☘Lisbon Treaty News: McCreevy proud – Europe would vote “No” / Guarantees Worthless / Big Brother EU / Hidden Tax Plan

⁂ EUObserver: Brussels pushing finance deregulation in third world

LEIGH PHILLIPS
11.03.2009
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS -

While EU and other global leaders have talked tough about re-regulating the financial sector in the wake of the economic crisis, they remain committed to pushing through banking deregulation in the developing world via trade deals.

This strategy is undermining poverty reduction in these countries and is reproducing the same type of circumstances that led to the crisis in the first place, warns a new report published on Wednesday (11 March) by the World Development Movement, an UK-based anti-poverty NGO.

Both via the WTO negotiations on a General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and potential EU bilateral or regional trade deals with 34 countries in Latin America, Asia and the Mediterranean, the bloc continues to push for the lifting of restrictions on how Western banks operate in developing countries.

The EU In 2002, via “GATS” global trade talks, requested that 94 countries open up their financial industry, 20 of which were least developed countries and 30 were low income countries.

A financial services component of GATS would mean that countries would not be able to introduce new rules that are more restrictive than those already operating, making it difficult to pass laws on risky trading such as “short-selling” or to limit the numbers of service providers or the number of transactions.

All new financial services would also have to be permitted, giving the green light to the very same complex financial products that have been held responsible for the creation of the toxic asset problem in the north.

Also under GATS, full ownership by foreign banks would be allowed, which can make it hard for a host country’s financial supervisor to monitor the foreign bank’s activities and to ensure it is acting in the interests of the host country.

Even in the EU, the problem of foreign bank ownership is exacerbating the crisis in the east. The tap of credit to much of eastern Europe – where most of the banks are owned by Austrian, Swedish and other EU parent companies – today has been all but turned off, as the owners focus on provision of credit in their home markets.

After seven years of talks, however, countries are still haggling over a GATS deal, and the EU has sought bilateral and regional trade deals to get over the impasse.

The bilateral strategy, known as “Global Europe,” seeks to remove regulations on European financial service companies, along with other liberalising measures in a range of sectors, in case a deal at the WTO level is not reached.

The EU trade deals already signed with Chile and Mexico contain substantial chapters on financial services, while the Caribbean Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU signed in October last year contains many of the financial liberalisation clauses proposed in GATS. Similar pressure on central American nations is being brought to bear to open up their financial sectors.

The report reveals that where banking liberalisation has occurred, looking in particular at India and, crucially, Mexico – home to one of the most liberalised financial sectors in the world, with 80 percent foreign ownership, poor people and small businesses see their access to credit, bank accounts and other financial services restricted.

At the same time, where such credit does exist, it is in the form of credit cards, car loans or mortgages, boosting spending on consumer items rather than productive sectors of the economy such as farming or manufacturing.

On Monday (9 March), UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown himself spoke out against the “do as we say, not as we do” attitude of Western countries regarding economic policies promoted to the developing world.

At an international development conference in London, he announced that he would push the World Bank and other wealthy nations to create a new fund for developing countries to help the poor through the crisis, although he did not attach any figures to the idea.

While there, he criticised the imposition of “economic orthodoxy” on the developing world.
“Too often in the past our responses to such crises have been inadequate or misdirected – promoting economic orthodoxies that we ourselves have not followed and that have condemned the world’s poorest to a deepening cycle of poverty,” he said.

The World Development Movement (WDM) however, says that there is an acute contradiction between such leaders’ words and deeds in pushing for financial deregulation in the third world.
“On the one hand, Gordon Brown has developed a mantra of tough talk on the re-regulation of banks,” said Benedict Southworth, the director of WDM. “On the other, together with other European leaders, he is aggressively pushing free trade deals which demand that developing countries follow a deregulated and liberalised banking model.”

“That model has clearly and spectacularly failed here and has also failed poor people in the developing countries,” she added.

The study highlights how the presence of European banks in developing countries has resulted in foreign banks cherry-picking the richer customers, resulting in an overall decline in services and credit for others, and notably to rural areas.

In urban areas where foreign banks are concentrated, low-income householders and small businesses struggle to meet the criteria to open an account, let alone to receive a loan.
In response, WDM is calling for financial services liberalisation to be reoved from from proposed bilateral and multilateral EU trade deals.

An official with the European Commission told EUobserver that they were studying the report very closely, but that the report’s authors had “confused liberalisation with deregulation.”

“Market access for European financial service providers in no way restrains the ability of countries to regulate financial services,” the official said. “The question is whether such moves become protectionist.”

*Myths about the Lisbon Treaty

Myth 1. LISBON WILL MAKE THE EU MORE EFFICIENT:

If you get rid of democracy and the need to consult with people, you can certainly get more laws passed.  But will they be good laws?
Is that more efficient government?  When it comes to law-making it is quality that counts, not quantity. Hitler could issue new laws
ever five minutes, but were they good laws?

