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*Lisbon Treaty: “there is a cleavage between people and governments”

(These quotations are in chronological order backwards)

“France was just ahead of all the other countries in voting No. It would happen in all Member States if they have a referendum. There is a cleavage between people and governments… A referendum now would bring Europe into danger. There will be no Treaty if we had a referendum in France, which would again be followed by a referendum in the UK.”
– French President Nicolas Sarkozy,at meeting of senior MEPs, EUobserver, 14 November 2007

“The difference between the original Constitution and the present Lisbon Treaty is one of approach, rather than content … The proposals in the original constitutional treaty are practically unchanged. They have simply been dispersed through the old treaties in the form of amendments. Why this subtle change? Above all, to head off any threat of referenda by avoiding any form of constitutional vocabulary … But lift the lid and look in the toolbox: all the same innovative and effective tools are there, just as they were carefully crafted by the European Convention.”
– V.Giscard D’Estaing, former French President and Chairman of the Convention which drew up the EU Constitution, The Independent, London, 30 October 2007

‘ “I think it’s a bit upsetting… to see so many countries running away from giving their people an opportunity”, Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern said on Sunday 21 October, according to the Irish Independent. ‘If you believe in something …why not let your people have a say in it. I think the Irish people should take the opportunity to show the rest of Europe that they believe in the cause, and perhaps others shouldn’t be so afraid of it,’ he added. “
– Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, EU Observer, Brussels, 22 October 2007

“They decided that the document should be unreadable. If it is unreadable, it is not constitutional, that was the sort of perception. Where they got this perception from is a mystery to me. In order to make our citizens happy, to produce a document that they will never understand! But, there is some truth [in it]. Because if this is the kind of document that the IGC will produce, any Prime Minister – imagine the UK Prime Minister – can go to the Commons and say ‘Look, you see, it’s absolutely unreadable, it’s the typical Brussels treaty, nothing new, no need for a referendum.’ Should you succeed in understanding it at first sight there might be some reason for a referendum, because it would mean that there is something new.”
– Giuliano Amato, former Italian Prime Minister and Vice-Chairman of the Convention which drew up the EU Constitution, recorded by Open Europe, The Centre for European Reform, London, 12 July 2007

“Sometimes I like to compare the EU as a creation to the organisation of empires. We have the dimension of Empire but there is a great difference. Empires were usually made with force with a centre imposing diktat, a will on the others. Now what we have is the first non-imperial empire.”
– Commission President J-M Barroso, The Brussels Journal, 11 July 2007

“Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly … All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden and disguised in some way.”
– V.Giscard D’Estaing, Le Monde, 14 June 2007, and Sunday Telegraph, 1 July 2007

” The most striklng change ( between the EU Constitution in its older and newer version ) is perhaps that in order to enable some governments to reassure their electorates that the changes will have no constitutional implications, the idea of a new and simpler treaty containing all the provisions governing the Union has now been dropped in favour of a huge series of individual amendments to two existing treaties. Virtual incomprehensibilty has thus replaced simplicity as the key approach to EU reform. As for the changes now proposed to be made to the constitutional treaty, most are presentational changes that have no practical effect. They have simply been designed to enable certain heads of government to sell to their people the idea of ratification by parliamentary action rather than by referendum.”
– Dr Garret FitzGerald, former Irish Taoiseach, Irish Times, 30 June 2007
“The substance of the constitution is preserved.That is a fact.”
– German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speech in the European Parliament, 27 June 2007

The good thing is that all the symbolic elements are gone, and that which really matters – the core – is left.”
– Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Danish Prime Minister, Jyllands-Posten, 25 June 2007

“The substance of what was agreed in 2004 has been retained. What is gone is the term ‘constitution’ “.
– Dermot Ahern, Irish Foreign Minister, Daily Mail Ireland, 25 June 2007
“90 per cent of it is still there…These changes haven’t made any dramatic change to the substance of what was agreed back in 2004.”
– Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Irish Independent, 24 June 2007

“The aim of the Constitutional Treaty was to be more readable; the aim of this treaty is to be unreadable … The Constitution aimed to be clear, whereas this treaty had to be unclear. It is a success.”
– Karel de Gucht, Belgian Foreign Minister, Flandreinfo, 23 June 2007

“The good thing about not calling it a Constltution is that no one can ask for a referendum on it.”
– Giuliano Amato, speech at London School of Econmics, 21 February 2007


“Referendums make the process of approval of European treaties much more complicated and less predictable … I was in favour of a referendum as a prime minister, but it does make our lives with 27 member states in the EU much more difficult. If a referendum had to be held on the creation of the European Community or the introduction of the euro, do you think these would have passed?”
– Commission President Jose M. Barroso, Irish Times, 8 Feb.2007; quoting remarks in Het Financieele Dag and De Volkskrant, Holland; also quoted in EUobserver, 6 February 2007

” It is true that we are experiencing an ever greater, inappropriate centralisation of powers away from the Member States and towards the EU. The German Ministry of Justice has compared the legal acts adopted by the Federal Republic of Germany between 1998 and 2004 with those adopted by the European Union in the same period. Results: 84 percent come from Brussels, with only 16 percent coming originally from Berlin … Against the fundamental principle of the separation of powers, the essential European legislative functions lie with the members of the executive … The figures stated by the German Ministry of Justice make it quite clear. By far the large majority of legislation valid in Germany is adopted by the German Government in the Council of Ministers, and not by the German Parliament … And so the question arises whether Germany can still be referred to unconditionally as a parliamentary democracy at all, because the separation of powers as a fundamental constituting principle of the constitutional order in Germany has been cancelled out for large sections of the legislation applying to this country … The proposed draft Constitution does not contain the possibility of restoring individual competencies to the national level as a centralisation brake. Instead, it counts on the same one-way street as before, heading towards ever greater centralisation … Most people have a fundamentally positive attitude to European integration. But at the same time, they have an ever increasing feeling that something is going wrong, that an untransparent, complex, intricate, mammoth institution has evolved, divorced from the factual problems and national traditions, grabbing ever greater competencies and areas of power; that the democratic control mechanisms are failing: in brief, that it cannot go on like this.”
– Former German President Roman Herzog and former president of the German Constitutional Court, article on the EU Constitution, Welt Am Sonntag, 14 January 2007


