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Tackling the EU Empire: basic critical facts on EU/Eurozone – a handbook for European Democrats


Basic critical facts on the EU/Eurozone

handbook for Europe’s democrats, whether politically Left, Right or Centre                

“Sometimes I like to compare the EU as a creation to the organization of empire. We have the dimension of empire.”   –  EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, 2007

Readers are invited to use or adapt this document in whole or in part for their own purposes, including changing its title if desired, and to circulate it to others without any need of reference to or acknowledgement of its source.


  • The EU’s myth of origin
  • EU ideology: supranationalism v. internationalism
  • A spin-off of the Cold War
  • The euro as a response to German reunification
  • The intoxication of Big Powerdom
  • EU expansion from six to 28; “Brexit”
  • The economic basis of the EU
  • The succession of EU treaties: the 1957 Treaty ofRome
  • The 1987 Single European Act (SEA)
  • The 1992 Maastricht Treaty on European Union
  • The 1998 Amsterdam Treaty
  • The 2001 Nice Treaty
  • The 2009 Lisbon Treaty: the EU’s Constitution
  • EU Powers and National Powers
  • The “doctrine of the occupied field”; Subsidiarity
  • More voting power for the Big States under the Lisbon Treaty
  • How the EU is run: the Brussels Commission
  • The Council of Ministers
  • The European Council
  • The European Parliament
  • The Court of Justice (ECJ) as a Constitution-maker
  • The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
  • The extent of EU laws
  • Is Another Europe, a Social Europe, possible?
  • How the EU is financed
  • Why national politicians surrender powers to the EU
  • The EU’s assault on national democracy
  • EU Justice, “Home Affairs” and Crime; Migration, Schengen
  • The Common Foreign and Security policy: EU militarization
  • The euro: from EU to Eurozone federalism
  • The euro, the bank crisis and the sovereign debt crisis
  • Two treaties for the Eurozone: The Fiscal Compact and the ESM Treaty
  • No European people or demos to provide a basis for an EU democracy
  • How the Eurozone prevents the “PIIGS” countries overcoming the economic crisis
  • The benefits of restoring national currencies
  • Contrast Iceland
  • Tackling the EU Leviathan
  • Democrats on Centre, Left and Right for national independence and democracy
  • Conclusion: Europe’s Future
  • Ireland’s EU membership
  • Abolishing the punt and adopting the euro
  • Ireland’s experience of an independent currency 1993-1999
  • The 2008 bank guarantee and the 2010 Eurozone bailout
  • Reestablishing an independent Irish currency
  • Some political consequences of Ireland’s EU membership
  • An independent democratic future
  • Useful sources of information on the EU
  • Reference Notes
  • An invitation


THE EU’S MYTH OF ORIGIN:  All States and aspiring States have their “myth of origin” – that is, a story, true or false, of how they came into being. The myth of origin of the European Union is that it is essentially a peace project to prevent wars between Germany and France, as if a collective tendency to go to war were somehow genetically inherited.  In reality the EU’s origins lie in war preparations – at the start of the Cold War which followed the end of World War 2 and the possibility of that developing into a “hot war”, a real military conflict between the two victorious post-war superpowers, the USA and USSR.


The Power-Hungry EU

“We have got a monetary federation. We need quasi-budget federation as well …

We need quasi-federation of the budget.”

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, The Guardian, 1-12-2010

“I deeply respect our Irish friends’ independence … but they cannot continue to say ‘come and help us’ while keeping a tax on company profits that is half [that of other countries]. We cannot speak about economic integration without the convergence of fiscal systems.”

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, The Irish Times, 14-1-2011

“We have a shared currency but no real economic or political union. This must change. If we were to achieve this, therein lies the opportunity of the crisis …

And beyond the economic, after the shared currency, we will perhaps dare to take further steps, for example for a European army.”

–  German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Open Europe international press survey, 13 May 2010

“The two pillars of the Nation State are the sword and the currency, and we have changed that.”

EU Commission President Romano Prodi, The Guardian, 1999

Next month, March 2011,  the EU Commission will propose supranational legislation for a uniform system of assessing business taxes in the EU – a Common Consolidated Tax Base.

This proposal for  what are called “destination taxes”  will undermine Ireland’s 12.5% company tax rate. It put on hold in 2008 and 2009 to help get the Lisbon Treaty referendums through in Ireland.

The idea is that firms selling goods in different EU countries would pay corporation tax to those countries’ governments based on the profits on their sales in those countries, and not to the government of the country where the goods were originally made, as happens now.

Countries would continue to decide their own tax rates as at present. This means Ireland could keep its 12.5% Corporation Profits Tax for profits made on sales in Ireland, but not on profits made on sales abroad.  The attraction to foreign investors of Ireland’s low corporation tax regime would be fundamentally subverted by this step, for most of their profits would be taxed in the countries where their goods or services were sold and not in Ireland where they are produced.

This step does not require unanimity amongst all 27 EU States. It can be done  by a sub-group of nine or more Eurozone States under the “enhanced cooperation” provisions of the Treaty of Nice, even though many or most of the other EU Members are against it.  The EU institutions can then be used to  advance further integration by this sub-group. This provision drove the proverbial coach and horses through the notion which some people believed in: namely, that the EU is some kind of “partnership of equals” in which no fundamental change can be made without all 27 Member States agreeing.

