- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
Kinda sad, considering how many cars are burning night after night:
Actually, it's more a case of Europe falling apart in 2006
From Charles Bremner in Paris
France has sent a stiff complaint to Brussels about the European Unions choice of logo to commemorate its 50th birthday next year. See image above.
The offending image, a child-like rendition of the English word together, does nothing to serve the cause of European unity, the French Government claims.
Their objections come after a shower of rude comment throughout Europe about the logo, which was chosen at a cost of 200,000 (£134,000) last month by a jury of experts from EU institutions and member states. The winning entry from among 1,700 submissions was the work of a Polish art student. A common gibe on the internet is that the jumbled letters evoke a ransom note more than festive celebration of the 1957 Treaty of Rome. The full slogan says: Together since 1957.
In a letter to José Manuel Barroso, President of the EU Commission, Catherine Colonna, the French Minister for Europe, said: The logo creates a problem. The message of European unity is not there because each logo is different. She was referring to plans for each country to produce a version in its own language.
The Commission announced national versions after an initial outcry about the original, which was only in English, a language that President Chirac has banned French officials from using. French anger went public last week when Barbara Cassin, a philosopher, wrote in Le Monde that the slogan had got everything wrong. It is absolutely counter-productive and counter to the way that Europe wants to define itself.
She was upset that the logo was in English and it looked like an inferior version of the logo for Google, the internet search website. She hated the playful R (registered in a circle) which made the Union look like a commercial product. French voters last year rejected the European Constitution in a referendum largely because the Union is seen as an Anglo-Saxon commercial venture.
In Brussels, Margot Wallström, the Commissioner for Institutional Relations and Communication, defended the choice in her blog this week: I very much like the winning design, I think it is a good example of a slogo it combines a slogan with a logo. I find it fresh, light, modern and unbureaucratic.
I have seen some pedantic criticism in the usual quarters saying that the EU has not been together since 1957. For me, that misses the point.
Germany is also unhappy because it will be holding the rotating presidency when the Rome treaty is celebrated. It plans to produce its own logo.
Europe has long run into trouble devising visual celebrations. Britain was criticised for using childrens paintings for its 1998 presidency logo. Italy was upset then because it was represented by a pizza.
The biggest wrangle was about a design for the single currency in the late 1990s. EU leaders finally opted to put on euro notes a series of generic European bridges and windows, designed by an Austrian.