“If it’s a Yes, we will say ‘On we go”, and if it’s a No we will say ‘We continue.’”
– Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg Prime Minister and holder of the EU Presidency, Daily Telegraph, 26 May 2005

“The Constitution is the capstone of a European Federal State.”
– Guy Verhofstadt, Belgian Prime Minister, Financial Times, 21 June 2004
“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

*Lisbon: mandatory tax harmonisation

The Lisbon Treaty amendment on EU harmonized taxes which has not been publicly mentioned so far in Ireland’s referendum debate

Article  2.79 of the Lisbon Treaty would insert a six-word amendment -”and to avoid distorton of competition” – into the Article of the existing European Treaties dealing with harmonising indirect taxes – Article 113. The full amended Article would then read as follows:
Article 113
“The Council shall, acting unanimously in accordance with a special legislative procedure and after consulting the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee, adopt provisions for the harmonisation of legislation concerning turnover taxes, excise duties and other forms of indirect taxation to the extent that such harmonisation is necessary to ensure the establishment and the functioning of the internal market and to avoid distortion of competition.”
(The Lisbon Treaty amendment is underlined) . . .Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

The significance of this short but important amendment is that it would enable the European Court of Justice, which adjudicates on competition matters, to decide that Ireland’s 12.5% rate of company tax, or Estonia’s zero rate,  as against Britain’s 28% rate and Germany’s 30% is a distortion of competition which breaches the Treaty Articles dealing with the internal market – Art. 26 and Arts.101-9 TFEU –  in relation to which qualified majority voting on the Council of Ministers applies.

The Irish Government’s veto under Article 113 would be irrelevant if those Articles on the Internal Market are invoked as the legal basis for proposing changes in EU tax laws.  All the assurances regarding unanimity underArticle 113 would then count for nothing.
Once this amendment to Article 113 is inserted, the European Commission, whose job it is to police the internal market, need only point out that the  big  cross-national disparities in  corporation tax rates and Ireland’s reluctance to accept a Common Consolidated Tax base which would tax company profits on the basis of their sales in different EU countries, at the tax rates prevailing in those countries, constitute a prima facie “distortion of competition” under Articles 101-109.
If Ireland refused to cooperate with what the Commission wanted, the Commission could bring it before the Court of Justice – or another country or firm could institute proceedings against it – and the Court could declare the Irish Government’s tax policy to be  unlawful as in breach of the EU’s Internal Market provisions.
Unanimity under Article 113 would certainly  be required to introduce any joint rates of company tax, but this Lisbon Treaty amendment would give the EU Commission and Court of Justice ample extra powers to erode Ireland’s low rate of corporation profits tax, whether we liked it or not.
If an Irish-based company had 10% of its sales or turnover in Ireland and 90% in, say, Britain, its profits from its Irish sales could be taxed at 12.5% and from its British sales at 28%, under the scheme the Commission has been mooting.  We might even  be allowed to keep our 12.5%  company tax indefinitely, but its practical benefit would be hugely eroded by proposals such as this, which this six-word  Lisbon Treaty amendment is designed to facilitate.
There is no other possible reason for inserting this hitherto virtually unnoticed  six-word amendment by means of the Lisbon Treaty.

Ireland’s 12.5% company tax rate, not to mind Estonia’s zero rate, just stand out as being clearly “distortions of competition” on the EU’s Internal Market.
Commission  President J.M. Barroso should be asked what is the significance of this six-word Lisbon Treaty  amendment  to Article 113 on harmonised taxes during his two-day visit to Ireland.
By refusing to ratify the Lisbon Treaty and agree to this important amendment we  refuse to hand over to the EU Commission and Court of Justice these new mechanisms to undermine the principal incentive attracting foreign companies to Ireland and keeping many of them in th country.  It should be noted of  course  that Ireland’s low corporation tax rate benefits Iindigenous companies also, and not just foreign multinationals here.
By rejecting Lisbon and insisting on a Protocol in any new Treaty which would protect the principle of tax-competition between the countrries, we  make a stand for economic freedom and reject the attempt to impose an economic straitjacket on the EU Member States in the interests of Germany, France and Britain, with their high company tax rates.
Note, incidentally, that harmonizing laws on indirect taxes in the EU is mandatory under Article 113 set out above: “The  Council SHALL…”
Anthony Coughlan

[09/05/2006] Open Letter to TDs/Senators re tomorrow’s “Europe Day” Dail debate: What they may not know about the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950

