This year is the EU’s 50th. Celebrated in many ways – with rock concerts in some places, with anonymous seminars in others. And, of course, with a special declaration to mark the event, which will be proclaimed in Berlin on Sunday.
None of this is any secret, of course. Not even its contents are particularly obscure: details have alreday leaked here (I’m quite sure that EU Observer has someone permanently bribed in the EU’s printing offices, by the way, because they always break news just as the official versions are going to print) “Not more than three pages long”, huh? Well, THAT’ll be a thrill, we could all need some bedtime reading. Perhaps I could read it to my kids when they get fed up with their current top stories (thanks’ Granny!) But that’s beside the point.
Anyway. What is the Union’s best-kept secret, on the other hand, is who will write the Berlin Declaration. Wel-founded rumours have it that it will be a well-renowned journalist or author, to give it a good legible touch (you can already see why I’m disqualified 🙂 ).
Over and over again, top people have been asked who it is, but no details have surfaced. Carl Bildt, Swedish prime minister-turned-foreign minister and frequent blogger, seemed as genuinely surprised at the question as he seemed interested in writing it himself. Maybe he felt bypassed.
So who was given the honour? A Frenchman, the French probably would have insisted, but then the Spaniards and the Germans would probably have objected. A German? The French would cry foul. An Italian? But what about the new member states? And after all, it’s the Swedes who decide who get the Nobel Prize for Literature, right?
We shall probably learn on Sunday – or perhaps s/he will have to remain forever anonymous, so as not to stir up any dissent. Given that this is not simply a rumour spread out by Barroso et consortes to conceal the fact that in was cooked up in committee like so many other stuff that the Union puts on paper, I’ll keep my fingers crossed they’ve had the sense to ask someone like Umberto Eco or Václav Havel (where’s Astrid Lindgren when you need her?!?!)