The European Commissions response to the hunger strike instigated by Nicola DellArciprete arrived on the 23rd May. Following the protest that DellArcipretes party, Antiprohibitionists, had launched in response to alleged irregularities in the on-line elections for the European Student Council, organised as part of the EU Student Vote initiative (www.eusv.org), the projects organiser, Franck Bianchieri, who had already been interviewed by Café Babel before the antiprohibitionist protest and who has not yet thought it opportune to release any statements on the events to this webpaper, had decided to exclude the entire list from the electoral competition.
The Commissions announcement is ambiguous: The EUSV is an initiative of a private nature, which does not receive any financial support from the European Commission. In fact, Brussels continues, The EUSV had made a request to the Commission for funding during the course of 2001, but both the Directorate-General for Education and Culture and the Information Society Directorate-General had refused to support such a project. The leader of the antiprohibitionist rebellion insists that, notwithstanding this, the EUSV continues to have the European Union logo in pride of place among the partners in the initiative which contributes to a huge fraud affecting twelve million European students. The European Student Council (italics in the original version) elected through elections such as these will not receive recognition from the European Commission continues the EU, since in the field of university education, the Commission intends to continue its dialogue with the student associations which make up the European liaison group, currently made up of the ESIB (The National Union of Students in Europe) the AEGEE (the European Students Forum) and the ESN (the Erasmus Student Network). For matters regarding young people in general, the European Commission continues to liaise with the European Youth Forum, a platform which groups together various European and national associations.
The sad note in the epilogue to DellArcipretes victorious non-violent protest is precisely this: now that the e-democracy project organised (badly, perhaps) by Bianchieri, has fallen through, those engaging in dialogue with a technocratic and illegitimate body like the Commission will continue to be small groups more or less riddled with youthful bureaucracy. This is the exact opposite of that which DellArciprete himself, an indefatigable partisan of e-democracy, proposes. In his war against the democratic deficit of the EU, the flavour of victory in this particular battle is rather too bittersweet.