The open letter below has been sent today to all TDs and Senators to inform them of facts they may not know about the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950, which is being commemorated iin “Europe Day” today and in the all-day debate they will be holding in the Dail tomorrow.
The National Platform
For a Europe of independent democratic co-operating nation states
24 Crawford Avenue
Dublin 9
Tel.: (01) 8305792
Tuesday 9 May 2006
Dear Deputy/Senator,
As an addendum to the e-mail I sent you yesterday about the EU Commission Office in Dublin encouraging local broadcasters to break the law, may I send you for your information below the full text of the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950, which the Commission and the European Movement desire you to celebrate today and in the special Oireachtas debate tomorrow.
May I draw to your attention the phrases in the Declaration which state that it is “a first step in the federation of Europe”, and that “this proposal will lead to the realization of the first concrete foundation of a European federation”. These political objectives are usually omitted when the Declaration is referred to, and most people do not even know of their existence.
A federation is of course a State and yet for decades now the champions of EC/EU integration have been swearing blind that they have no knowledge of any such plans. This is the lie they have been telling the peoples of the different European countries as the EEC/EC/EU has steadily acquired ever more features of a supranational Federation: flag, anthem, Parliament, Supreme Court, currency, laws, battle groups, code of fundamental rights and now – they hope – its own Constitution and real citizenship and citizens’ obligations. That would leave the power to levy taxes as the only major power of government still remaining at national level. And the Eurocrats clearly aspire to obtain this in time.
The Irish people do not want to become citizens of the federal Europe which the Commission and its ideological hangers-on in the European Movement have been seeking to construct for decades now, while pretending that they are really only concerned with jobs and economic growth. Do YOU want to become a citizen of such a Federation? Is that what the men and women of 1916 had in mind, whom you were purporting to honour just a few short weeks ago?
Already the EU is the source of two-thirds of our laws here in Ireland. Under the proposed EU Constitution that proportion would increase. The power of the EU Commission would increase correspondingly, for it has the monopoly of proposing all laws in the EU. No wonder the Commission has the gall to lash out millions of our money on “Europe Day” gimmicks, on special supplements in our newspapers, and on political advertising in the print and broadcast media – all with the aim of persuading us that we should give it more power.
The proposed EU Constitution, if it were to be ratified, would legally abolish the present European Union and Community and would establish in their place a new Union that would be founded like any State upon its own Consitution. In other words, it would endow this new EIU with the constitutional form of a supranational State, which we would all be made real citizens of, and not just nominal or honorary EU “citizens” as at present. We would then owe this new European Union our prime obedience and allegiance, for it would be, and its Constitution would be, superior to our own State and Constitution, and the Irish Constitution would have to be amended by referendum to recognise that supremacy.
Do you, as an Irish legislator, and an Irish citizen, want to be a citizen of a federal EU State; for one can only be a citizen of a State?
Was this what De Valera founded Fianna Fail for? Or Griffith, Collins and Cosgrave when they laid the foundations of Fine Gael? Or Connolly, who founded the Labour Party, and who gave his life along with Pearse and the others to establish a State in which the Irish people would exercise their right to “the ownership of Ireland and the unfettered control of Irish destinies”? Is having two-thirds of our laws made in Brussels, in making which the Irish people have minimal input, exercising the unfettered control of Irish destinies?
So read Schuman’s Declaration of 9 May 1950 and know what you are really celebrating on “Europe Day”!
Yours faithfully
Anthony Coughlan
PS. Did you see Commission President Manuel Barroso writing in today’s Irish Times “Europe Day” supplement on “the need to respect the views of the people of France and the Netherlands”, who voted against the EU Constitution last year, while simultaneously he and his fellow Eurocrats are urging as many EU Member States as possible to continue ratifying the “Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe” – which is the very opposite of respecting the views of the French and Dutch? This epitomises the consummate arrogance and profoundly elitist and anti-democratic mindset of these people. It is the reason why ordinary citizens are turning against them in every EU country, and will continue to do so.
Full text of the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950 (emphasis added below)
This is the full text of the proposal, which was presented by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman and which led to the creation of what is now the European Union:-
World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it.
The contribution which an organized and living Europe can bring to civilization is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations. In taking upon herself for more than 20 years the role of champion of a united Europe, France has always had as her essential aim the service of peace. A united Europe was not achieved and we had war.
Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany. Any action taken must in the first place concern these two countries. With this aim in view, the French Government proposes that action be taken immediately on one limited but decisive point.
It proposes that Franco-German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority, within the framework of an organization open to the participation of the other countries of Europe. 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, and will change the destinies of those regions which have long been devoted to the manufacture of munitions of war, of which they have been the most constant victims.
The solidarity in production thus established will make it plain that any war between France and Germany becomes not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible. The setting up of this powerful productive unit, open to all countries willing to take part and bound ultimately to provide all the member countries with the basic elements of industrial production on the same terms, will lay a true foundation for their economic unification. This production will be offered to the world as a whole without distinction or exception, with the aim of contributing to raising living standards and to promoting peaceful achievements.
In this way, there will be realized simply and speedily that fusion of interest which is indispensable to the establishment of a common economic system; it may be the leaven from which may grow a wider and deeper community between countries long opposed to one another by sanguinary divisions.
By pooling basic production and by instituting a new High Authority, whose decisions will bind France, Germany and other member countries, THIS PROPOSAL WILL LEAD TO THE REALIZATION OF THE FIRST CONCRETE FOUNDATION OF A EUROPEAN FEDERATION INDISPENSABLE TO THE PRESERVATION OF PEACE.
To promote the realization of the objectives defined, the French Government is ready to open negotiations on the following bases.
The task with which this common High Authority will be charged will be that of securing in the shortest possible time the modernization of production and the improvement of its quality; the supply of coal and steel on identical terms to the French and German markets, as well as to the markets of other member countries; the development in common of exports to other countries; the equalization and improvement of the living conditions of workers in these industries.
To achieve these objectives, starting from the very different conditions in which the production of member countries is at present situated, it is proposed that certain transitional measures should be instituted, such as the application of a production and investment plan, the establishment of compensating machinery for equating prices, and the creation of a restructuring fund to facilitate the rationalization of production. The movement of coal and steel between member countries will immediately be freed from all customs duty, and will not be affected by differential transport rates. Conditions will gradually be created which will spontaneously provide for the more rational distribution of production at the highest level of productivity.
In contrast to international cartels, which tend to impose restrictive practices on distribution and the exploitation of national markets, and to maintain high profits, the organization will ensure the fusion of markets and the expansion of production.
The essential principles and undertakings defined above will be the subject of a treaty signed between the States and submitted for the ratification of their parliaments. The negotiations required to settle details of applications will be undertaken with the help of an arbitrator appointed by common agreement. He will be entrusted with the task of seeing that the agreements reached conform with the principles laid down, and, in the event of a deadlock, he will decide what solution is to be adopted.
The common High Authority entrusted with the management of the scheme will be composed of independent persons appointed by the governments, giving equal representation. A chairman will be chosen by common agreement between the governments. The Authority’s decisions will be enforceable in France, Germany and other member countries. Appropriate measures will be provided for means of appeal against the decisions of the Authority.
A representative of the United Nations will be accredited to the Authority, and will be instructed to make a public report to the United Nations twice yearly, giving an account of the working of the new organization, particularly as concerns the safeguarding of its objectives.
The institution of the High Authority will in no way prejudge the methods of ownership of enterprises. In the exercise of its functions, the common High Authority will take into account the powers conferred upon the International Ruhr Authority and the obligations of all kinds imposed upon Germany, so long as these remain in force.