The advent of 12 new Member States has not made the negotiation of new EU laws more difficult since they joined the EU.  On the
contrary, a study by the Science-Politique University in Paris calculated that new rules have been adopted a quarter times more
quickly since the enlargement from 15 to 27 Member States in 2004 as compared with the two years before enlargement. The study also showed
that the 15 older Member States block proposed EU laws twice as often as the newcomers.  Professor Helen Wallace of the London School
of Economics has found that the EU institutions are working as well as they ever did despite the enlargement of the EU from 15 to 27
members. She found that "the evidence of practice since May 2004 suggests that the EU's institutional processes and practice have stood up rather robustly to the impact of enlargement." The Nice Treaty voting arrangements thus seem to  be working well.

Myth 2. LISBON ENABLES THE EU TO DEAL WITH CLIMATE CHANGE:
Lisbon would commit the EU to “promoting measures at international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems and in particular combating climate change”(Art. 191.1 TFEU). This is laudable, but its significance has been “spun” out of all proportion. Note that the action is “at international level”. It does not give the EU new powers internally. Any internal actions on environmental problems would have to be reconciled with the EU’s rules on distorting competition, safeguarding the internal market and sustaining the energy market. Combatting climate change can carry heavy costs. EU targets for carbon dioxide reduction in Ireland announced earlier this year would cost Ireland ¤1000 million a year if implemented, which would average some ¤500 per household. In fact the EU’s carbon reduction targets would impose a heavier relative burden on Ireland than on any other EU country. Also note the absurdity that the new Treaty reference is to combatting climate-change, without qualification. It is not just “man-made” climate change. So the EU is going to take on things affecting climate-change which are not of human origin, like sunspot cycle as well!Myth 3: LISBON MAKES THE EU MORE DEMOCRATIC:
Lisbon provides that if one-third of National Parliaments object to the Commission’s proposal for an EU law, the Commission must reconsider it, but not necessarily abandon it (Protocol on the Application of the Principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality, Art.7.2). It might review the draft law, or if it considered the objection was not justified, it might ignore it. This right to complain, for that is what it is, is not an increase in the powers of National Parliaments, as it has been widely misrepresented as being, but is symbolic rather of their loss of real power. To say that it is an increase in the power of National Parliaments to “control”, or even to affect, EU legislation is a blatant lie. Lisbon takes away major law-making powers from National Parliaments. It would give power to the EU to legislate in relation to some 32 new policy areas, thereby removing these areas from decision by National Parliaments. It also gives the EU the power to decide many other matters.

Lisbon would increase the power of the European Parliament by giving it many new areas of new EU law which it could propose amendments to, but that does not compensate National Parliaments and the citizens who elect National Parliaments, for their loss of power to decide. The new EU laws would still be PROPOSED exclusively by the non-elected Commission and would then be MADE primarily by the Council of Ministers, mainly on the basis of population-based voting. The EU Parliament can only amend these EU laws if the Commission and Council agree. Ireland would have 12 members out of 750 in the European Parliament under Lisbon,a reductuon from the current 13. When we had 100 out of 600 MPs in the 19th century UK Parliament, the Irish people were not that happy with the laws that were passed there. Yet Westminster was a real Parliament which decided all UK laws. The Irish representatives could propose laws in it, as they cannot do in the European Parliament.

If someone says that it is the National Government which really decides what laws are passed in the Dail or Parliament, because the majority of TDs or MPs belong to the Government party, and the EU Commission is acting like a national government in proposing EU laws, the obvious reply is that National Governments are elected by National Parliaments, who in turn are elected by the national citizens. But the EU “Government”, the Commission, is not elected. It is appointed by the Commission President and the EU Prime Ministers and Presidents on the basis of qualified majority voting.

[28/02/2006] EU to send Irish Troops to Congo

EU ASKS GOVERNMENT FOR IRISH TROOPS FOR THE CONGO

Xavier Solana, former NATO secretary-general and aspiring EU Foreign
Minister, is asking the Government to Irish troops to the Congo as part of
an EU force to supervise elections there. Belgium, the Congo's former
colonial ruler, which raped the entire region during the reign of its King
Leopold 2,is backing  Solana's request. So is France.

Belgium and France were complicit in the massacre of of 700,000 Hutus in
next-door Rwanda during two months in 1994 - the biggest mass slaughter in
history in such a short period of time. Franco-Belgian support for the Hutu
forces which then fled to the Congo was crucial in destablising the entire
region over the past decade. Local proxies for Belgium and France have been
fighting a civil war in the Congo all that time. Now France and Belgium
want Ireland and smaller EU countries like Sweden to act as their frontmen
in the area, flying EU or UN flags rather than the Belgian and French
tricolours. The former Central African colonial powers are willing to
provide troops for this Congo mission,  but are unwilling to be nominally
in charge. They want some country like Ireland or Sweden to be that, thus
providing an EU fig-leaf for this latest proposed EU adventure.

African troops, not Irish ones, are the most appropriate for the Congo -
if outsiders are really needed there at all. If African governments do not
have enough money to pay for such troops, then let the UN give them the
money and let Ireland contribute financially through the UN. Irish troops
have no business today in that part of the world,for they will effectively
be there to  serve Franco-Belgian interests under ther guise of an EU flag.
When Irish troops were last in the Congo,in 1961, the situation was quite
different,for there were no independent African countries able to
contribute. That is quite different now. What does South Africa think of
this EU proposal?

