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Little Europe strikes again

Posted by Richard Tuesday, November 16, 2004

In this Blog last Thursday we reported on a spat between Japan and France over the siting of the proposed International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, a multinational experiment aimed at developing nuclear fusion for electricity production.

This is a truly international project, with global implications, and at the time of writing the EU was weighing in with heavy financial support behind the French aspiration to host the €10 billion project in Cadarache in southern France, rather than in Rokkasho-Mura, in north eastern Japan.

However, according to Japan Today, despite the fact that Japan, the United States, Russia, China and South Korea, as well as the European Union are putting money into the project, the EU commission is not prepared to go with the will of the majority as to the location. It has told the EU parliament in Strasbourg that, if its partners do not agree to place it in France, the EU will go ahead with its own separate project.

This more or less typifies the attitude of the EU towards international co-operation – what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine, a classic "little Europe" response. Should the EU decide to go it alone, the UK will, no doubt, be expected to help pay the bills.

And this, we are told – just in case you had forgotten – is what the "Vote No" campaign is in favour of.