[10/04/2006] 1916 & the EU: A question to ponder on the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising


"We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland
and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and

-  1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic

QUESTION:  Is the right of the Irish people "to the ownership of Ireland
and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies", proclaimed in 1916,
compatible with having two-thirds of the laws we must obey enacted by the
EU in Brussels, in making which the Irish people have a very minor say?

The German Federal Ministry for Justice has stated in answer to a
parliamentary written question that between 1998 and 2004, 23,167 legal
acts were adopted in Germany, of which 18,917, or 80%, were of EU
origin(See the German and English texts of this question and answer below).
Presumably Ireland, being a unitary rather than a Federal State like
Germany, would have a higher proportion of domestic national laws enacted
centrally; so it seems plausible to assume that the EU makes two-thirds or
so of our laws rather than the 80% in Germany. The Taoiseach or Minister
for Foreign Affairs might usefully be urged to give the public the exact
figure for the Irish State, as the German Government has done.

Having to obey laws made mostly by others means being ruled by others. It
is the opposite of a country being independent, sovereign and democratic.
What role do the Irish State and Irish people have in making EU laws?  We
have one member out of 25 on the EU Commission, the body of nominated,
non-elected officials which has the legal monopoly of proposing all EU
laws. That is 4% influence.  We also have one Minister out of 25 on the EU
Council of Minsters, which makes EU laws on the basis of the Commission's
proposals. That is again 4% influence there. In practice most EU laws are
adopted nowadays by qualified majority vote on the Council of Ministers,
where Ireland has 7 votes out of 345, that is 2% of a say, and in which it
may be outvoted on most matters.

The European Parliament may propose amendments to draft laws of the EU
Council of Ministers, but it cannot have these amendments adopted without
the agreement of the Council and Commission, and it cannot itself initiate
any EU law. The Irish State has 13 members out of 732 in the European
Parliament, that is 2% of a say, and the North has 3 MEPs.

Yet when the whole of Ireland  was part of the United Kingdom between 1800
and 1921,it had 100 MPs out of 600 in the British Parliament, of which some
70 were Nationalists. That gave Nationalist Ireland 12% of a say at
Westminster; yet the Irish  people were unhappy with majority rule from
London then and aspired to a Parliament of their own in an independent
Irish Republic.

As for "the right of the Irish people to the ownership of Ireland", how can
Irish politicians pretend to exercise that right when under EU law it is
illegal for an Irish Government to adopt any measure that would prevent the
450 million citizens of the other EU States from having the same rights of
ownership and establishment in this country as Irish citizens, in relation
to land-buying, fisheries, residence, employment or the conduct of any
economic activity?

In addition to being subject to laws made overwhelmingly by non-Irish
people in Brussels, the Irish Government is regularly fined for breaking EU
laws by the EU Court of Justice - something no sovereign State anywhere in
the world is subject to. How is that compatible with "the unfettered
control of Irish destinies"?

As well, EU membership means that Member States lose their right to sign
trade treaties with other States, as this is done by the Brussels
Commission acting for the EU as a whole. It means that the Member States
are legally obliged to work towards a common foreign and security policy
and common rules in crime and justice matters. Last September a judgement
of the EU Court of Justice laid down that the EU can adopt supranational
criminal sanctions such as fines, imprisonment or confiscation of assets
for breaches of EU law by means of majority vote. This means that Ireland
and its citizens may be subjected in future to such criminal sanctions even
if they had voted against them, and for matters they do not necessarily
regard as crimes.

Before Ireland joined the EEC in 1973, Article 15 of the Irish Constitution
stated that "the sole and exclusive power of making laws for the State is
hereby vested in the Oireachtas: no other legislative authority has power
to make laws for the State." The Irish State was constitutionally sovereign
then in a way that it clearly is no longer.

