In the last few days, some people are attributing to European Parliament President Martin Schulz the following statement:

The British have violated the rules. It is not the EU philosophy that the crowd can decide its fate.

Did he really say that, or something roughly like that? I couldn't find a source that doesn't eventually point to someone on twitter asserting he said it.


1 Answer 1


He did not.

The French newspaper Le Monde released an article debunking this claim.

The origin of the quote is a German satirical article from Contra Magazin. Origin of the quote
(source: lemde.fr)

Original quote in German:

Die Briten verstoßen gegen die EU-Rahmenbedingungen, da es nicht in der Philosophie der EU liegt, dass der Mob über Aufstieg und Untergang der EU entscheiden darf.

Translation by leftaroundabout in the comments:

The British are violating the foundational conditions of the EU, for it is not part of its philosophy that the mob gets to decide whether the EU shall rise or fall.

The quote is clearly fictional, as stated in the legend of the picture (In Satira), and at the end of the article (Achtung Satire!)

To find the source of this quote, Le Monde journalists retraced the path it took. They started with the Finance blog Zero Hedge, which made an article about how undemocratic the EU is. The trail then leads to a few Twitter accounts (in order Tale of Two Treaties, Giovanni Zibordi and Professor Werner). Finally, Professor Werner quotes the original article from Contra Magazin.

The article from Le Monde also contains screenshots of the relevant tweets.

  • 32
    So essentially, this is the Euro equivalent of "falling for an article in The Onion"?
    – T.E.D.
    Jul 1, 2016 at 15:39
  • 9
    Not quite. Contra Magazin is not a well known satirical publication. It seems to be a fringe political news portal with a rubric for fictional, satirical articles.
    – user34684
    Jul 2, 2016 at 11:12
  • 2
    Zero Hedge is a probably-unofficial part of the Russian-directed disinformation apparatus. Aug 20, 2018 at 18:56
  • @T.E.D. It got even better, it seems? "The mob" was as of last week officially used by EUROcrats to counter any critic twitter.com/Senficon/status/1101072028998815745 twitter.com/woelken/status/1096840426613587968 and this URL: medium.com/@EuropeanCommission/… Mar 1, 2019 at 16:55
  • 1
    Of course, very few democratic institutions are direct democracies these days anyway, so the statement is technically true for more than just the EU.
    – JAB
    Mar 11, 2019 at 18:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .