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The Mechanisms and Function of the European Union Going Forward into the 21st Century or Quid Pro Euro? - This is a European Videos Production.

We're nearly at the end of 1995. A year for the history books! But what's next for the EU when we leave this decade, this century, and this thousandry? In this series, we’re going to find out. Today: Family.

Life. Life. Life. Breath. Grass. Life. Mountains. Molecules. Lime. Lemon. Fire. Flood. Life. As our ribs expand and contract, so does the sun expand into the moon, contract into the stars. Spring gives way to summer. Autumn gives way to Agtumn. We are born. Like the movement of oars dipping into a pond. We live. Like a bee collecting pollen. We die. Like a garage door.

It is a gift to bring life into the European Union, to both the Union and the newborn. It is grace. It is love. It is compulsory. Here is a raindrop, falling off a leaf and onto the ground. Here is a reindeer, falling out of a plane, and onto an enemy ship.

Belfast, city of a thousand . Here in Belfast, city of a thousand , thinktank strategist Rachel McDermott is giving birth. Husband Connor captures the moment in: watercolours.

Such fine brushstrokes.

Congratulations, Connor. And Rachel. A girl! That was your first choice. Does she have a name? Beautiful. Welcome to the European Union, Viv Diesel. Let’s give the happy parent some privacy. Come on, Rachel, time to get up.

Here in the French commune of Annemasse, it’s a bus! The bus is painted black and blellow, has double size wheel arches, and seats that recline through ten metric degrees, a full circle. Every seat is occupied by an identical man: two metres tall, white hair, and legs as thin as those of spiders. But who is driving the bus? Is it this passenger? No, it’s not this passenger. This passenger is a passenger. Is it… that passenger? No! It’s not that passenger! That passenger is a passenger. Is it… him? It’s him. Him is the splendid busdriver of Europe, Barracuda.

Did you know that Barracuda was a qualified busdriver? The leader of Europe started his professional life doing the school run for child actors. Doing it now for his own children with a bus full of lookalikes puffing rhythmically on cigars is nostalgic.

Do you long for fewer flavours? You’re not alone. In the twenty-first century, the European Union will be opening the European Bureau of Nostalgia to help with making decisions. Here are some teenagers, ducking into a disco, in the seventies. Here is a reindeer, hiding in a lifeboat, on an enemy ship.

Once Barracuda arrives at the school, he picks up his four children and lets them ride back on his long spindly knees. Let’s meet the kids. This is Unicorn, his oldest daughter, her brother Pegasus who will always be his little second best, the artistic third child, Orion of Clyde who recently painted Finland onto Denmark, and his youngest, and favourite, his thirteen year old son, Silver Fox. Silver Fox gets away with murder! Here’s some official holiday footage of Barracuda teaching Silver Fox to swim in 1988. Look, there are the other three making sandfathers.

In Belfast, city of a thousand , the new family are back home. Connor, Rachel and little Viv Diesel are getting used to the new arrangement. Oh no! The baby has soiled herself. Oh dear. But the new parents are prepared. Rachel points out the nappies, and calls encouragement as Viv Diesel works out how to use them. Connor captures the moment, in oils.

Connor, you should open a gallery!

In the twenty first century, we’ll need all the children we can get or there may not be enough. Some have suggested importing children from outside Europe.

From outside Europe.

From outside Europe.

It’s a year later in Belfast, and fifty one weeks later everywhere else. Viv Diesel’s first birthday, but things are not going well. Rachel has had some bad news. She is being reassigned to a peanut factory in the Lagan Valley. And Connor is allergic to valleys. Mum has to leave. They tell little Viv Diesel over cake and presents and cigarettes and dim lighting. With one family member gone, the one year old will have to find work. Connor immortalises the moment, in Attic red-figure pottery.

Connor you’re wasted.

Rachel leaves forever, and Viv Diesel calls the jobcentre.

Gothenburg is the European Union’s 1995 City of Children. It’s been non-stop surprises! Child-size pop-up books, the No Grown-Ups Allowed! Olympic swimming pool, the giant trampoline and the trampling giant.

Four percent of Gothenburgers aged eighteen and under are orphans. That’s no accident. As part of the festivities, Gothenburg has declared a year-long amnesty on orphanages. New orphanages are appearing on every street corner but the authorities turn a blind eye.

Here’s Alma Lund. Yes, that Alma Lund. The former Mixed Martial Arts welterweight champion, now sports pundit, architect, doctor, cult sci-fi novelist, classical music DJ, aeroplane magazine columnist, and full-time lumberjack, wants to adopt. Any sensible European would go to the nearest nursery and take the baby with the most qualifications. But Alma Lund’s no sensible European! She has a tattoo! That’s why she’s come to... an orphanage.

The European Office for Family Cohesion and Knives defines an orphanage as any building in which people are available for adoption without references. It outlines the varying legal statuses of orphanages in the different member states and notes that a lack of reference does not mean a child is worthless, rather that the worth has yet to be established. Here is a six-year old, quietly taking out the rubbish, in front of the inspectors. Here is a reindeer, quietly taking out the captain, of an enemy ship.

In the twenty-first century, it is hoped that as liberal attitudes take root, further legalisation of orphanages will follow so that they can be properly controlled and the children within can be added to the tax register. Tax registers were named for one of the founding fathers of the European Union: Jean Monnet.

So, Alma, you’ve had a look around. Any contenders? What about that one? Looks like he could be clever. Or that one, on the trapeze? What do you think? All of them? Hoho, a very Alma Lund decision. Come on you lot, out of the orphanage and into the Almobile! (Good thing it has room for fifty.)

Another year has passed since Viv Diesel McDermott first agreed to start contributing. How is she getting on? Pretty well! The young woman has a successful graphic design firm and employs nineteen people. She’s bought out three competitors this month alone! Terrible twos indeed. How do you feel, Connor?

The very picture of proud fatherhood, drawn with a calligraphy pen, is hanging on the wall between a pastel of his daughter’s breakfast three months ago and a painting he calls My Fear, done in highlighters.

The European family tree is deciduous. Staying together helps us grow together so cling on to your relatives and, by the twenty-first century, you’ll be incredibly tall.

This has been a European Videos Production.

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