Joschka Fischer “I’d rather be bored”

11th June 2016

A moving statement from someone who I hugely admire: former German Foreign Secretary Joschka Fischer, who knows the EU’s ideology, strengths and weaknesses from the inside like almost no other. I couldn’t find an English subtitled version of this long interview, but half way through he comments on the threat of a Brexit with what the European Union means to him.

“Above all, Europe is a giant peace alliance, developed to oppose too much nationalism. It’s a constant compromise. Compromise means to get along with your your neighbours. They all have their quirks. That’s life and we all have to understand and respect that. But this European Union is miles better than that where everyone has their own individual selfish position. […] For seven years I sat in those long, seemingly endless negotiations. And it was often painfully boring and tedious. When you thought to yourself ‘all is agreed now, you can go home’ another one would start talking and the wheel would turn once more – this huge European hamster wheel. And it would take hours again… But then as my frustration was at its worst, bordering on despair, I said to myself ‘Fischer, those dreary, borderline absurd debates used to have been fought out on the battlefields when your grandfather and great grandfather were alive.’ – I’d choose boredom any time.”

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