Defence Minister Willie O'Dea will be quivering to take part. O'Dea can see
himself being blooded as an international warrior on a new Congo mission.
If Irish soldiers are killed in this latest proposed Congo lunacy, their
blood will be on the heads of O'Dea, Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern and
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern for failing to tell Xavier Solana to get lost.

_____________

*** EU PROPOSES COMMON MILITARY BUDGET

The head of the European Defence Agency (EDA), Nick Witney, has requested
50 million euros to create what French daily Le Figaro on 10 Feb. called
"the first common European defence budget."  At a conference on 9 February
European Defence Ministers discussed giving the EDA a budget to allow
common European defence projects to go ahead, such as the building of a
military helicopter.  While the French encouraged the initiative, the UK
was said to be "hostile", and Germany "cautious".  The proposal will be
discussed again at a meeting of EU Defence Ministers on 6 and 7 March in
Innsbruck, Austria, which our own Willie O'Dea is expected to attend. How
much of our money will O'Dea offer to contribute?

[28/02/2006] Ireland joining EU Battlegroups

***  JOINING EU BATTLE GROUPS

Ireland is to join in EU "battle groups" and send Irish soldiers off
possibly to die on EU military  missions.

But Irish neutrality will not be affected, squirms Defence Minister Willie
O'Dea - he who recently had his photo taken squinting down a gun barrel on
the front page of the Sunday Independent. Irish "neutrality" is an ever
more tattered remnant these days, after years of Dublin politicians cosying
up to the EU and NATO.

"Peace groups" would be a better name than "battle groups", says the
ineffable O'Dea, a Limerick solicitor who clearly prefers being boss of the
Irish Army and being photoed playing with war-toys to conveyancing and
shuffling legal affidavits.

What business has the EU sending troops to foreign parts, supposedly to
make peace between people who are at war, but in reality to push the
interests of the former colonial powers under an EU flag rather than less
acceptable French, British, Belgian or Italian flags?  "Peace-KEEPING" is
one thing, for it implies there is already a peace to be kept.
"Peace-MAKING", on the other hand, really  means war-making, for it implies
clobbering existing belligerents on the head to get them to stop fighting.
The proposed EU military missions will be mainly in Africa. The former
African colonial powers who decide EU foreign policy whenever they can
agree among themselves, regard Africa as their backyard, just as the USA
regards Latin America as its.

EU battle groups and the EU Rapid Reaction Force of 60,000 men which the
Dublin Government has also committed itself to joining, are central to the
project of turning the EU into an imperial superpower,in which Ireland goes
along
with a collective neo-colonial foreign policy and its back-up military
adventures.  Top officers of the Irish Army  are delighted as they fly off
to take part in the EU Military Planning Staff in Brussels. There they are
in with the big boys as they plan the military side of the EU
Empire-in-the-making. Meanwhile Fianna Fail Ministers assure everyone that
"Irish neutrality" is unaffected and unchanged. What fools they take people
for!  Eamon De Valera assuredly must be turning in his grave.

[28/02/2006] War warnings on useful website

*** WAR WARNINGS ON USEFUL INFO WEB-SITE

"German-foreign-policy.com"  is a critical web-site full of useful insights
into  German foreign policy. German foreign policy is more or less the same
as EU foreign policy these days. The web-site tells us that new German
Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded more German influence in NATO  at a joint
armaments conference with the USA in Munich earlier this month. Merkel says
she wants to increase the force of impact of the Western war alliance
through worldwide cooperation with third states. This supplements US plans.

According to US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at the Munich conference,
the NATO member states must decisively augment their defense budget in
order to relieve the corresponding US budgets, which now amount to 600
billion US Dollars. The new German-American programme seeks to extend the
deployment of NATO to the China Sea and is clearly directed at Beijing. The
intended entry of Georgia and the Ukraine into NATO, which was announced at
the Munich meeting, raises tension with Moscow. At the same time the
Islamic world is being threatened with war. Germany's Defense Minister has
spoken of an assault ("military strike") on Iran but "at present" excludes
this option. The comprehensive German-American alliance plans lead to a
further reduction in the global political significance of France.

[28/02/2006] EU interferes in Serbia-Montenegro

*** EU INTERFERES IN SERBIA-MONTENEGRO

The EU has welcomed the election of a new pro-independence leaderin Kosovo,
while urging Montenegran and Serb politicians to agree on an upcoming
referendum that could break up the Serbia-Montenegro alliance.

What business is it of the EU to be backing independence for the former
Serbian territory of Kosovo or to be trying to break apart what in
international law is still the sovereign State of Serbia-Montenegro, the
last remnant of former Yugoslavia?  The real reason they are doing this is
to make it easier for German, French and Italian investors to buy assets in
these countries, and above all to buy land in some of the most beautiful
areas of Europe. What business is it of Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen
to be backing such schemes and identifying us all with them? It is a
further example of Ireland getting ever more sucked into EU
neo-imperialism.

