Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Berlin Declaration dribbles out

According to EUObs the first indications on the content of the Solemn Declaration to take place in Berlin are dribbling out.
According to the declaration outline distributed to member states and seen by EUobserver, the text will have five parts with brief passages and will not be longer than three pages.

The first chapter will make a tribute to the success stories of EU integration, citing peace, prosperity – attributed to the internal market and the single currency - and stability as "central achievements of European unification."

The passage also notes that "accession of new member states helped unite the continent and consolidate democracy and the rule of law in Europe. The division of the continent could not have been overcome if the people in Central and Eastern European had not so yearned for freedom."

What I doubt it will mention are the billions of dollars spent by the US in maintaining NATO over the same period, that might, just might have had something to do with the overcoming of the division of Europe into East and West. Nor will it mention the Thatcher, Reagan alliance that made it clear to the Soviets that they would never win. Nor indeed will it mention the work of the late Pope, who did so much to succour and support the yearning for freedom in the old Warsaw pact.
The second chapter focuses on "Features of European unification/cooperation" and singles out "democracy and the rule of law as the foundations of EU membership" and "equal rights and duties for all member states as well as transparency and subsidiarity as foundations of the EU." This is referred to as the "Community method."

Oh don't make me laugh. Representative democracy already existed in some countries that were then, and now remain nothing to do with the EU. And as for "transparency and subsidiarity as the foundations" of this monolith. Do tell Mrs Merkel, what power has ever been handed back to the nation states?
In the third chapter on "Central values on which European unification builds", the declaration states that "the focus is on the human person whose dignity is inviolable, freedom and responsibility, solidarity as a crucial element of the European way of life, diversity is the hallmark of Europe making tolerance and respect essential."

Diversity, except in lawmaking and regulation, where solidarity (harmonisation and homogenisation) are the key. Tolerance, that is unless you hold points of view that oppose the EU and its ideals - only today in the European Parliament they are discussing the banning of xenophobia and holocaust denial as EU law. Thought crime will be franked EU. And to say that a person is inviolable, when they are banned from many actions that harm no other. The oxymoron that is "freedom and responsibility", after all who decides when I must be responsible, and where does that leave my freedom?
The fourth part of the Berlin statement will highlight the EU's external and internal priorities, with energy policy and climate protection topping the list as "two components of a strategy to counter the global threats together" in which the EU should have a "pioneering role."

Other future goals include "strengthening the EU as a global player" through its foreign and security policy as well as development policy, with a focus on the commitment to peaceful conflict resolution.

Justice and home affairs policies are also dealt with by way of a passage talking about "securing elementary human and civil rights for all." It also stresses "shared commitment to combat terrorism and organized crime," and "working together to deal with illegal immigration."

Finally, on economic issues, the draft declaration outline says that strengthening competitiveness and the internal market should be carried out "hand in hand with social responsibility."

Oh cripes, energy policy and climate protection, will be the two key goals. So the bloody EU is going to be driven by discredited science. Bye bye economic progress, toodleoo employment, hello retrenchment and unemployment, Ta ra Lisbon Agenda, hello economic stagnation.
EU foreign policy, like the one that allows the Iranians to continue with their nuclear weapon program, like the way it acted in the Balkans, like the way it turns a blind eye to French post colonial escapades in sub-Saharan Africa, like the way that the big EU countries shirk effective work in Afghanistan. Don't make me laugh.
"Securing elementary human and civil rights for all", in the way that it is pushing for EU biometric ID cards and the compulsory digital fingerprinting of children below the age of 13, the way it defends freedom of speech, like it did during the Danish cartoon crisis.
The final part of the outline on "shared commitment" was supposed to include a reference to the EU constitution, rejected by France and The Netherlands in 2005.

The passage remained blank for weeks reflecting the controversy over renegotiating the treaty, but on Monday (19 March) the presidency distributed a new version with wording that some insiders suggest should be acceptable to all countries.

It merely refers to the 2009 European elections as a point when the EU should have resolved its institutional problems.

But insiders suggest the Berlin statement may be signed only by presidents of three EU institutions - Chancellor Angela Merkel (representing the council), Jose Manuel Barroso (European Commission) and Hans Gert Poettering (European Parliament).

The original idea was that leaders of all 27 member states would sign the non-binding document as they gather in the German capital on Sunday (25 March) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1957 Treaty of Rome, the EU's founding document.

So it unravels. Unable to get the political leaders of the member states to agree the final text (thank you Vaclav Klaus) it appears they are falling back on the standby method of getting two Germans and someone who owes his job to the Germans as signatories. Way to go boys.

And what pray is the Community method?

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