In March too the European Council will finalise arrangements for an amendment to the Lisbon/EU Treaties to set up a permanent “Financial Stabilisation Fund” from 2013, to which Ireland would be expected to contribute, without allowing the Irish people to vote on it in a referendum.

The German paper Handeslblatt reports that a “historic” change of EU policy is now under way in Berlin, with Germany no longer opposing Eurozone economic government. The new plan envisages the 17 Eurozone countries being pushed towards “harmonization” of their State Budget policies.  On taxation levels, wages of public officials and retirement ages, Eurozone countries would have to commit to binding common “bandwidths”, with penalties such as fines for any breaches.

The EU/IMF loan – better called a “stitch-up” rather than a “bail-out”! –  that was pushed on the Irish Government by the European Central Bank last November puts Ireland in a weak position to resist these further transfers of power to Brussels and Frankfurt. They underline once more the folly of our joining the Eurozone in 1999, when we could have stayed outside it like 11 of the 27 EU Member States.

It is now clear to all thinking people that joining the Eurozone  was the worst and most irresponsible decision of any Irish Government – ever.

The politicians of the three main parties who pushed that ruinous course upon us are the real perpetrators of “economic treason” in Ireland, of which our emigrating young people, our 400,000 unemployed and our debt-ridden households are the manifest current victims.

N.B. Note that from 2014, just three years time, the Lisbon Treaty/EU Constitution which was also pushed on us by Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour will put EU-law making on a straight population basis, with Germany’s vote on the Council of Ministers doubling from its present 8% to 17%, France’s, Britain’s and Italy’s vote going from their present 8% each to 12% each, and Ireland’s falling from its present 2% to 0.8%.

The proposals mentioned above are but a foretaste of many more EU diktats to come, once Germany, France and the other big EU States obtain this big increase in their EU law-making power.

(11 February 2011)

⁂ French Europe Minister – We want a single EU military HQ; plus – gravy train, directive costs, lack of confidence

French Europe Minister: We want a single EU military HQ

French Europe Minister Bruno Le Maire has announced in an interview with French radio that France wants the EU to have its own single defence headquarters, autonomous of NATO. He said: “While it may be a difficult objective, in time we will need to have a single military command for the European Union, a European staff headquarters which could be installed for example in Brussels, and which would allow us to command European operations wherever European security interests are at stake. Today there are three staff headquarters which do that: one in England, one in France, one in Germany. I think it would be more logical, more reasonable and also more economic for public money to have a single operational headquarters.”

He admitted it would be “very difficult” to convince Britain of the need for a single headquarters, which has for years blocked the creation of a proper permanent EU military headquarters, because of the risk of duplicating NATO structures. But, Mr. Le Maire said, with the return of France into the integrated military structures of NATO, “we can no longer be accused (…) of doing it against NATO because we are now fully in NATO.”

Meanwhile, Le Figaro reports that Le Maire has said that he wants a “politically strong Europe, with an autonomous defence force, which is responsible and advocates financial regulation”. Le Maire also said that Nicolas Sarkozy’s Presidency of the EU has changed Europe for the better and he hopes that Sarkozy will become involved in the election campaign. He argued that the French Socialist Party is “neither honest nor responsible” and wants to transform European issues into national issues.

AFP Le Figaro Open Europe blog

MEPs create new scheme allowing them to claim £257 for each journey to work;
Taxpayers to fund £100m hole in MEP pension fund created by financial crisis

The Mail reports that from June MEPs will be able to claim up to £257 per journey under a ‘duration allowance’ which reimburses them for the time spent travelling between their homes and European Parliament buildings. The article notes that this comes on top of free business class travel to anywhere in the EU and a ‘distance allowance’ – which is supposed to cover the cost of meals, taxis and any other expenses incurred while travelling.

There is also further coverage of the revelations on Tuesday that the European Parliament has guaranteed that all MEPs who are members of the institution’s voluntary supplementary pension scheme will receive their full entitlements even though the fund currently has a deficit of ¤120 million because of the financial market crash. According to the Mail, between £35 and £50 million was allegedly lost in the Bernie Madoff debacle. According to the Telegraph, the European Parliament’s authorities are expected to bypass a decision by its budget control committee not to bail out the scheme in order to “honour legal requirements”, meaning that additional taxpayers’ money could be used in future to cover the deficit.

The Telegraph notes that two thirds of the optional extra pension is paid for in supplementary payments by the taxpayer. MEPs pay £1,052 (€1,194) a month into the scheme. That cash is added to by a publicly funded payment of £2,104 (€2,388). MEPs, on reaching retirement age, can expect an extra pension benefit, on top of generous national schemes, worth an annual £14,736 for every five year term of office. An MEP benefiting from the perk can net a combined pension of over £35,000 after just 10 years in office.
The management of the supplementary pension fund has repeatedly been criticised since 1999 by the European Court of Auditors, which questioned the legality of the scheme.

