Thursday, 10 December 2009

Lisbon Treaty Builds EU Super-state

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LisBolThe once-sovereign nations of Europe are about to become saddled with an even more powerful governing body in Brussels — a powerful new entity taking shape despite the wishes of many citizens and even some national leaders.

The insidious process that has led to the EU being handed almost unlimited powers began almost six decades ago with an innocuous coal and steel union. From there the entity morphed into the friendly sounding “European Economic Community.” Now it is the European Community, also known as the European Union. And soon, the entity will be a full-fledged state, with all the characteristics thereof.

With the unanimous ratification of the Lisbon Treaty (following a deceptive propaganda campaign), Europe has taken another giant step in the direction of a tyrannical style of federalism and an unprecedented centralization of power. By amending two of the founding European treaties that make up the basis for the Union, analysts conclude that the Lisbon Treaty will become the de facto constitution for the emerging state body. “The Union shall replace and succeed the European Community,” reads a provision of the Treaty, illustrating that a new entity is indeed being created. Even European leaders admit that a huge transformation is in the works and that the Lisbon Treaty shifts power away from nations and toward the regional super-state in an entirely unseen manner.

The new Treaty brings into force drastic structural changes to the Union while granting it broad new powers, almost endless in scope. Unlike the U.S. Constitution, which defines limited powers and severely restricts federal interference in the affairs of states and the American people, the EU’s document is a virtual road map to the perpetual gobbling up of more power. This is the case despite the fact that a 2007 poll of Europeans revealed one of their top priorities was establishing “clear fixed limits” on the body’s powers.

Though it consists of “only” several hundred pages, the Lisbon agreement establishes a broad set of “aims,” then provides an expanded “flexibility clause,” so even if the Treaty does not provide certain powers, it can assume them to attain its objectives. Among its aims are the promotion of the government’s values and the “well-being” of people, an open invitation for the EU to become involved in every facet of citizens’ lives — for the citizens’ own well-being, of course.

Other so-called “aims” include development of international law and respect for the United Nations Charter, eradication of poverty, “social justice,” and “sustainable development.” Government-enforced “equality” between men and women and “cohesion” between member states also made the cut. The broad collection of vague, open-ended statements leave the door open to regulating virtually everything.

“The Lisbon Treaty is an attempt to construct a highly centralized European Federation artificially, from the top down, out of Europe’s many nations, peoples and States, without their free consent and knowledge,” writes Professor Anthony Coughlan in an analysis of the document for the Brussels Journal, entitled “These Boots Are Gonna Walk All Over You.” “The peoples of Europe do not want this kind of highly centralized Federal European Union whose most striking feature is that it is run virtually entirely by committees of politicians, bureaucrats and judges, none of whom are directly elected by the people.”

And indeed, the Constitution only further solidifies the unaccountable rule of unelected bureaucrats and committees. Though the EU has what it terms a “Parliament,” laws are in fact approved by the executive branch after being drafted by bureaucrats who work for it. The so-called Parliament is allowed to “advise” the executive branch lawmaking, but parliamentary decisions are essentially meaningless. It is known in Europe as a “talk shop.”

The number of Parliamentarians will be increased slightly under the Treaty, while being transformed into “Representatives of the Union’s citizens” rather than “Representatives of the peoples of the Member States.” The number of member states on the European Commission, an executive body that is currently composed of a commissioner from each country, will be limited to two-thirds of member states having commissioners at any one time. All commissioners will be bound to serve the interests of the EU as a whole rather than their member states. The agreement also makes it easier for the EU’s executive branch to make decisions by requiring a qualified majority vote instead of unanimity in several dozen new and important fields.

Another important and visible change: Effective January 1, 2010, the European Union will have its own President. After a secret meeting and deliberations, European leaders selected globalist Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy to serve as the first President of Europe. Belgian newspapers reported that he attended a Bilderberg meeting just before being appointed to the new post, where he reportedly discussed levying new “green” taxes to be paid directly to the EU. In a speech after the news broke, he celebrated the Lisbon Treaty, global governance, and “the global management of our planet” that he expects should come out of the Copenhagen summit on global warming.

In addition to appointing a President who will serve for a renewable term of two and a half years, the Treaty creates a military alliance between the countries that Reuters compared to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The EU now has the ability to wage war, though members may “constructively” abstain from specific conflicts for the time being.

The agreement also purports to give the European Court of Justice the power to rule on national laws to ensure their compatibility with EU law. (This is the same Court that claimed to outlaw criticism of the EU.) European courts ruled decades ago that European laws trump national laws, but now it’s official. The Constitution put it bluntly: “The Constitution and law adopted by the Union institutions in exercising competence conferred upon it by the Constitution shall have primacy over the law of the member states.”

