In the past, I've already described Walto's work. He is the grandson, animated by noble principles and willing to sacrifice himself, of an old scoundrel, half-blind and practically deaf, who continues to get into trouble dealing with things he does not understand, see and hear.
Good Waldo does nothing, continuously, other than to follow him and try to save him from the consequences of his absurd conduct. If Mr Magoo does not see a hole in the road, rest assured that Waldo will come to save him, and of course Waldo will pay the consequences, due to a risk created by Mr Magoo.
Clearly, in saving Mr Magoo Waldo will be hit by cars, and the result will be that Waldo will be on the ground and Mr Magoo will also accuse him of being a coward and a weakling.
Having clarified the quote, I would like to talk about a Waldo. As the power goes to the women, of a female Waldo. A certain Von der Leyen.
Let's suppose by hypothesis that at the beginning of the Covid pandemic, instead of Ursula there had been the much more astute Junker. What would have happened? Would he have bought vaccines better? Would you have dealt more with AstraZeneca?
No. To be honest, Junker wouldn't have bought a single vaccine . The reason is that he had no reason to do it. It is not among his duties, even if he is not forbidden to do so (even if after the signing of a specific agreement, he can do it). But the EU doesn't have a health policy, it only has a medicines agency as executive power.
The rest is the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, an agency similar to the American Food and Drugs administration. Which can decide whether something is good or bad, protect consumers, but does not have the functions or powers of a ministry of health. No way.
This does not mean that the EU cannot buy or reserve vaccines: it has the budget, it can make contracts, so it is not forbidden. But it is not among his permanent and assigned functions.
An experienced politician like Junker, therefore, would have said "dear gentlemen, we will verify that the vaccines are not harmful, and then it will be up to your ministries to take the orders, all together or not, you decide".
Ursula von der Leyen, who has a doctorate in medicine (she was accused of plagiarism – as is customary in Germany – but then acquitted) * and believed she was useful, noted how the states – above all Italy – were divided and very confused about the purchases, he decided to make all the contracts on vaccines and to put his face on the vaccination campaign. He could easily not do it, and let the individual countries handle it: he had to extend an existing agreement so that it committed the countries (which had already started with single negotiations) not to compete with the EU.
What he did not understand, and perhaps he has now understood, is that the Junker strategy pays much more than that: “we don't have the skills”, and so on. If he had said it, he would have been right: the ministries of health of the individual countries have the competence to buy what is needed, not the EU.
And this is precisely the point for which today it is under the gun of the states: now that the vaccinations go on it is clear that this game will go on for years to come. And states see what they have always seen: juicy contracts.
And that is why suddenly what the EU has done is no longer good for them. It is clear that the EU did not vaccinate people: just look at the absence of standards. Italy (60 million people) vaccinates about 500,000 people a day, Germany (80 million) makes 1.2 million a day. It is clearly not the same administrative machine, otherwise the load would have been divided equally.
And here, then, we must ask ourselves: why has the EU been given, essentially without objection, the power to do something that was not mandatory?
Simple: it was clear that we wanted processes that would preserve Schengen, so there shouldn't be countries ready to leave and countries too far behind, but at the same time there shouldn't be borders closed for quarantine. Therefore a more homogeneous, albeit slower, process was preferred.
But I repeat: a Junker would have said "it is not our competence, the health ministries of the individual countries have the power to spend on health care, not us" and would have left the task of shining to the governments, avoiding becoming the new scapegoat.
Why would Junker have been wiser? Because a very clear thing about the EU is that states complain a lot, but NEVER give the EU powers that could affect internal procurement.
What does it mean? Suppose we want to give the EU the specific task and role of centralizing the purchase of medicines.
Do you have any idea the number of local contracts that would fail?
No state would allow it. They allowed it in a single case because they did not know where to turn their heads, especially the states that have no production capacity, but obviously NO ONE will ever tell the EU " from now on you buy medicines and equipment centrally, as you did with vaccines ".
So make no mistake, the EU will NEVER have a specific mandate to buy medicines or vaccines, except sporadically and in emergencies.
And it doesn't stop with drugs. Let's take the history of migrants for example. It is sacrosanct that a national body has the possibility and the duty to monitor the borders. But guarding the borders means having marines, armies and air forces: if we create an entity capable of controlling the sea, for example, by creating a European navy. But here starts the problem that part of the military spending has to go there, and therefore the military PROCUREMENT will go there. For this reason, there is still no European defense: today, every local defense ministry manages its own contracts at home. Imagine what would happen if Fincantieri were in the race for ships, but the EU decided for the French, or for Rheinmetall. It would be a disaster.
So no, not even a European defense is possible, to defend contracts. Do we want to talk about a European justice? Of a European prison system? Too many contracts. Nobody will EVER accept that the last word on all those contracts goes to the EU.
If you want to foresee the next steps of European integration, i.e. the creation of bodies corresponding to the ministries (i.e. their executive power), you can do this:
a European "ministry of something" can be born if:
- all European local ministries have little money, little wallets.
- all European local ministries do few contracts.
- all European ministries are seen as a nuisance on the spot.
you will therefore see the birth of something like a European ministry for equal opportunities, perhaps the ministry of labor (but in Germany it is powerful and does a lot of contracts, so I don't know), maybe the foreign ministry, the ministry for environmental protection , ministry of social affairs, and a few others.
But the ministries that make a lot of contracts, governments will NEVER leave them to the EU: there is a LOT of money going around.
This is why I believe very little to all those who today are standing up against Ursula von der Leyen: let's face it, she ended up like Waldo. She saved Mr Magoo from his blindness, his deafness and his dementia, but in doing so, he got in the way.
And it is for this reason that, now that the next pandemic has understood the hint, it will be careful not to continue like this. If the delta variant were to fill the hospitals and were asked to buy respirators, rest assured that it will leave the task to national governments, objecting to the competences.
She is German, not stupid.
Too bad for the EU, in my opinion.
Oh yes. For those who tell me they were cynical and contemptuous in the previous post, I have a very clear answer.
The vaccine can be in short supply, while there is a virus for everyone.
* The accusation of plagiarism in Germany serves more to prevent politicians from ending their careers teaching in some university, taking away the professorship of an academic. I expect it against Merkel, immediately after the end of the mandate.