As a member of the Eurozone Dublin has no control of either the rate of
interest or its currency exchange rate, which are classical economic tools
of all independent governments that seek to advance their people's welfare.
As regards interest rates and the exchange rate we have to abide by
policies decided by the EU Central Bank in Frankfort,Germany, whose
priority necessarily must be the economic needs of the more populous EU

All this is clearly incompatible with "the right of the people of Ireland
to the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish
destinies", proclaimed in the Declaration of the Republic in Easter 1916.
Yet the Taoiseach and leaders of Fianna Fail who have put us under European
Union rule and who desire to give the EU more power still by ratifying the
proposed EU Constitution, proclaim themselves to belong to "The Republican

On Easter Sunday next they will perpetrate the hypocrisy of professing to
honour the men and women of 1916 against the background of these facts
which make a mockery of their professions. And they will be supported in
that by the leaders of the other major Dail Parties, who glory in their
servitude to EU rule and who equally support the discredited EU
Constitution that was rejected by the peoples of France and the Netherlands
in their referendums last summer.


Abgeordneter: Johannes Singhammer (CDU/CSU)

Wie viele Rechtsvorschriften mit Wirkung für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland
wurden in den Jahren 1998 bis 2004 auf der europäischen Ebene und auf der
nationalen Ebene neu beschlossen?

Antwort des Parlamentarischen Staatssekretärs Alfred Hartenbach
Vom 29. April 2005

In den Jahren 1998 bis 2004 wurden insgesamt 18,167 EU-Verordnungen und 750
EU-Richtlinen (einschließlich Änderungsverordnungen bza.-richtlinien)

Im selben Zeitraum wurden auf Bundesebene insgesamt 1195 Gesetze (davon 889
im BGB1.Teil I und 306 im BGB1. Teil II) sowie 3055 Rechtsverordnungen
(einschließlich Änderungsgesetzen bzw.-verordnungen) verkündet.



To ask the Minister what proportion of the legal acts passed in Germany
between 1 May 1998 and 1 May 2004 had their origin in European Union
regulations or directives and how many were were solely national in origin.

On 29 April 2005, the German Federal Justice Ministry replied that between
1998 and 2004, 23,167 legal acts were adopted in Germany, of which 18,917,
or 80%, were of EU origin.

[28/02/2006] The EU’s Frankenstein Services Directive


The EU services directive was christened the Bolkestein directive after the
EU Commissioner who fathered it. The French know it as the Frankenstein
Directive for its feared impact on service workers' jobs. The compromise
proposal backed by the European Parliament last week remains a threat to
workers' wages and conditions and heralds an increasingly anti-social

The conditions for social dumping will still exist, where exploited cheap
foreign labour is being cynically used to batter down hard-won national
standards. The directive is a smokescreen for privatising Europe. It does
this by  seeking to prise open private and public sector service provision
to the free market and corporate carpetbaggers whose only interest is
profit piled on profit. Among the service directive's chief pushers are the
European Roundtable of Industrialists and UNICE,the EU employers'

Two-thirds of Ireland's labour force is now employed in services, as
against less than one-third in manufacturing and a few percent in farming.
When Ireland joined the EEC in 1973 the equivalent of ALL the jobs in its
existing manufacturing industry,which was protected  by tariffs at the
time, disappeared inside ten years. They were replaced by a similar number
of export-oriented jobs in foreign firms opening up in Ireland, but without
any increase in overall manufacturing employment for decades.

Will a similar trend now happen in Irish service employment,as EU dictation
strikes down Dublin-made laws that protect services, and as foreign agency
workers increasingly set up here in all sorts of occupations and
professions they were previously unknown in?

Is nobody indignant at this EU rule by "directive"?  It is dictators issue
directives,not democracies. Democracies elect people to make laws - not
"directives" - in their  national parliaments. There are 13 members from
the Republic out of 682 in the European Parliament and we are supposed to
be impressed by its votes as if they are genuinely democratic. What kind of
farcical democracy is this?

To calm trade union opinion the services directive's  "country of origin"
principle, whereby foreigners could work in Ireland at the much lower
standards of the poorer EU countries, has been formally removed for the
time being,  but it is NOT replaced by a "country of destination"
principle. The amended text is silent on that.

The separate Foreign Posting Directive continues to give East European
low-wage countries the right to undermine Irish wages and its collective
bargaining model. Some sensitive issues have been removed from the services
directive, which means that the judges of the EU Court will be able to
decide them instead by means of their case-law in years to come. That Court
is notorious for interpreting  EU directives in such a way as to extend EU
powers - and with that its own powers - to the maximum possible extent. EU
Court judgements will now be used to push to privatise health and education

An amendment to the services directive invites the Court of Justice to
legislate directly "in accordance with the principles of
non-discrimination, necessity and proportionality". These terms are EU
jargon for the Court of Justice in Luxembourg being able to decide that a
national law must be treated as illegal if foreign companies do not have
actual access to national markets to bid for service projects and to
deliver their own services within them.

If this services directive comes into force,our national democracies
enforcing nationally desirable standards -  which have sometimes been
struggled for by citizens or trade unions for generations -  will become
illegal trade barriers in the eyes of the EU Court.

[28/02/2006] Napoleon the first Euro-Federalist?


"We must have a European legal system, a European appeal court, a common
currency, the same weights and measures,  the same laws ...I must make of
all the peoples of Europe one people,and of Paris the capital of the
world."  So said Emperor Napoleon 1 in conversation with his Chief of
Police Joseph Fouché around  1805, as quoted in Chapter 1 of the book
"1812" by Adam Zasmoyski, who gives two sources:Herold 245,243,and Fouché,

[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

[14/09/2005] Ireland loses; EU wins power to jail Irish Citizens


(Sent to you for your information by Anthony Coughlan, The National
Platform EU Research and Information Centre,Dublin  ...  Please forward to
your friends and acquaintances who may be interested in or concerned about

Wednesday 14 September 2005

The EU has been given the power to compel Irish courts to fine or imprison
people for breaking EU laws, even if the Irish Government and Dail Eireann
are opposed.