Remember former German Foreign Minister Herbert Genscher's comment on the
break-up of former Yugoslavia?:  "A great victory for German foreign
policy". And the same gentleman's comment on the disappearance of
Czechslovakia and Yugoslavia, states first established in 1919?: "We have
liquidated the heritage of World War I."

The several small succcessor states left behind are much more easily
gobbled up by German and other EU capital,and Serbia-Montenegro are just
the last juicy  morsels left.

[25/09/2005] What leading EU politicians actually say…

BUILDING THE EU SUPERSTATE: WHAT LEADING EU POLITICIANS SAY ABOUT IT

(The quotations below are in chronological order backwards)

"In the foreseeable future, we will not have a constitution. That's
obvious.  I haven't come across any magic formula that would bring it back
to life. Instead of never-ending debates about institutions, let's work
with what we've got. Political will and leadership are more important than
institutions."

- EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Rzeczpospolita, Warsaw;
Irish Times, 2 September 2005

_________

"We know our electorate, and if we ask them again we will get the same
reply. We will have to reassess the situation in 2006. At the moment I
cannot see anyone wishing or asking for a second vote."

- French Minister for European Affairs Catherine Colonna, Irish Times, 13
September 2005

_________

"After Nice the forces of political Europe joined others in stoking the
fire. The Commission, the Parliament, the federalists, French proponents of
integration, the media, all found Nice too 'intergovernmental'. Together,
they imposed the idea that Nice was a disaster, that we urgently needed a
new treaty. Soon a 'new treaty'  wasn't enough. It had to be a
'Constitution', and little did it matter that it was legally inappropriate.
When the time came, the result had to be ratified. What tiny national
parliament, what people, would then dare to stand in the way of this new
meaning of history? The results of the Convention, at first deemed
insufficient by maximalists, became the holy word when it was realised that
selfish governments might water it down.

At every stage of this craze, from 1996 until 2005, a more reasonable
choice could have been made, a calmer rhythm could have been adopted, that
would not have deepened the gap between the elites and the population, that
would have better consolidated the real Europe and spared us the present
crisis. But in saying this, I understimate the religious fervour that has
seized the European project. For all those who believed in the various
ideologies  of the second half of the 20th century, but survived their
ruin, the rush into European integration became a substitute ideology.

They planned urgently to end the nation state.  Everything outside this
objective was heresy and had to be fought. This was in the spirit of Jean
Monnet, the rejection of self and of history, of all common sense.
'European power' was a variation, the code name for a counterweight to
America that excited France alone for years and towards which the
'Constitution' was supposed to offer a magical shortcut. And let us not
forget the periodic French incantations for a Franco-German union.

As the train sped on, these two groups, instead of braking the convoy, kept
stoking the locomotive, some to enlarge and others to integrate, deaf to
the complaints coming from the carriages. Since we had to ask for
confirmation from time to time, the recalcitrant peoples were told they had
no choice, that it was for their own good, that all rejection or delay
would be a sign of egotism, sovereignty, turning inward, hatred of others,
xenophobia, even Le Penism or fascism. But it didn't work. The passengers
unhooked the carriagesŠ"

- Hubert Vedrine, French Foreign Minister 1999-2005, Irish Times, 8 August
2005

____________

"I want to believe obstinately that neither the French nor the Dutch have
rejected the constitutional treaty. A lot of the questions in the French
and Dutch debates find answers in the constitution. But the voters - and
this is why we need this period of explanation and debate - did not realise
that the text of the  constitutional treaty, the nature of the
constitutional treaty, aimed to respond to numerous concerns."

- Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg Premier and holder of the EU presidency,
International Herald Tribune, 18-19 June 2005

__________

"Some people have wanted to bury the Constitution before it's even dead. I
am opposed to this, because burying the Constitution would mean burying the
idea of what's behind the Constitution, which is political union."

- Guy Verhofstadt, Belgian Prime Minuster, Agence Europe News Bulletin, 17
June 2005

__________

"It was a mistake to send out the entire three-part, 448-article document
to every French voter, said Mr Giscard. Over the phone he had warned Mr
Chirac in March: 'I said, "Don't do it, don't do it. It is not possible for
anyone to understand the full text.'"

- V.Giscard d'Estaing, interview in The New York Times, quoted in
Euobserver, 15 June 2005

___________

"The agenda must and will continue. Globalization is not something China
imposed on us, but something we have done ourselves.  People must be told
that globalization is our policy. . . I see a clear danger when people are
saying less Europe is better. More integration is not the problem, it is
the solution."

- EU Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen, International Herald
Tribune, 8 June 2005

__________

"The Constitution is the capstone of a European Federal State"

- Guy Verhofstadt, Belgian Prime Minister, Financial Times, 21 June 2004

__________

"This (drafting an EU Constitution) is what you have to do if you want the
people to build statues of you on horseback in the villages you all come
from."

- V.Giscard d'Estaing, Financial Times, 21 June 2004

__________

"We know that nine out of 10 people will not have read the Constitution and
will vote on the basis of what politicians and journalists say. More than
that, if the answer is No, the vote will probably have to be done again,
because it absolutely has to be Yes."

