What is the “European Way of Life”? Whatever it is, you can rest easy because the European Commission (EC) now has someone in charge. This week, the next EC president Ursula von der Leyen, nominated Margaritis Schinas, from Greece, as the vice president for “Protecting our European Way of Life”.
Protect it from what?
Schinas, it seems, is meant to protect Europe from anything non-European. But EC does not mean the sushi that Commissioners have for lunch, they mean migrants.
Von der Leyen created the post in an attempt to placate Europe’s extreme right — which insists immigration, especially people with dark skin from poor countries, represent some sort of psychological threat to Europe. In their eyes, the problem is not economy, foreign policy or logistics — but culture. In using the language of the far right, von der Leyen looks to agree.
Within 24 hours of announcing the job there were strong hints the title would change, but von der Leyen, and much of the traditional centre right, remain hopeful they can use euphemism to pull voters away from the far right.