An unprecedented ruling yesterday by the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg
gives Brussels the power to introduce harmonised criminal law across the EU,
creating for the first time a body of European criminal law that all Member
States must adopt.

The judgment by the EU supreme court was opposed by 11 EU Governments
including Ireland. In principle the judgement gives the EU the power to
impose criminal sanctions for all breaches of EU law. It greatly extends
the power of the non-elected Brussels Commission, which would have the
exclusive right to propose such criminal sanctions, to be adopted by
majority vote of the Council of Ministers.

Traditionally the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) works hand in glove with the
Commission, as both are supranational institutions that benefit from
increasing supranational powers. In the words of one of its judges,the ECJ
is a "court with a mission" -  that mission being to extend the
supranational powers of the EU and its institutions to the utmost. The
Commission's press release of yesterday welcoming the Court ruling may be
read at  http://www.statewatch.org/news/2005/sep/ecj-environment-dec.pdf

Yesterday's  ruling was given in a test  case about environmental law, an
issue which  may make it acceptable to some people who fail to appreciate
its constitutional and political implications. The judgement is a legal
landmark that sets an important precedent. It gives the Commission the
right to decide when breaches of EU laws are so serious that they should be
treated as criminal.

The Member States who lost the court-case were seeking to guard their
sovereignty over criminal law. The Commission took them to court after they
blocked it from introducing harmonised criminal law for pollution. The
Court of Justice ruled in the Commission's favour, concluding: "The
European Community has the power to require the member states to lay down
criminal penalties for the purposes of protecting the environment."

Yesterday's judgement upheld the EU Commission's challenge to the Council
of Ministers' "Framework Decision on the Protection of the Environment
through Criminal Law". The Council of Ministers  contended in the case
that,as EU law currently stands, Member States cannot be forced to impose
criminal penalties in respect of conduct covered by the Framework Decision.
Ireland and the 10 other Member States that suppoorted the Council of
Ministers position contended that not only is there no express conferral of
power on the EU  to impose criminal sanctions  under the European treaties,
but, "given the considerable significance of criminal law for the
sovereignty of the Member States, there are no grounds for accepting that
that power can have been implicitly transferred to the Community at a time
when specific subnstantive pwoers,such as those pertaining to the
environment, were conferred on it."

The Commission disputed this view and yesterday's judgement came down
decisively on the Commission's side.

The judgement effectively means that when Member States transferred powers
to the EU, the Court of Justice has now decided that they implicitly gave
the EU power to impose EU criminal sanctions for breaches of EU law.

EU Member States  have always insisted that the power to set criminal law
goes to the heart of national sovereignty and must be decided by national
Governments and Parliaments. The judgement of the Luxembourg judges means,
however, that national governments can no longer exempt EU law from being
upheld by criminal sanctions.

When Irish people agreed in successive referendums to transfer powers to
Brussels, the politicians who supported this never told them  that they
could be found to be in breach of EU criminal law for disobedience!

The Commission says that it would use its new powers only in extreme
circumstances, but its officials are already talking about introducing EU
crimes for overfishing, deliberate polluting, money laundering, price
fixing and the vast legal territory of the EU internal market.

José Manuel Barroso, the President of the Commission, welcomed yesterday's
ruling: "This is a watershed decision. It paves the way for more democratic
and more efficient lawmaking at EU level."

In reality it opens the way to criminal laws over a vast policy territory
being rewritten at EU level,and a harmonised EU criminal code, which was
prefigured in the proposed EU Constitution that was rejected by French and
Dutch voters this summer.

The Court said that although as a general rule criminal law does not fall
within EU powers, that "does not prevent the Community legislature ... from
taking measures that relate to the criminal law of member states which it
considers necessary".

The ruling means that the Commission can propose an EU crime that, if
passed by the European Parliament and a qualified majority of Member
States, must be adopted by all Member States even though a particular
Government and Parliament may be against it.  This means that Ireland can
be forced to introduce a crime into its law if enough other EU States
support it. It also gives the Commission the power to compel members to
enforce EU criminal law if governments drag their heels or if their courts
refuse to sentence people.

The ruling was welcomed by most MEPs, who will now have the powers to pass
criminal law and not just civil law.

The EU Council of Ministers which lost this case yesterday, was supported
in the proceedings by Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands,
Germany,  France,the UK, Spain, Portugal and Greece

====================AND ===========
Some excerpts from today's UK press reports on this judgement

THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday 14 September 2005

Brussels wins right to force EU countries to jail polluters

Nicholas Watt, European editor

Brussels was given greater powers over the EU's 25 members yesterday, when
the European court of justice declared that the union's rules can be
enforced through criminal sanctions . . .

The court delivered its ruling after a disagreement between the commission
and the council of ministers over the punishment of polluters. Both sides
agreed that polluters should face criminal penalties, but they disagreed on
how these should be enforced: European ministers argued that under the
"Third Pillar" of the Maastricht treaty, the matter should be left in the
hands of governments who would have the power of veto.

The commission argued that it should be enforced through the "First Pillar",
also known as the "Community Pillar". This waters down the power of member
states by involving all three of the EU centres of power - the commission,
the council of ministers, and the European parliament. Countries also lose
their national veto. This view was endorsed by the Luxembourg-based court.

The ruling means the commission would have the right to tell EU countries to
impose criminal penalties on polluters. This would be carried out in
national courts, although the commission would like to extend its powers by
recommending the level of punishment.

Michel Petite, head of the European commission's legal service, said: "I
suppose that for a directive to be complied with, we might want to to say it
has to be a criminal penalty, we may want to say it has at least to be at
this level. That could be viewed as a necessary condition for the directive
to be complied with properly. But that was not contemplated in the ruling."