- Jean-Luc Dehaene, Former Belgian Prime Minister and Vice-President of the
EU Convention, Irish Times, 2 June 2004

_____________

"You cannot ask the citizens to ratify the Treaty of Nice and then say to
them that what they have ratified no longer counts for anything before it
has even come into force.  How could we then ask them to believe in what we
are doing?

- Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, Le Monde, 8 March 2004

_____________

"The Convention brought together a self-selected group of the European
political elite, many of whom have their eyes on a career at a European
level, which is dependent on more and more integration and who see national
governments and parliaments as an obstacle. Not once in the sixteen months
I spent on the Convention did representatives question whether deeper
integration is what the people of Europe want, whether it serves their best
interests or whether it provides the best basis for a sustainable structure
for an expanding Union. The debates focused solely on where we could do
more at European Union level. None of the existing policies were
questioned."

-  Gisela Stuart MP, The Making of Europe's Constitution, Fabian Society,
London, 2003.

__________

"From a Chinese, Indian or  American perspective, the individual countries
of our continent grow indistinct and merge. What people see increasingly is
Europe as a whole.  Just cast your mind beyond our narrow temporal limits:
in the eyes of  history, the integration of the whole continent is our
nation-states' only  chance of survival."

- Romano Prodi, President of the EU Commission, European Parliament, 16
December 2003

____________

"An enlarged Union based on Nice is not in the interest of any Member State
Š This is not a threat. This is a messenger delivering news."

- German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, Irish Times, 14 November 2003

__________

"We've got to be explicit that the road to greater economic success does
not lie in this cosy assumption that you can move from a single market
through a single currency to harmonising all your taxes and then having a
federal fiscal policy and then effectively having a federal state."

-  Gordon Brown, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Guardian, 5
November 2003

__________

"There is no Europe without European defence and there is no European
defence without Britain."

-   French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, Financial Times, 16
October 2003

___________

"This is crossing the Rubicon, after which there will be no more sovereign
states in Europe with fully-fledged governments and parliaments which
represent legitimate interests of their citizens, but only one State will
remain. Basic things will be decided  by a remote 'federal government' in
Brussels and, for example, Czech citizens will be  only a tiny particle
whose voice and influence will be almost zero Š We are against a European
superstate."

-  Czech President Vaclav Klaus, Mlada Fronta Dnes,  29-9-2003

_________

"We are 5 per cent from a real European federal state and claims about the
independence of countries will have a more and more hollow ring. I am not
sure the citizens are in any way aware of what is going on. All the changes
are duly labelled in calming phrases."

- Torben Lund MEP, leader of Danish Social Democrats in the European
Parliament and former government minister, Politiken,  12 August 2003

_________

"Defence Europe is an essential dimension of Europe. Without it, the voice
of the European nations won't be heard in the international arena.  Without
the requisite capabilities for military action, Europe will remain impotent
or dependent."

- French President Jacques Chirac, speech at Creil, 30 September 2002

__________

"We need to develop the instinct of acting together. The first reflex is
still national."

-  M.Valery Giscard d'Estaing, President of the EU Convention, The
Guardian. London, 13 September 2002

_________

"If we were to reach agreement on this point (i.e. a consensus proposal
from the EU Convention), we would thus open the way towards a constitution
for Europe. To avoid any disagreement over semantics, let us agree now to
call it 'a constitutional treaty for Europe.'"

-  M.Valery Giscard d'Estaing, President of the EU Convention, Irish Times,
1 March 2002

_________

"When we build the euro - and with what a success - when we advance on the
European defence, with difficulties but with considerable progress, when we
build a European arrest-warrant, when we move towards creating a European
prosecutor, we are building something deeply federal, or a true union of
states Š The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union must
become a charter of rights that is applicable and effective Š I wish this
Constitution to be the Constitution of a rebuilt Union, able to reflect its
social cohesion, deepen its political unity, express its power externally."

- M.Pierre Moscovici, French Minister for Europe, Le Monde,28 February 2002

__________

"European monetary union has to be complemented by a political union - that
was always the presumption of Europeans including those who made active
politics before us ŠWhat we need to Europeanise is everything to do with
economic and financial policy. In this area we need much more, let's call
it co-ordination and  co-operation to suit British feelings, than we had
before. That hangs together with the success of the euro."

- German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, The Times, London, 22 February 2002

__________

"Defence is the hard core of sovereignty. Now we have a single currency,
then why should we not have a common defence one day?"

-  Spanish Defence Minister Federico Trillo, European Parliament Committee
on Foreign Affairs, 19 February 2002

__________

"The EU ought to develop into a great power in order that it may function
as a fully fledged actor in the world."

- Paavo Lipponen, Prime Minister of Finland, London, 14 February 2002

__________

"It (the introduction of the euro) is not economic at all. It is a
completely political step Š The historical significance of the euro is to
constuct a bipolar economy in the world. The two poles are the dollar and
the euro. This is the political meaning of the single European currency.
It is a step beyond which there will be others. The euro is just an
antipasto."

-  Commission President Romano Prodi, interview on CNN, 1 January 2002

__________

"The currency union will fall apart if we don't follow through with the
consequences of such a union. I am convinced we will need a common tax
system."