Telegraph: Waterfield blog

Costs of EU directive on biofuel to be passed on to motorists

The Times reports that the EU’s directive on biofuels, recently passed as part of the EU’s climate and energy package, will raise the cost of motoring for drivers. The EU rules state that 13 per cent of petrol and diesel fuels need to be derived from biofuel by 2020. Oil companies have had to spend more than £100 million in the past year on adapting refineries and storage facilities to cope with biofuels. The paper notes that the costs of complying with the EU directive will increase sharply over the next five years and most of the cost will be passed on to drivers.
A Friends of the Earth report this week said that biofuels could increase emissions because forests were being cut down to clear land for crops.


Confidence in EU institutions at an all time low ahead of European elections

El País reports that public confidence in EU institutions has plummeted with the economic crisis and that record levels of abstention predicted for the European elections threaten Europe’s future. According to the Eurobaromoter survey, in Spain only 27% of the electorate are likely to vote, and yet in 1987, the year after Spain joined the EU, turnout was at 69%.
Le Figaro has published an article by Jean-Dominique Giuliani from the Fondation Robert-Schuman analysing the European elections. Entitled “A Parliament in search of credibility”, the article highlights voter apathy and explains that while the electorate demands more transparency and proximity to EU issues, the majority of French citizens prefer national politics. He argues that the candidates chosen by political parties and the size of the constituencies contribute to the nationalisation of European elections. However he also emphasises how the Parliament has become increasingly powerful and influential.
In article in the Independent looking at the European elections, Adrian Hamilton writes that the expected low voter turnout “is an indication of just how little the great European experiment has impressed itself upon the consciousness of the ordinary citizen.”
He writes that, with a resurgence of the Franco-German axis, evident at the G20 summit, and with the recession testing the EU’s ability to co-operate, “All of a sudden Europe has become an interesting place, although you won’t have any reflection of that when voters come to choose their European candidate in June.”

El País Independent: Hamilton Le Figaro

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



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


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
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


"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.

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


(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

- 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


"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

- 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

-  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

-  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

-  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

-  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

-  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

- 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] Ireland paving way for EU Battlegroups


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

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

[24/01/2005] EU permanent military industrial complex

From EU REFERENDUM  blog . . . Saturday  22 January 2005


European defence integration took another lurch forward this week when it
"became known" without any formal announcement that the EU Commission had
finalised plans to inaugurate "a permanent group of government and defence
industry officials" to advise it on the EU's future defence research

This is to be the European Security Research Advisory Board (ESRAB), which
will consist of approximately 50 experts from government research institutes
and European defence companies.

Participants will come from all 25 EU member states, some countries will get
more representatives than others. Britain, France and Germany are expected
to get four representatives each, with Italy getting perhaps three, said the
industry executive. Those four nations contain the bulk of the EU defence

Their purpose is to identify security-oriented projects for funding in the
union's rolling five-year research budget, known as the Framework program.

This will run from 2007-2011 and is expected to set aside at least E:1
billion ($1.3 billion) per year for security and defence-related research

It is described as "an unprecedented step in the ever-growing EU involvement
in defence policy," and will include considerable private sector
participation, at the highest level.

This means that much of the defence research effort in EU member states will
now be dictated by - or at least co-ordinated by - an EU institution.

Slowly, insidiously, therefore an EU defence policy is gradually taking
shape, adding to the steps reported on earlier by this Blog. And all of this
is leading up to the ratification of the EU constitution which -
unrecognised by many pundits- will turn the European Union into a
fully-fledged military alliance.

This is set out clearly in Art. I-41 of the proposed treaty, which states
that a common security and defence policy "shall be an integral part of the
common foreign and security polity" and that:

If a member state is a victim of armed aggression on its territory, the
other member states shall have an obligation of aid and assistance by all
the means in their powerŠ

This is, in fact, a much stronger obligation than is set out in the Nato
Treaty, the operative article (Art.5) merely stating that the parties agree
that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America
shall be considered an attack against them all.

That treaty merely states that: "If such an armed attack occurs, each of
them Š will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith,
individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems
necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the
security of the North Atlantic area."

It is all very well, therefore, for Blair to argue that the position of
Britain is safeguarded by retaining a veto over defence matters, but the
fact is that he has signed up to a rigid text that binds the UK into a
defence alliance with the rest of the EU. There is no veto involved here -
we are in that alliance the day the treaty is ratified by all member states.

Furthermore, according to Art. I-41 (3), member states "shall make civilian
and military capabilities available to the Union for the implementation of
the common security and defence policy" - another provision that specifies a
straight obligation.

And tucked into that section is another little provision, that has a
significant impact. Member states, the article states, "shall undertake
progressively to improve their military capabilities". Again, this is not
optional. It is a treaty obligation.

Crucially though, this is give effect in the treaty by the establishment of
a European Defence Agency (EDA), which is charged, inter alia, with
identifying operational requirements and, promoting measures to satisfy
those requirements.

Despite the constitution not having been ratified, this agency is now in
place, and this week we have also seen another piece of the jigsaw puzzle
locked into place: the European Security Research Advisory Board, which will
assist the EDA in its work. The noose is tightening.
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