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☘Lisbon Treaty News: McCreevy proud – Europe would vote “No” / Guarantees Worthless / Big Brother EU / Hidden Tax Plan
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.”
Filed under: EU Foreign Policy | Tagged: Chile, developing countries, eu observer, EU trade deals, financial deregulation, GATS, General Agreement on Trade in Services, Global Europe, liberalisation, Mexico, poverty reduction, third world, WTO | Leave a Comment »
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 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.
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?
*** 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.
*** 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.
*** 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.
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
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.
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