The Lisbon Treaty also establishes a powerful EU foreign ministry, with a foreign affairs chief called the High Representative. The new office will negotiate on behalf of the new government and its subsidiary member states. The document additionally purports to give the EU power to sign binding treaties on behalf of the Union and even to speak at the United Nations. The changes give the EU what is known as a “legal personality.”

In the field of security, the Treaty will give the EU vast new powers of surveillance and crime fighting while providing for joint EU-national government responses to attacks or disasters. A new European Committee on “Internal Security” will be tasked with monitoring the new European citizens. The Lisbon Treaty even establishes a European public prosecutor charged with raining EU justice down upon EU-law violators.

Right now, financing of the EU is largely dependent on member states. But under the new Constitution, that will soon change. The new government will be under obligation to “provide itself with the means necessary to attain its objectives and carry through its policies.” Reports indicate that the EU has already drawn up plans for a wide variety of Europe-wide taxation schemes. An article by the United Kingdom’s Daily Express entitled “Secret Plan for Euro Income Tax” reports on leaked proposals that indicate that the EU could soon be taxing phone calls, air travel, financial transactions, and even carbon emissions.

Of course, no Constitution would be complete without a few guarantees for the citizens. The Treaty, as well as the Constitution that came before it, contains the “Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,” a strange collection of government-sponsored privileges that again invites endless meddling and interference. The “rights” purportedly granted by the document include healthcare, education, and security.

On the right to education, the Charter states: “This right includes the possibility to receive free compulsory education.” On “property,” it notes: “The use of property may be regulated by law in so far as is necessary for the general interest.” General interest and necessity defined by government, of course. And on “equality,” yet more powers for government: “Equality between men and women must be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay. The principle of equality shall not prevent the maintenance or adoption of measures providing for specific advantages in favor of the under-represented sex.”

The section on “solidarity” purports to give everyone the right to strike, free access to “placement services,” forced limitations on working hours, protections against “unjustified dismissal,” a “high level of consumer protection,” and even a right to various welfare schemes. And as in the United Nations’ “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” limitations on rights and freedoms are okay if they serve the “general interest” and they are “provided for by law.”

The vast majority of EU countries’ laws and regulations are already prom-ulgated from Brussels, not national legislatures. And these rules do take their tolls on the economy: A study in Britain by Open Europe found that just three categories of laws — employment, social, and health and safety laws — have cost the economy about $60 billion. EU inspectors already roam the continent checking on apartment building steps to make sure they possess suitable grip tape, so people do not slip, while EU bureaucrats legislate on everything from the appropriate sizes and shapes of cucumbers to proper garbage disposal. And under the new Treaty, the problem will only become worse.

The Path to Passage
So how could a Treaty that upends, suspends, or leaves open for changing all of the rights of citizens of the EU pass into law, when every country in the EU had to pass the EU Treaty to gain ratification? That’s easy: Most Europeans weren’t allowed to vote on the Treaty at all, and those who were allowed to vote were lied to unceasingly.

The whole notion of a union was sold to the people as an effort to increase prosperity and reduce the likelihood of another war in Europe. But the real agenda remained largely hidden from public scrutiny: the eventual creation of a European super-state with allegiance to the United Nations and the practical abolition of national sovereignty within the Union. And that goal is now coming to fruition.

After decades of persistent pestering and pressure by elitist advocates of “integration” (a nice euphemism for surrendering national sovereignty), European nations increasingly shed layers of independence, ultimately leading up to the Union’s crowning jewel: the Lisbon Treaty, formerly known as the EU Constitution.

To foist this behemoth on the European peoples took chicanery and chutzpah — and two attempts at the passage of such an agreement. The globalists driving this aggregation learned from their initial failure. The first time around, in 2005, the agreement was officially known as the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe, or the European Union Constitution. Owing to the drastic changes the Constitution would impart, it was decided in many countries that citizens should have an opportunity to vote on the matter. But that did not work out as planned for officials and advocates of a more powerful and centralized union.

In May of that year, 55 percent of French voters rejected the Constitution. A few days later, almost two-thirds of the Dutch electorate said no. Polls revealed that a large majority of Europeans opposed giving the EU more power, so the results of the referendums were hardly a surprise.

Since the Treaty to establish the Constitution required ratification by all member states, the effort appeared to be doomed. But the drivers of this movement would not let simple citizens stand in the way of their grandiose scheme, so they called for a period of “reflection” and assembled a council of “wise men” to repackage the agreement and sell it more effectively, with little to no input from the subjects upon whom the system was to be imposed. They repackaged the Constitution and called it the Lisbon Treaty, but that is about all they did, along with making sure that national referendums on the Treaty were few and far between. (Parliaments and other governing groups did the deciding instead of the EU’s citizens.)

