The real meanings of current Euro-speak

Earlier this week the BBC published a list of terminology currently being bandied around by everyone rushing to shove their opinions on Britain’s membership of the European Union down people’s throats in time for the vote on June 23rd.

How to write better Euro speak

Eurosceptic: How you’re described if you’re not sure that the EU is a good idea but are quite happy to gorge yourself on the huge salary and ample perks anyway.

I thought you might find it helpful if I added my own translations to a few of the key terms, so you know what the average UK citizen really thinks of them. Enjoy.

(And thanks for being good sports, BBC.)

Acquis communautaire: Communal access to the secret spas and swimming pools set up for Eurocrats in Brussels and Strasbourg. NB: no-one is keen on using the Brussels facility right now as it is located near Molenbeek, where the plumbing has been described as “leaky.”

Anti-trust: The European Commission’s key endeavour to maintain the condition of its metalwork property. Given that English is not spoken widely by artisans in key Euro locations the extra “t” has been ignored in favour of rust prevention business opportunities.

Article 50: An article in the Lisbon Treaty written by some hooray Henry years ago while braying over the possibility that some silly country might want to leave the EU. Slots neatly between Article 49 (Requirements for Member Countries Desiring Eligibility to Join EU Cricket Teams) and Article 51 (Exit Clause for Member Countries with More Than 60 Percent of the Population not Having Heard of the EU and not Giving a Sh*t About it Anyway.)

How to write better Euro speakBailouts: Help to get out of the financial doo-doo for countries that fall into it. Term also used for activities required of property facilities management when internal plumbing fails. Solutions for both types often provided by the same teams.

Brexit: Short for Britain and exit. Also F*ckOffxit, used by vehement opposers, and Perhapxit, used by vacillators who don’t know what to think and will vote what their auntie tells them to vote on June 23rd, like they always do on election days.

Co-decision: A decision made by the European Parliament, and then made again by the European Parliament 10 minutes later so it’s seen to be democratic.

Cohesion: The way Europe’s poorer countries gain from Euro membership. Formerly know as “Coercion,” until that was judged to be un-PC.

Common Agricultural Policy (CAP): The CAP and its subsidies have been adored and gotten drunk over by farmers far and wide throughout the EU for years. Sadly the acronym now stands for Common Agricultural Pisstake, which has sobered the revellers and make them wonder if F*ckOffxit might be a better option for them after all.

Common Fisheries Policy (CFP): Like the CAP, this has not resulted in quite the outcomes anticipated and ended up with more fish being thrown back into the drink than were pulled out. Meanwhile the naughties still haul cod, tuna and other popular stuff out and give EU regulations the finger. Definitely there’s something fishy here.

Democratic deficit: A term used to describe the way that no-one knows what the hell is going on anywhere in the EU but can’t risk their salary by saying so.

How to write better Euro speakDG: This stands for Directorates-General. There are 34 DGs in the European Commission, covering different policy areas. Most spend their time on courses (golf courses), while the rest are becoming plump and bulbous-nosed on rich food, fine wines and other innocent frivolity.

Directive: An EU legislative act that gets into the media thanks to PR strength but otherwise is ignored by all concerned. (See “Regulation” below.)

EMU: Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is the official name of the flightless bird known affectionately as the “Euro” which has a brain the size of a walnut but can run faster than most Ferraris when asked to present its true monetary value.

European Court of Justice: Based in Luxembourg, the ECJ amuses itself (and you need to find something to amuse yourself if you’re based in Luxembourg) by upsetting the rulings of member states and overturning their hard-fought and usually sensible decisions.

European Parliament: The only bit of the whole caboodle to which members actually have to be elected democratically. Some of the work is done in Strasbourg and Luxembourg, but the main bulk of the eating, drinking, partying and naughty stuff takes place in Brussels.

How to write better Euro speakEurosceptic: How you’re described if you’re not sure that the EU is a good idea but are quite happy to gorge yourself on the huge salary and ample perks anyway.

Federalism: A bizarre system of government where several states pool sovereignty in some areas but keep their independence. Only tried rarely elsewhere in the world; notably in small, impoverished, emerging nations like the USA and Canada, so in using a similar approach the EU thinks it’s breaking new ground.

Frontex: The EU agency responsible for border security. Closely associated with BackHanderex, the agency responsible for monitoring potential corruption, and OnTheSidex, the agency responsible for covering up MEPs’ extra-marital affairs.

Grexit: Originally the deal arranged to keep Greece in the EU so it would be obliged to continue handling the brunt of Syrian refugee crisis. More recently known as “Mugxit” and applicable to any EU member country that’s useful and comparatively cheap to run.

QMV: Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) is a system of voting that’s so complex and fiddly no-one knows whether a vote has been won or lost until several years later. A popular choice with the EU Council of Ministers.

Rebate: What the UK has been bitching and moaning about at great length ever since this “in-or-out-of-Europe” issue was first argued about in 1975, much to other EU countries’ intense annoyance. Sniping remarks such as “not fair, your rebate’s bigger than our rebate and I’m going to complain to teacher” are heard regularly in the playgrounds of EU nursery schools in all 28 member countries.

How to write better Euro speakRegulation: An EU legislative act that’s where the buck stops: no messing with this one. A more gentle, more flexible version that no-one takes seriously is called a “directive” (see above.)

Troika: An incredibly dangerous Russian sled, cart or carriage pulled by three horses side-by-side, usually at full gallop, trampling everything and frequently falling over injuring its occupants. Hence an affectionate term for the international lenders in the eurozone bailouts: the European Commission, ECB and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Turkey: A country that wishes to join the EU, but may only be allowed to do so upon changing its name due to the word’s largely North American association with “(n) a loser; an uncoordinated, inept, clumsy fool.” EU linguists and psychologists have formed a working group to study this dilemma and are due to report back to the Strasbourg parliament in 2035.

Working Time Directive: It sets limits for working hours in the EU, including two-hour lunch breaks for MEPs of all nationalities, one-hour tea breaks for British construction workers and two x one-hour Starbucks breaks for British office workers, plus varying lengths of siesta afternoon periods for workers in Mediterranean countries.

What clarification can you give to your favourite EU-speak terms?

Please share!

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