic of incompetence among our supposed leaders? Or worse perhaps? Given that some presidents of the Commission such as José Manuel Barroso go work for US banks such as Goldman Sachs, it is a reasonable question to ask, in particular if we remember the role this bank played in the events leading up to the Greek crisis but yet was never asked once a single question by any EU institution in spite of having apparently advised the country in fraudulent national accounting.
Why your Europe has gone from being a formidable idea to a depressing reality since it repeats its worst errors with at least one million of its citizens, we do not know; but watching it in its present state, the words of a young Dane called Hamlet come to mind:
“…and enterprises of great pitch and moment, With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action…”
signed: GL, RG, JB, SB