-  German Finance Minister Hans Eichel, The Sunday Times, London, 23
December 2001

__________

"The European constitution that Germany and France wish for will be an
essential step in the historic process of European integration."

- Joint statement of French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor
Gerhard Schröder, Nantes, 23 November 2001

___________

"Let us act in such a way that it (an EU Constitution) becomes a reality in
2004 Š Such a text would unite the Europeans by enabling them, through
their solemn approval, to identify with a project Š What can we do so that
Europe carries greater weight  on the international stage? Š Now we must
define, without timidity, the areas where we want to go towards more
Europe, within the framework desired by France, of a Federation of Nation
States."

-  French President Jacques Chirac, address to French Ambassadors, 27
August 2001

___________

"It (the EU) is one of the few institutions we can develop as a balance to
US world domination."

- Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson in Gothenburg, New York Times, 15
June 2001

__________

"We need a European Constitution.  The European Constitution is not the
'final touch' of the European structure; it must become its foundation.
The European Constitution should prescribe that Š we are building a
Federation of Nation-States Š The first part should be based on the Charter
of Fundamental Rights proclaimed at the European summit at Nice Š If we
transform the EU into a Federation of Nation-States, we will enhance the
democratic legitimacy Š We should not prescribe what the EU should never be
allowed to do Š I believe that the Parliament and the Council of Ministers
should be developed into a genuine bicameral parliament."

- Dr Johannes Rau, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, European
Parliament,   4 April 2001

__________

"Are we all clear that we want to build something that can aspire to be a
world power? In other words, not just a trading bloc but a political
entity. Do we realise that our nation states, taken individually, would
find it far more difficult to assert their existence and their identity on
the world stage."

- Commission President Romano Prodi, European Parliament, 13 February 2001

___________

"Thanks to the euro, our pockets will soon hold solid evidence of a
European identity. We need to build on this, and make the euro more than a
currency and Europe more than a territory Š In the next six months, we will
talk a lot about political union, and rightly so. Political union is
inseparable from economic union. Stronger growth and European integration
are related issues. In both areas we will take concrete steps forward."

- French Finance Minister Laurent Fabius, Financial Times, London, 24 July 2000

___________

"One must act 'as if' in Europe: as if one wanted only very few things, in
order to obtain a great deal. As if nations were to remain sovereign, in
order to convince them to surrender their sovereignty. The Commission in
Brussels, for example, must act as if it were a technical organism, in
order to operate like a government ... and so on, camouflaging and toning
down. The sovereignty lost at national level does not pass to any new
subject. It is entrusted to a faceless entity: NATO, the UN and eventually
the EU. The Union is the vanguard of this changing world:it indicates a
future of Princes without sovereignty. The new entity is faceless and those
who are in command can neither be pinned down nor elected ... That is the
way Europe was made too: by creating communitarian organisms without giving
the organisms presided over by national governments the impression that
they were being subjected to a higher power. That is how the Court of
Justice as a supra-national organ was born. It was a sort of unseen atom
bomb, which Schuman and Monnet slipped into the negotiations on the Coal
and Steel Community. That was what the 'CSC' itself was: a random mixture
of national egotisms which became communitarian.  I don't think it is a
good idea to replace this slow and effective method - which keeps national
States free from anxiety while they are being stripped of power - with
great institutional leaps Š Therefore I prefer to go slowly, to crumble
pieces of sovereignty up litle by little, avoiding brusque transitions from
national to federal power. That is the way I think we will have to build
Europe's common policies..."

- Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, later Vice-President of the EU
Constitutional Convention, interview with Barbara Spinelli, La Stampa, 13
July 2000

_____________

"We already have a federation. The 11, soon to be 12, member States
adopting the euro have already given up part of their sovereignty, monetary
sovereignty,and formed a monetary union, and that is the first step towards
a federation."

- German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, Financial Times, 7 July 2000,

___________

"We will have to create an avant-garde Š We could have a Union for the
enlarged Europe, and a Federation for the avant-garde."

- Former EU Commission President Jacques Delors, Liberation, 17 June 2000

__________

"The last step will then be the completion of integration in a European
Federation Š such a group of States would conclude a new European framework
treaty, the nucleus of a constitution of the Federation. On the basis of
this treaty, the Federation would develop its own institutions, establish a
government which, within the EU, should speak with one voice Š a strong
parliament and a directly elected president. Such a driving force would
have to be the avant-garde, the driving force for the completion of
political integration Š This latest stage of European Union Š will depend
decisively on France and Germany."

- German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, speech at Humboldt University,
Berlin, 12 May 2000

___________

"To promote the process of European integration, we must improve an
institutional mechanism already existing in the European Union, reinforced
co-operation, by making it more flexible and effective. This approach
allows a few states to move faster and further Š We are all aware that this
mechanism is vital."

- French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, French National  Asssembly, 9 May 2000

__________

"Common responsibility for the European currency will also engender a
common decision-making instance for the European economy. It is unthinkable
to have a European central bank but not a common leadership for the
European economy. If there is no counterweight to the ECB in European
economy policy, then we will be left with the incomplete construction which
we have today Š However even if the building is not finished it is still
true that monetary union is part of a supranational constitution Š It is
our task for the future to work with the appropriate means for the transfer
of traditional elements of national sovereignty to the European level."

