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  • EU Legitimacy Disintegrating

    Czech President Vaclav Klaus speaks following a bilateral meeting with European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering (unseen) in Brussels, on February 19, 2009. Klaus yesterday termed the Chamber of Deputies’ approval of the Lisbon Treaty ‘a tragic mistake,’ and has urged the Senate to take a more responsible stance on the treaty. The president said last November he would sign the document only when it was ratified in Ireland, where the treaty was rejected in a referendum last June. The Czech Republic, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, is the last EU country to vote on the treaty. Twenty-five other EU members have ratified the treaty.

    Czech President Vaclav Klaus, an EU Head of State and current President of the European Council, has been dealt another vicious insult by the European Parliament. Speaking before the plenary session in Brussels yesterday, he criticized the juggernaut of EU integration and the democratic deficit felt between the EU and its citizens. He questioned the value of the Lisbon Treaty which proposes to transfer vast powers from member states to the European Union, and which has already been rejected by Ireland in a free and fair referendum.

    In a diplomatic insult to a democratically elected head of state, some MEP’s walked out of the chamber. Last December, Daniel Cohn-Bendit MEP ambushed President Klaus at the Presidential castle, producing an EU flag and forcefully taking the President to task on a number of issues including the Lisbon Treaty and climate change. At the time, President Klaus remarked that he hadn’t been spoken like that since Communism fell.

    President Klaus is of course right that the EU lacks both credibility and legitimacy as a political entity. In a series of referenda across Europe, several nations have rejected integrationist treaties such as Maastricht, Nice and the European Constitution, only to see them introduced regardless. The currently pending Lisbon Treaty represents fundamental constitutional changes for Europe and contains the building block of a United States of Europe. The Irish people should take note of President Klaus’s comments when they are asked to vote in a second referendum later this year. It should also know that it is not alone either – neither President Klaus nor Polish President Lech Kaczynski have formally ratified the Lisbon Treaty.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to EU Legitimacy Disintegrating

    1. SSJ, Norway says:

      Wow, what a biased blog entry. 25 out of 27 member states have ratified Lisbon. The parliament and government of Ireland have freely and independently made the decision to hold a new referendum later this year, in return for consessions. And opinion polls indicate that the Irish electorate will vote 'Yes' this time. The Lisbon Treaty will certainly not "transfer powers from member states to the EU"; the aim of the treaty is to streamline the workings of the institutions for 27 member states and beyond.

    2. Sally McNamara Sally McNamara says:

      The Lisbon Treaty, which is currently pending ratification by EU member states, contains the building blocks of a United States of Europe and will shift power from the member states of the EU to Brussels in several areas of policymaking, including defense, security and foreign policy. As with the EU Constitution, the Treaty will create a permanent EU President, and extend the roles of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the EU’s powerful diplomatic corps. With a single legal personality, Brussels would sign international agreements on behalf of all member states. Critically, unanimity voting has been removed in several key areas and majority voting introduced for twelve different areas of foreign policy, including the election of the EU Foreign Minister and proposals emanating from the EU Foreign Minister. The Treaty will restrict the ability of member states to operate on the international stage on an independent basis. For example, if the EU has decided a common position on foreign policy, the EU will automatically speak for the UK and France in the UN Security Council.The Lisbon Treaty also represents a major threat to the NATO Alliance.

    3. SMA, Virginia says:

      The Lisbon Treaty is an European self-afflicted attack on national sovereignity, nothing less. That governments such as those in Poland and the Czech Republic have grave misgivings is easily explained given their recent history of being controlled by others.

    4. WGH, Germany says:

      Nothing biased about this report. These EU fanatics should be ashamed of themselves. The Klaus speech was moderate and well-delivered. Sadly, the fact that MEPs had to walk out tells more of the story than the words Klaus spoke. There is only one way in that place. Anti-democratic and despised is how most Europeans now think of the EU. Give us our referendums!

    5. SSJ, Norway says:

      @Sally McNamara:

      Unanimity will still always be required in the area of foreign and defence policy. The new president will have no formal powers. The international Red Cross has also a single legal personality.

      @SMA:

      The two European leaders opposed to Lisbon are the Polish and Czech presidents. Both are xenophobic and nationalist, and neither of them are part of any government. All EU governments are in favour of the Lisbon Treaty.

      @WGH:

      The overwhelming majority of elected politicians in Europe are in favour of Lisbon and the EU. They are not fanatics. Klaus doesn't believe in climate change, he's anti-gay and anti-immigrant.

    6. Barry U.K. says:

      The constitution, which is what the so called lisbon treaty is was rejected, but the eurocrats can't accept that, so they make it virtually unreadable, then the countries, who rejected it, parliaments ignore their own people, and ratify it anyway. The UK government were elected on a promise to give us a referendum, but ratified it without a referendum. As such 23, not the 25 which europhiles claim, countries have ratified it with no mandate from their own people to do so. This means that the disenfranchised peoples of those countries are dependent on the Irish people, the Czech, and Polish Presidents, and the German constitutional court to save them from being plunged into the corruption ridden democratic deficient eu for ever, and to become nothing more than meaningless proles, as the unelected commisars, the political failures who get the commissioner posts, take over the government of our countries.

    7. Brian Barker says:

      As far as a common international language is concerned, may I make a plea for Esperanto?

      If you have time please check the Esperanto website on http://www.lernu.net

    8. Margaret - Florida says:

      Two truisms are often stated: "All politics is personal," and "absolute power corrupts absolutely" and the EU does not differ from other political entities in this regard. I've read about the makeup of the EU and it is organized and operated not by, for the most part, statesmen, but by uncultivated, professional politicians. Furthermore, I detect many parallels between the EU and our political situation here at home from the bottom up. I see tenured, self-centered, professional politicians without a sense of moral obligation to the higher principle of service to others for the sake of unity and security of all. I can see that the EU is yet another disparate collection of power grabbing people pursuing private agendas all the while building an entrenched bureaucracy for the establishment of an unchallenged political base with lifetime security. Once in power they enjoy lifetime tenures and brazenly award themselves bloated salaries and numerous perks they might not otherwise be accorded in their own states. I see isolated "representatives who remain out of reach and unaccountable to their constituents, rather like the Politburo, many of whom actually live within the Kremlin walls and never have contact with the common man whatsoever. Only those nation-states who have experienced oppressive, tyrannical regimes (Ireland under British rule and the eastern bloc under communism) can really comprehend the slippery slope upon which they are seduced to take a ride. The "in-your-face" confrontation with President Vaclav is further evidence of just how EU politics can become personally threatening. Again, the lack of moral commitment to a cause greater than oneself is most apparent everywhere you look, both at the EU and at home.

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