Tuesday, 8 April 2008

MPs' blank cheque to Brussels

A good illustration of the extent to which a majority of MPs have irresponsibly voted a complete blank cheque of powers to Brussels by approving the renamed EU Constitution treaty are the current wranglings over the new role of EU President.

Because the treaty is vague about the exact role of the EU President - as with so much else - fraught negotiations are already underway as to the precise definition of the role.

Yet there doesn't even appear to be broad agreement between the EU's diverse member countries on the job the EU President is being created to perform.

Some appear not to want a personality in the role who would outshine the Commission President, but would prefer a 'good chairman' to oversee the work of each country as it assumes the 6-monthly leadership role.

On the other hand, other countries specifically want a big name 'world figure' to strut the world stage representing the EU, taking a similar role to that of a national President or Prime Minister (though completely unelected and directly representing no-one).

Our MPs, of course, have relinquished their own governing role in this respect - and so many others where the EU is concerned - by already gifting unaccountable EU institutions the power to make whatever they choose for themselves.

Barroso to open door to unification of roles?

The current favourite for the role is believed to be present Commission President Jose Barroso, as EU state-builders foresee the possibility of merging the new role with that of Commission President to create an undisputed 'President of the Union' - a scenario that the Treaty does not rule out.

Other candidates include Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, Denmark’s leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen and perhaps a surprise entry into the race of Barroso's predecessor Romano Prodi, following his ejection as Prime Minister in the recent Italian elections.

Tony Blair has also been mooted for the job, but appears to be losing ground against other candidates.

Contradicting themselves

Writing about the new role on his blog, former French president and chief architect of the original EU Constitution Valery Giscard d'Estaing writes, "The choice of the first EU Council President is an unexpected opportunity to develop a feeling of political belonging among the EU's citizens. If they have the feeling that they are associated with it, Europe will make a big step forward. On the other hand, if they have the impression they are being ignored, Europe will take a huge step backwards."

Apparently forgetting that he himself has been a leading cheerleader for the views of the "EU's citizens" to be utterly ignored, by pushing for national governments not to hold referendums on the re-named EU Constitution treaty.

Nevermind the flaws in their thinking, do these people not even have a basic level of consciousness about their own previous statements?

And why do the mainstream media never seem to take them apart over such blatant contradictions?

Contempt for democracy

That such negotiations are happening at all shows the contempt with which those driving the EU project regard 'details' like national democratic approval of the Treaty.

Not only are ratification processes still continuing in many EU member countries, but the Irish people will vote on whether to approve the Treaty in their forthcoming referendum.

But that the EU elite have little regard for the role of public opinion in their state-building project is hardly news.

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