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EU seeks new euphemisms for “money”

The European Commission wants to find new ways to avoid saying the word money, as fears rise that the public could figure out what EU officials mean when they say things like “instrument” and “mechanism”.


Billions of euro are spent every year by the EU under the guise of frameworks, cohesion structures, incentives, and stability pacts. But Commission spokespeople say they are running out of new terms to describe significant financial outlays without conjuring images of Valdis Dombrovskis dumping banknotes out of a window.


A big pile of 'assistance', yesterday

Hoping to get fresh input from stakeholders and civil society – words used regularly in the EU to mean “people” – the Commission has launched a public consultation that will run through the remainder of the current seven-year budgeting period, or the Apocalypse, whichever comes first.


“The situation is critical,” said one Commission official, who requested anonymity but whose name rhymes with a popular pasta shape. “The other day one spokesperson had to be fiscally restrained after using the word ‘fund’ in a technical briefing. I don’t know how much longer our people can keep relying on an EU jargon thesaurus that was published in 1985.”


That reference work, which includes such Commission standby terms as “modalities”, “mainstreaming” and “inter alia” has been a DG Communications crutch for decades.


An early sampling of submissions to the public consultation obtained by Berlaymonster includes such possible “money” substitutes as: “implementation device”, “smart reserve”, “sustainability salad”, “dough starter”, “holistic missile” and “grubstake”.


“Most of these are a little too on-the-nose,” the unnamed official said. “We must avoid at all costs the possibility that people might know what we are talking about.”

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