“The Treaty of Lisbon is the same as the rejected constitution,” boasted Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, the former French President and the President of the Constitutional Convention, in an open letter to several European newspapers in 2007. “Only the format has been changed to avoid referendums.”

Analysts have estimated that the Treaty retains at least 96 to 98 percent of the rejected Constitution. The main difference is that this time leaders went out of their way to make it unreadable, even forbidding the publication of a “reader friendly” version until ratification. Countless other European leaders and officials have acknowledged as much, almost as if it were humorous. But the consequences are anything but funny.

Ireland and Klaus Surrender
In almost all EU countries, the Lisbon Treaty was simply ratified by the government without consulting citizens. After all, when the first attempt at a Constitution was put to referendums, it was rejected by voters. And the people felt similarly about the Constitution masked as an incomprehensible Treaty. But with the consent of most national governments, there were only a few potential stumbling blocks on the road to implementing the Treaty/Constitution.

Ireland was the only EU country where the citizen had the opportunity to vote on the Lisbon Treaty. And originally, the Irish voted no. But in the EU, “no” is simply a temporary setback if it involves the expansion of EU power. Within 16 months, the Treaty was once again placed before voters, this time against a backdrop of economic chaos brought about by the global financial meltdown, along with better propaganda. The second time around it passed.

“This federal system is being imposed by a very minuscule political elite,” explained Scott Schittl, the anti-Lisbon Treaty campaign manager for the Irish non-profit organization Cóir. “They have acknowledged that the economy was the deciding factor in forwarding their agenda in Ireland.” He told The New American that nearly all government parties and a collection of large corporations like Intel and Ryanair helped push the Treaty.

A well-financed fearmongering campaign led by politicians and Big Business prodded the Irish into believing that the EU was their only hope for financial salvation. A series of non-binding “assurances” was also provided by EU figures, stating that the emerging super-state would not meddle with Ireland’s abortion restrictions and other touchy subjects.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski, another potential obstacle, signed the Treaty just a week later, after receiving similar EU assurances. Now there was only one man left between the EU and its coveted Lisbon Treaty: Czech President Vaclav Klaus.

But under intense pressure from European Union leaders, other governments, and factions within his own country, Klaus caved in on November 3 and signed the document. The signature came after a ruling from the Czech Republic’s Constitutional Court earlier in the day that concluded the agreement was indeed constitutional, though Klaus did not concur. The signing was announced at a brief press conference, where the President expressed strong disagreement with the Court’s decision and claimed the ruling improperly forced him to sign the treaty “without delay.”

“Good afternoon. Good, gloomy afternoon,” Klaus began, saying he had anticipated the Court’s decision. “The ruling of the Constitutional Court is not neutral judicial analysis, but tendentious political pleading for the Lisbon Treaty from the side of its supporters.” Klaus said the Czech Republic was giving up its sovereignty and added as a brief endnote that he had signed the treaty at 3:00 p.m.

The Czech Republic became the last of 27 countries to ratify the Treaty, following months of delays and sharp criticism from Klaus. He recently demanded and received a promise for an opt-out from the “European Charter of Fundamental Rights” out of fear that ethnic Germans expelled after World War II could sue in European Court over property claims.

The Czech President, known for being a “Euro-skeptic,” has been a fierce opponent and perhaps the most prominent critic of the European super-state currently taking shape. He regularly compares it to the Soviet Union, and has also blasted global-warming alarmism and other leftist and globalist political movements. But he recently conceded that it would likely be impossible to beat back the regional government imposed through the Lisbon Treaty, so observers were not surprised by the announcement.

News reports said European governments were applying intense pressure on Klaus to sign the agreement, even lobbying to have him removed as President if he refused to cooperate. So naturally, European leaders and EU officials immediately hailed the Czech ratification — removing the final obstacle to implementation of the treaty. “President Klaus’ decision marks an important and historic step for all of Europe,” British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said in a statement released just after the announcement. “Today is a day when Europe looks forward, when it sets aside years of debate on its institutions, and moves to take strong and collective action on the issues that matter most to European citizens: security, climate change, jobs and growth.”

There was talk of allowing the English to vote on the Treaty if Gordon Brown’s government was defeated at the next election, as is widely expected to happen. But it appears that with Klaus’s signature, it is now too late. “What has happened today means that it is no longer possible to have a referendum on the Lisbon treaty,” said the Conservative Party’s foreign-affairs spokesman, William Hague. He said the Treaty would now become law, calling it a bad day for democracy since the British people were not even consulted.