- Italian President Carlo Ciampi, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,8 Feb.2000

___________

"If you don't want to call it a European army, don't call it a European
army. You can call it 'Margaret', you can call it 'Mary-Anne', you can find
any name, but it is a joint effort for peace-keeping missions - the first
time you have a joint, not bilateral, effort at European level."

- EU Commission President Romano Prodi, The Independent, London, 4 Feb.2000

____________

"We must now face the difficult task of moving towards a single economy, a
single political entitY Š For the first time since the fall of the Roman
Empire we have the opportunity to unite Europe."

- EU Commission President Romano Prodi, European Parliament, 13 April 1999

__________

"It is only natural that the eastern part of the continent will become our
preoccupation for years to come, because Germans see this as  a matter of
historical destiny. The most fundamental priority we have is trying to
integrate all of Europe. But for France the underlying issue is all about
coming to terms with its loss of influence in the world."

- Herr Immo Stabreit, former German Ambassador to France, International
Herald Tribune, 11-12 September 1999

__________

"The euro was not just a bankers' decision or a technical decision. It was
a decision which completely changed the nature of the nation states. The
pillars of the nation state are the sword and the currency, and we changed
that. The euro decision changed the concept of the nation state and we have
to go beyond that."

- EU Commission President Romano Prodi, Financial Times interview, 9 April 1999

____________

"The introduction of the euro is probably the most important integrating
step since the beginning of the unification process. It is certain that the
times of individual national efforts regarding employment policies, social
and tax policies are definitely over. This will require to finally bury
some erroneous ideas of national sovereignty Š I am convinced our  standing
in the world regarding foreign trade and international finance policies
will sooner or later force a Common Foreign and Security Polic worthy of
its name Š National sovereignty in foreign and security policy will soon
prove itself to be a product of the imagination."

-  German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder on 'New Foundations for European
Integration', The Hague, 19 Jan.1999

____________

"Our future begins on January 1 1999. The euro is Europe's key to the 21st
century. The era of solo national fiscal and economic policy is over."

-  German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, 31 December 1998

___________

"The euro is a sickly premature infant, the result of an over-hasty
monetary union."

- German Opposition leader Gerhard Schröder, March 1998

___________

"The euro is far more than a medium of exchange Š It is part of the
identity of a people. It reflects what they have in common now and in the
future."

- European Central Bank Governor Wim Duisenberg, December 31 1998

___________

"Transforming the European Union into a single State with one army, one
constitution and one foreign policy is the critical challenge of the age,
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said yesterday."

- The Guardian, London, 26 November 1998

____________

"The single currency is the greatest abandonment of sovereignty since the
foundation of the European Community Š It is a decision of an essentially
political character Š We need this united Europe Š We must never forget
that the euro is an instrument for this project."

- Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez, May 1998

__________

"Federalism might make eurosceptics laugh but, with the creation of the
euro,the halfway stage would be reached. Four key organisms would have a
federal or quasi-federal status: the Central Bank, the Court of Justice,
the Commission and the Parliament. Only one institution is missing: a
federal government."

- M.Jacques Lang,  Foreign Affairs Spokesman, French National Assembly, The
Guardian, London, 22 July 1997

____________

"As a monetary union represents a lasting commitment to integration which
encroaches on the core area of national sovereignty, the EMU participants
must also be prepared to take further steps towards a more comprehensive
political union."

- Annual Report of the German Bundesbank, 1995
___________

"In Maastricht we laid the foundation-stone for the completion of the
European Union. The European Union Treaty introduces a new and decisive
stage in the process of European union, which within a few years will lead
to the creation of what the founding fathers dreamed of after the last war:
the United States of Europe."

- German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, April 1992

___________

"There is no example in history of a lasting monetary union that was not
linked to one State."

- 0tmar Issing, Chief Economist, German Bundesbank, 1991

___________

"A European currency will lead to member-nations transferring their
sovereignty over financial and wage policies as well as in monetary affairs
Š It is an illusion to think that States can hold on to their autonomy over
taxation policies."
- Bundesbank President Hans Tietmeyer, 1991

___________

"We argue about fish, about potatoes, about milk, on the periphery. But
what is Europe really for? Because the countries of Europe, none of them
anything but second-rate powers by themselves, can, if they get together,
be a power in the world, an economic power, a power in foreign policy, a
power in defence equal to either of the superpowers. We are in the position
of the Greek city states: they fought one another and they fell victim to
Alexander the Great and then to the Romans. Europe united could still, by
not haggling about the size of lorries but by having a single foreign
policy, a single defence policy and a single economic policy, be equal to
the great superpowers."

- Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, who initiated the UK's application to
join the EEC, The Listener, London, 8 Feb.1979

____________

"On the basis of repeated meetings with him and of an attentive observation
of his actions, I think that if in his own way W.Hallstein (ed: first
President of the European Commission) is a sincere 'European', this is only
because he is first of all an ambitious German. For the Europe that he
would like to see would contain a framework within which his country could
find once again and without cost the respectability and equality of rights
that Hitler's frenzy and defeat caused it to lose; then acquire the
overwhelming weight that will follow from its economic capacity; and,
finally, achieve a situation in which its quarrels concerning its
boundaries and its unification will be assumed by a powerful coalition."

- President Charles de Gaulle, Memoirs of Hope, 1970
____________

"The fusion (of economic functions) would compel nations to fuse their
sovereignty into that of a single European State."

- Jean Monnet, founder of the European Movement, 3 April 1952

____________

"The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for
the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first
step in the federation of Europe."

- Robert Schuman, Declaration on the European Coal and Steel Community,
Europe  Day, 9 May 1950

_____________

"Who controls the currency, controls the country."

- John Maynard Keynes, 1932
______________

"I have always found the word 'Europe' on the lips of those who wanted
something from others that they dared not demand in their own names."

- German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck,Gedenken und Erinnerungen, 1890

[24/08/2005] EU world trade distortion

COMMENT: The first article below is the measure of how the EU
distorts world trade and beggars poorer nations.  It is not subsidies TO
farmers that are the problem but EXPORT subsidies of EU produce.  In this
the EU accounts for the vast majority of such subsidies.
_______

EU FARMERS THE BEST PROTECTED IN THE WORLD

By Lisbeth Kirk, from EU OBSERVER, Wednesday 24 August 2005

The EU is the world's largest provider of export subsidies by far, providing
85 percent to 90 percent of the world's total, according to a new report
from the US Congressional Budget Office.

The report is published as work intensifies ahead of a crucial World Trade
Organization (WTO) summit in Hong Kong in December.

Developing nations are accusing the rich of using subsidies to lower
international prices and hurt farmers in poor countries.

In total, 64 out of 76 countries have reported to the WTO that they granted
subsidies of some kind to farmers in at least one of the years from 1998
through 2004, the report said.

But a few countries dominate the total dollar value of subsidies granted.

The EU and the US each grant about one-third of the world's total - the EU a
little more than the US because its agricultural sector is a little larger.

The countries with the highest rates of total subsidy - that is, total
subsidies as a percentage of agricultural output - are almost entirely
high-income countries.

Members of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Norway, and
Switzerland-Liechtenstein) top the list, followed by Japan, the US, and the
EU at substantially lower but still sizeable rates.

Australia and New Zealand have very low rates of total subsidy.

A substantial portion of agricultural production is protected from
international competition by extreme tariffs - tariffs of over 100 percent.

This holds true for 50 percent of eastern European production, 39 percent of
EU production and 26 percent of US production, the report revealed.

The EU provides over half of the world's most trade-distorting category of
domestic support (so-called amber-box support), according to the American
analysts.

Amber-box support can be limited and reduced by the WTO's agriculture
agreement.

In contrast roughly 70 percent of US subsidies fall into the so-called green
box, which is exempted from reduction requirements.

The green box is for measures that were deemed to have little or no
distorting effects on trade or production, such as income support that is
decoupled from production.

The EU has also pushed through reforms of its Common Agricultural Policy in
recent years, aiming to decouple farm subsidies from production.

The US report is mainly based on statistics from 2002 or earlier, so that
enlargement of the EU and the 2002 US farm bill might have changed the
picture.

The Congressional Budget Office assists the US House and Senate Budget
Committees, and the Congress more generally, by preparing reports and[]
analyses.

[24/08/2005] Ireland paving way for EU Battlegroups

IRELAND PAVING THE WAY FOR EU BATTLE GROUPS

by Honor Mahony from EU OBSERVER, 15 August 2005

The Irish Government is taking concrete steps to preparing the way for its
army to take part in the EU's battle groups, according to the country's
defence minister.

In an interview with the daily newspaper, the Irish Examiner, Willie O'Dea
admitted that the biggest concern with the battle groups was how
participation fits with Ireland's policy of neutrality.

However, he said that the government would have proposals by the end of
September.

At the moment, a committee is looking at the constitutional difficulties
thrown up by participation.

New legislation is likely to be needed allowing Ireland to take part in the
battle groups, which will be deployed around the world.

According to Mr O'Dea, there are a number of scenarios, which would be
illegal under Irish law.

He pointed out that it would be illegal for foreign troops participating in
a battle group to go to Ireland "under their own command".

"That's illegal as the law stands at the moment", he said.

The defence minister also referred to Ireland's main issue with taking part
in the battle groups - the fact that Ireland's participation on any mission
undertaken by the battle group must go through the triple lock system:
approval by the UN, the government and Irish parliament.

This triple lock system was drawn up in the wake of Ireland's referendum
rejection of the EU's Nice Treaty, mainly due to fears about its neutrality
being compromised.

Asked whether it would be possible to reconcile the conflicting principles,
Mr O'Dea said: "What we are working out is how we can do that. We will have
the mechanics in place by the end of September".

The decision to set up the battle groups was taken late last year and
envisages groups of around 1,500 soldiers being sent to the world's hotspots
within ten days of a unanimous decision by member states
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