British government sources indicated that the result of the court's ruling
will be deadlock, with no criminal charges being brought against polluters
at a European-wide level. EU countries originally voted in favour of the
original plan to allow governments to decide the matter by 11 votes out of
15 in 2003.

"There was such a strong vote because of the principle that this should be
decided by member states. That point of principle has not changed, so there
will be deadlock," one source said.

But pro-Europeans welcomed the European court of justice's ruling. Chris
Davies, the Liberal Democrat leader in the European Parliament, said:
"Europe needs an umpire to ensure fair play between member states and to
dismiss the cheats. The commission is the only body that comes close to
fitting that role and this court ruling gives it more teeth with which to

============================AND ====================

THE INDEPENDENT, London,  Wednesday 14 September 2005

Europe may impose criminal penalties for breaching EU law

By Stephen Castle in Brussels

. . .  the head of the Commission's legal service, Michel Petite, hinted that
in future the Commission might not only push member states to apply criminal
sanctions, but also to set the scale of sanctions. The Commission said the
ruling applied to areas where it enjoys competence, including internal
market measures, environmental protection, data protection, defence of
intellectual property and monetary matters. . .


THE DAILY TELEGRAPH,  Wednesday 14 September 2005

Criminal sanctions to enforce EU law

By Andrew Sparrow, Political Correspondent

European commissioners yesterday hailed a landmark legal judgment that could
give them the power to use criminal sanctions to enforce EU law.

José Manuel Barroso, the commission president, claimed that the European
Court of Justice had made a "watershed decision" that would lead to "more
democratic and more efficient lawmaking at EU level".

Eurosceptics said the decision showed that national governments were losing
power to determine their own laws. . .

The ECJ decision is hugely sensitive because until now the EU has only been
able to use the criminal law to enforce its decisions in certain categories
where all member states agree legislation by unanimity. In theory, qualified
majority voting - which allows EU law to be made against the wishes of a
minority of member states - could now be used to take decisions that would
have to be enforced throughout the EU by criminal sanctions.

The ECJ issued its ruling following a power struggle between the commission,
the EU's unelected bureaucracy, and member states.

Two years ago, member states created a new law on environmental pollution,
involving minimum EU-wide penalties for serious offenders, using the
unanimity decision-making procedures set out in the so-called "third pillar"
of the EU's treaty provisions.

But the commission took the member states to court because they believed
criminal sanctions should be available to enforce laws.

Yesterday, the commission claimed that the court decision set an "important
precedent" because it would allow "the commission to continue to enhance its
efforts to ensure compliance with the provisions of European Community law
also by means of criminal law".

The internal market, environmental protection, data protection, protection
of intellectual property and monetary matters were all named by the
commission as areas where EU law could be backed up by criminal sanctions. . .

[24/08/2005] Euro bank: secretive & sloppy


By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph,23 August 2005

The European Central Bank has been accused of secrecy, ineptitude, and
sloppy use of inflation targeting by one of Britain's leading monetary

Prof Charles Goodhart, a former member of the Bank of England's monetary
policy committee, said the ECB's claim to manage inflation over the "medium
term" was an empty mantra that let it dodge responsibility for failures.

In an open letter to ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet, published in the
journal, Central Banking, he slammed the "conscious refusal" to be more

"Is the medium term two years, three years, five years, n years, or what? By
refusing to define the term, you can never be accused of missing your
target. [It] is just an exercise in obfuscation," he said.

He counselled Mr Trichet to have a good night's sleep before handling the
press following key decisions - given past gaffes.

"A meeting of the governing council is likely to be tense, often lengthy,
and almost always extremely fatiguing. You will face the world's media at a
time when you are worn out and stressed. I think it fair to claim that your
predecessor suffered many of his most unhappy occasions at exactly such
press conferences," he said.

Mr Goodhart, emeritus professor at the London School of Economics, said the
ECB should air its internal policy disputes by publishing the minutes rather
than relying on secrecy to give a false sense of unity.

"It is hardly desirable, nor does it lead ultimately to credibility, to
suggest that consensus existed when, in practice, it did not," he said.

An ECB spokesman said secrecy was needed to shield the governors from
national pressure. "Some could be in a hard position in their home countries
if it was known how they argued at meetings," he said. Mr Trichet is
expected to address the criticisms at a press conference on September 1.

The letter was part of a The Euro at Risk series published in the latest
edition of Central Banking.

An article by Henrik Enderlein, a professor at Berlin's Free University,
said the euro's one-size-fits-all monetary regime had blighted Germany from
the outset.

"Germany is the biggest economy in EMU and, as is now becoming obvious, has
suffered most from the current EMU set-up," he said.

Prof Enderlein said interest rates had been 11.2pc too high for German needs
on average since 1999, reaching a peak distortion of 31.2 in early 2001.

He doubted whether structural reform in Germany could be successful until
monetary policy comes to the rescue. "Ultimately, there could be a risk that
EMU splits into two equally-sized groups of countries, one with high growth
and high inflation, the other with low growth and low inflation," he said.

While monetary policy was likely to be wrong for all states, those like
Germany with very low inflation (or high real interest rates) could be
trapped in a "bust cycle".

He said the only solution is for the ECB to drop its one-size-fits all
policy and instead set rates for a homogenous core built around Germany.

[27/05/2005] False statements about EU Constitution


- Statement by Anthony Coughlan

24 Crawford Avenue
Dublin 9

Tel.: +00-353-1-8305792

Friday 27 May 2005

Two significant false statements  on the EU Constitution in today's Irish
Times  - by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and that paper's European Correspondent,
Denis Staunton:

In his  article supporting the proposed EU Constitution in today's Irish
Times (P.16)Taoiseach Bertie Ahern makes one  quite inaccurate statement.
He says that the EU Constitution "includes significant new powers for
national parliaments."