But EU officials were ecstatic and urged haste in filling positions and implementing the agreement. “I hope that we can now move forward as quickly as possible on the nomination of the President of the European Council and the Vice-president of the commission,” said the chief spokesperson for the European Commission immediately after the Czech Constitutional Court gave the go-ahead. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair had been cited frequently as a potential candidate for President of Europe; however, Van Rompuy ended up taking the prize in late November.

But with the agreement ratified in such an underhanded way, citizens are still understandably outraged. For example, over three-fourths of German citizens wanted a referendum on the Treaty. And even European leaders have admitted that if citizens had been able to vote on the Treaty, the vast majority would have said no. But the fight is still not over.

Citizens across Europe are continuing to criticize and revolt against the government that is growing rapidly in Brussels, but the dramatic pace of government expansion is simply accelerating. As in Ireland, if citizens do not agree to something initially, they will be browbeaten until they accept. Otherwise, they will simply have no say, as in France and Holland after voters in those countries rejected the proposed Constitution and so were not allowed to vote on the Lisbon Treaty.

But there are still some glimmers of hope. For example, if the Conservative Party in Britain lives up to its word and takes back Parliament, as is widely anticipated, the battle may resume. Though Party leaders initially promised a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, they shied away from that position after Vaclav Klaus finally surrendered. But the Conservatives are still pledging to try to repatriate some powers from Brussels. Party leader David Cameron promised in a speech to pass legislation requiring referendums on all future treaties that hand more power to the EU, not that the EU really needs any more powers, since it can already control virtually everything it wants to. He will also seek a “complete opt-out” from the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Anti-EU sentiment in the country is boiling, so political leaders are being forced to respond by at least pretending to be concerned about sovereignty. And if the Conservatives fail to take a tough approach to the EU, other parties like the U.K. Independence Party stand ready to capitalize on the anger.

In fact, all across Europe people are upset with the Treaty and the fact that they had no say in it. Countless organizations in countries from Germany to Greece to Ireland have sprung up to battle the EU’s ever-increasing power grabs. Political parties are starting to catch on too. And the more obvious the EU’s intentions become, the more opposition intensifies. “You can’t take away the freedom of 500 million people and not expect a reaction,” warned Cóir resistance leader Schittl in Ireland. “This is going to be the dominating political struggle of our lifetimes, but I’m certain that it must eventually unravel.… Europe is a continent of peoples and there are no European people. We’re talking about 27 different nations and even more languages and cultures, you can’t just take away peoples’ sovereignty and autonomy.”

It will take a massive and concerted effort to turn back the tide, but it is still theoretically possible if enough Europeans — particularly in the United Kingdom — demand that the EU be reined in. Also, nations can still leave the Union with the consent of other EU countries, and if the EU attempted to force a member state to remain, the consequences could spark even more popular outrage.

The EU already meets every definition of a government. It legislates, judges, and enforces its will. It has citizens and the ability to extract wealth from them. It has a flag and an anthem. It can make treaties and wage war. It even has its own central bank and a fiat currency called the euro. The Union is now officially a government entity on its own. And the implications are not good for the future of freedom in Europe.

The European super-state is developing in tandem with other sovereignty-abolishing unions across the globe as well. Entities like the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the African Union, Mercosur and ALBA in South America, the Organization of American States, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, and countless other blocs now encircle the globe. An alphabet soup of organizations now binds the world’s nations to each other, slowly chipping away at the sovereignty they have left.

In America, there are plenty of international regimes to which the nation has subjected itself as well: the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organization of American States, and more. There is even a budding North American Union in the works, which began much like the EU, with a free-trade agreement. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and various other agreements, such as the Security and Prosperity Partnership, are entwining the United States, Mexico, and Canada inside a “common security perimeter” with a regulated common market disingenuously called a free market.

All of these international bodies are seeking more money and power at the expense of their member nations and citizens. Their backers are, too. The sovereignty of the world’s nations and peoples is being slowly devoured, and the European Union is leading the way.

And a few facts about the these organizations have become clear: None of the entities acknowledge God-given or preexisting human rights, the world’s elite are willing to push the propagation of the governmental entities using deception, and the outcomes rarely benefit the people. Freedom itself is under major threat from the repeated assaults on sovereignty. What is happening with the transformation of the EU should be a blaring warning sign for Americans about the dangers posed by other international organizations and nascent regional governments. And for Europeans, it should be the final wake-up call to pay attention and reclaim their sovereignty.

But even as regional governments develop and flourish around the world, and in Europe particularly quickly, advocates of national sovereignty are actually waking up to put up a fight. It still is not too late to break up the unaccountable institutions through which the elite hope to dominate the world. And for the sake of freedom, the march of regional and global governance must be halted as soon as possible.

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