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The woman from Mars

Every step the European Union takes towards integration triggers a fresh wave of Euro-myths-fishermen forced to wear hairnets, bananas made straight, double-decker buses banned. Such stories are talked up by anti-Europeans and believed by many anxious citizens. Sometimes they are even true. Sarah Helm follows the story of chocolate harmonisation

By Sarah Helm   March 1996

High in an office block, somewhere in Brussels, I am thinking about chocolate. I am thinking about Dairy Milk, about C?te d’Or and about Mini Cha Cha bars, and wondering if my chocolate is the same as your chocolate. The European Union officials I am visiting are also thinking about chocolate. But for them it is not the delicious melting brown stuff; it is a delicate subject always threatening to heap ridicule on the EU bureaucracy.

For I am investigating Euro-mythology. Euro-myths are fantastical stories which are spread-so it is said-by those scheming to undermine the European project. Here at…

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