“Treaty Ciao” video turns Italian anti-fascist song into a viral pro-EU hit

, by Juuso Järviniemi

“Treaty Ciao” video turns Italian anti-fascist song into a viral pro-EU hit
JEF Maastricht says that “Europe needs one constitution, participation, political visions and dialogue, dialogue, dia logue logue logue”. Who could disagree? Photo: YouTube

Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella ciao ciao ciao! The folk song that became the sound of Italian resistance to fascism in the 1940s remains a classic, and in the face of new fascist movements in Europe, the song continues to bear relevance. Last weekend, the local Maastricht section of the Young European Federalists (JEF-Maastricht) released an adaptation of the song that promises, according to the creators, to be the big hit of the late summer. On the Treaty Ciao video, the local group president Thilo Buchholz sings about Maastricht, the European constitution, EU enlargement and more.

The video that makes heavy use of autotune and visual effects reminiscent of 1990s music videos has a recognisable humoristic touch to it. The short snippet of the Blue (Da Ba Dee) music video by Eiffel 65, following a description of our “yellow blue, yellow blue, yellow blue blue blue” hearts, is perhaps the clearest indication that this federalist club banger is not to be taken entirely seriously. Indeed, Thilo Buchholz says that the idea originally came from a German comedy video that made mockery of different remixes and adaptations of the original Bella Ciao song. Since no European federalist version still existed, and the legendary Europe United video is already a few years old, it became clear that Treaty Ciao had to happen, he tells.

At the same time, the song has a deep political message that goes beyond the defence of liberal Western values suggested by the reference to Bella Ciao. On the JEF Netherlands website, the creators of the video explain that the name “Treaty Ciao” is also a subtle call for the EU to progress beyond the political order introduced by the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties, and to adopt a true federal European constitution. In other words, we should say “ciao” to the current treaty!

It may be that Treaty Ciao can’t be sung by groups as easily as Europe United, and it may not therefore become a new unofficial “anthem” for JEF in the classic sense. At the same time, it is certain that gems such as “Direct elections / Stopping corruption / The Court of Justice ain’t no noob” and “Dialogue, dialogue, dia logue, logue, logue” won’t go unnoticed by the JEF network and by the Internet.

Thilo Buchholz says that everyone he knows was “crying while laughing” as they saw the video. On the YouTube comment section, the top comment urges someone to “get this crazy man a contract”. Anthem or not, it does seem that a new hit has been born.

You can watch the Treaty Ciao video on YouTube through this link.

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