Friday, 24 October 2008

EU to "Educate" Irish Voters to Accept Constitution Treaty

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EU IrishLast June, in a national referendum, voters in Ireland rejected the European Union Lisbon Treaty, which was, said opponents, merely a rehashed version of the EU Constitution that had gone down to defeat in 2004. Now, the powers that be in Brussels, headquarters of the European Union, have announced a new effort aimed at "educating" Irish voters for another run at the treaty.

The euobserver.com reported on October 22: "The European Commission plans to help the Irish government communicate 'Europe' better to citizens after June's shock No vote on the Lisbon treaty, with a new inter-institutional agreement to pull together the PR efforts of the main EU institutions."

Euobserver.com interviewed EU Communication Commissioner Margot Wallstrom, who explained that the Irish effort is being patterned after similar programs already up and running in Germany, Hungary, and Slovenia. "It's not about the European Commission interfering with the procedures and referenda on the Treaty," said Wallstrom, "but it is investing in trying to correct the situation where so many people said they didn't know anything about the EU, or didn't know enough to take a position when they were asked."

Wallstrom claimed that the move was not designed to create a "propaganda machine" but to support the fundamental democratic principle of the right to know. One model education project in Germany cited by Wallstrom is "Guess who is going back to school," in which about 500 German officials paid visits to their former schools, explaining to pupils what their job is within the EU institutions.

However, the EU's heavy-handed propaganda machine has been a key issue with many EU opponents, who resent being force-fed pro-EU propaganda with funds extracted from them through taxes and then routed through Brussels. Wallstom seemed to be validating claims of critics that the "education" programs were really about propagandizing for more centralized power. "It is the first time we have this framework after heavy resistance from member states," the commissioner explained. So, what other reason for existence might the program have than to break down the "heavy resistance from member states" to more control from Brussels?

Wallstrom said she plans to sign a "memorandum of understanding" on launching a new communication "management project" in Ireland when she visits Dublin in November.

Many of Europe's politicians appear determined to subject all member nations of the EU to the increasingly centralized rule of the various evolving EU institutions. Ratification of the EU Constitution would have formally legalized the numerous encroachments and usurpations that have already transferred many powers to EU authorities. But those plans were dashed in 2004 when it was decisively rejected by French and Dutch voters. This doomed the EU Constitution, which required unanimous ratification by all 27 member states.

However, the advocates of federal union wasted no time in resurrecting the Constitution under a new form, the Lisbon Treaty, with a strategy aimed at avoiding popular referenda by obtaining ratification through the national parliaments. The EU advocates had found it easier to bribe and subvene support from members of parliaments than from the peoples themselves. It almost worked; the treaty passed all the national parliaments. Only in Ireland did voters succeed in obtaining a vote through referendum.

The Bruges Group, one of the principal British organizations opposing EU encroachment, said it "welcomed the Irish 'No' vote to the Lisbon Treaty, which is nothing more than the Constitutional Treaty Mark II. The Constitutional Treaty had been rejected by the people of France and Netherlands. Now the people of Ireland, the only country that had a referendum on Lisbon, have also rejected the re-heated EU Constitution. The peoples of other member states were refused a say on the Lisbon Treaty. The European Union has lost whatever legitimacy it may have possessed in the distant past."

The Bruges Groups, which has chronicled the steady EU assault on national sovereignty and local governance, notes: "It is already true that eighty per cent of our new laws come from the European Union." If the Lisbon (EU Constitution) Treaty is pushed through by the EU propaganda machine, even the remaining twenty percent will soon be swallowed up.

For more information about the Lisbon Treaty, see also "Learning a Lesson From the EU."