It includes nothing of the kind.  The EU Constitution would remove over 60
further national vetoes on top of those already  removed by previous EC/EU
treaties. Half of these would be in new policy areas where the EU, not
National Parliaments,  would henceforth make the laws. The other half would
substitute qualified majority voting for unanimity in making EU laws in
relation to policy areas that are already with the EU.  This means that
National Parliaments and Governments would lose their power to decide
matters for some 60 policy areas.

The EU Constitution does not give National Parliaments a single new power.
Its Protocol on Subsidiarity provides that National Parliaments must be
informed in advance of proposals for new EU laws, and if one-third of  the
25 Pariaments  think that a particular proposal goes too far and they
object to it, the proposal must be "reviewed" by the Brussels Commission,
but the Commission and Council of Ministers can still go ahead with it.
Contrary to what Taoiseach Ahern claims, this is not a "significant new
power" for National Parliaments. It is not new, for National Parliaments
can object already.  It is not a power, for they can object all they like
and the Commission can go on ignoring them. What National Parliaments get
in this provision of the EU Constitution is  more like a new right to be

If  the Taoseach wishes for a proper national debate on the proposed EU
Constitution, as he says he does, he should not himself make such
fundamental misrepresentations regarding what is in the Treaty.

Under the heading "No vote will not kill constitution" (P.11)the same
paper's EU Correspondent, Denis Staunton, makes a seriously inaccurate
statement which could have a fundamentally misleading effect on public
attitudes to what should be done following a posssible No vote to the EU
Constitution in France or Holland.  Mr Staunton writes:  "According to the
Constitution, if at least four-fifths of the member states ratify it by
November next year and the others are unable to do so, 'the matter will be
referred to the European Council' of EU leaders."

Contrary to what Denis Staunton states, this is not "according to the
constitution". The EU Constitution contains no such provision, and even if
it did, how could States be bound by the provisions of a document that is
not yet ratified?

What Denis Staunton misleadingly refers to as "part of the constitution" is
a political Declaration, No.30,  that is attached to the Constitution but
is not  legally part of it, and which was adopted by the Intergovernmental
Conference  that drafted  the final  Treaty-cum-Constitution. This
Declaration reads:  "The Conference notes that if, two years after the
signature of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, four fifths
of the Member States have ratified it and one or more Member States have
encountered difficulties in proceeding with ratification, the matter will
be referred to the European Council."

Note that the Declaration states that "IF Š four fifths of the Member
States  have ratified."  This is not an obligation on them to proceed with
ratification if one Member State has  said No and the others decide to
respect that No.  The terms of this Declaration, which is not of course
itself  a Treaty,  make quite clear that the decision by other EU States
to ignore  a possible No vote in France or Holland and to proceed with
ratification in other States as if  a French or Dutch No could be reversed
or over-ruled, is a purely political  matter -  without any legal force
behind it.  It would be an attempt by politicians, bureaucrats and
propagandists to bully the people of the country concerned to get them to
change their minds.

This is the kind of outrageously undemocratic  behaviour that Ireland's
political elite engaged in in this country when voters rejected the Nice
Treaty in June 2001.  When that happened, Taoiseach  Bertie Ahern could
have told his EU partners that he wished the ratification process to stop.
Instead he when to  the EU summit in Gothenburg the week afterwards to
apologise to them for the way the Irish people had voted, told them to
ignore that vote and to go ahead with ratifying the Nice Treaty, and that
he would re-run the referendum and get a different result  by means of
changing the referendum rules  and securing the help of other EU
politicians to threaten, bully and cajole the Irish electorate a second
time around.

French Prime Minister Raffarin has satated that there will be no second
vote in France - thereby  showing more respect for his people than
Taoiseach Ahern did for his - and showing also that he  is aware of what
the significance of a Treaty Declaration.

For his article Denis Staunton dredges up some Professor of Politics in
Edinburgh - presumably some Jean Monnet Professor? - to state, quite
falsely, that there is an obligation under international law for the EU
Member States to continue trying to ratify this Treaty when one State has
rejected it.

There is  no such obligation. Where could such an "obligation" come from?
The Declaration referred to is not an international treaty and imposes no
legal obligation whatever. It is a statement of intention in hypothetical
circumstances: namely, that the 25 Governments would discuss the matter if
four-fifths of EU States did not ratifiy the Treaty.  But that does not
amount to a requirement that they should go ahead with their own
ratifications while ignoring No votes in some countries, contrary to what
Mr Stanton and his Edinburgh Politics Professor state.  That would be a
political decision. It  would not be legally required.

It is surprising that such an experienced correspondent as Mr Staunton does
not seem to know the difference between a Declaration attached to a Treaty,
which is a political  statement but not legally binding as part of that
treaty, and a Treaty's substantive Articles and Protocols, which are
legally binding.  If Mr Staunton had enquired a little harder he might have
found someone properly qualified in international law who would have been
be able to tell him what was in the EU Constitution and what was not and
who could explain the legal/political weight that might attach to political

One suspects that Denis Staunton is merely echoing and seeking to drum up
support for the policy line now being pushed by the eurocrats of the EU
Commission and the many eurofanatics and eurobullies across the EU who want
to ignore a possible No vote by the people of either France or Holland in
their referendums, so as to keep their precious  Constitution project on
the road, from which they stand to gain so much personally themselves.

This is playing politics and pushing EU propaganda, not  good journalism.
It us unfortunate that so many European correspondents who "go native" in
Brussels seem unable to tell the difference.

Signed: Anthony Coughlan
(01)830 57902
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