The European Union’s mix of 500 million people and 27 European countries often gives rise to some temporary and more longer-lasting unions of the heart. On this Valentine’s weekend, here’s a list of the Top 5 stories of love and sex in the European Union:
Number 5: EUtube & European sex
The EU is often accused of having a communications problem, but when it celebrated the launching of its EUtube channel with this video entitled “Film lovers will love this” highlighting the EUs support of European cinema , it has no such problem. The video is a rather raunchy compendium of clips from films funded by the EU’s “Media” programme. One British MEP felt that “cobbling together 44 seconds of soft porn on the internet is not a brilliant way of solving (the EU’s image problem)”, but 7.5 million viewers may disagree.
Number 4: Young Fine Gael EU Referendum posters
Ireland is often the only Member-State that, because of it’s Constitution, must hold a Referendum to approve the periodic EU Treaties that define the structure of the EU. Pro-EU Young Fine Gael, the youth wing of the main Opposition party, have become famous for their raunchy campaign posters urging people to vote yes to the EU. See some samples below:
Number 3: EU sex scandals
The EU, like any political organisation, has periodic sex scandals. The most recent, but perhaps the least sexy involved Gunter Verheugen, the Vice-President of the European Commission for Enterprise and Industry. Like Paul Wolfowitz in the World bank, Verheugen was accused of promoting his girlfriend inappropriately, unlike Wolfowitz, he’s still in his job. For many people, the idea of Verheughen, who is very skilled at his job but not exactly Brad Pitt, in flagrante delicto meant people moved on from the scandal very quickly. You can read the details here if you wish, but be warned it involves nakedness and not-very good-looking people.
The very intelligent Mr. Verheugen.
Number 2: Pretty EU Intern spies
Every year over 1,000 Interns (or Stagiaires as they are known in French), come to work in the European Commission for 5 months (by the way, the Stagiaire programme is open to non-Europeans). In recent years females have been favoured by about 60% – 40% and some have suggested that the programme is merely a reason to decorate the dull corridors of the male-dominated Commission with some female eye-candy. However, a Press spokesperson has recently suggested that the “pretty trainee with the long legs and the blonde hair” could actually be a spy trying to access confidential information from poor vulnerable Commission officials. At this stage, I should make an admission, I was a Stagiaire until last August and though I have long legs, I don’t have blonde hair and was never a spy (or was I?).
German Chancellor Merkel: blonde hair and long legs – could she be a spy?
Number 1: Love across the borders
Within the EU, the freedom of movement of EU citizens has allowed people to move across borders not only for work, but also for love. It’s estimated that one out of ten marriages in the EU are now bi-national, with 2.5 million marriages that means a quarter of a million citizens each year can now love freely thanks to the EU.
Happy Valentine’s Day!