On October 13, Josep Borrell – the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy – spoke at the inauguration of the European Diplomatic Academy’s pilot programme. His remarks reveal the appalling racist and colonial mindset that permeates even the highest levels of European political leadership.
“Europe is a garden. We have built a garden. Everything works”, Borrell said. “Most of the rest of the world is a jungle, and the jungle could invade the garden.”
“The gardeners should take care of it, but they will not protect the garden by building walls. A nice small garden surrounded by high walls in order to prevent the jungle from coming in is not going to be a solution. Because the jungle has a strong growth capacity, and the wall will never be high enough in order to protect the garden.”
This supposed analogy should be unacceptable, no matter the context. The fact that it came from the EU foreign affairs chief, at a public event with the next generation of EU diplomats, is nothing short of shocking and grotesque. In calling most of the rest of the world “a jungle”, Borrell has degraded billions of people in parts of the world that are underdeveloped as a direct result of Europe’s colonial legacy, and shown that, far from wanting to atone for this immense injustice, his top priority is perpetuating it.
Borrell’s conduct, put simply, is unfit for the office he holds. We demand his immediate resignation.