The day when the Lisbon-Treaty enters into force:
A black day for Democracy in Europe
Statement by TEAM – The European Alliance of EU-critical Movements
(TEAM is an umbrella organization for 49 organizations from 18 European countries)
The undemocratic Treaty
On December 1st 2009 the Lisbon Treaty enters into force.
With the Lisbon Treaty the EU gets a President and a Minister of foreign Affairs (Articles 15 and 18).
In more than 50 areas powers are transferred from the member states to Brussels, and the Treaty states directly that EU-laws have precedence over national laws (Declaration 17).
The member states bind themselves to increase their military capacity permanently (Article 42,3), and the EU is recognized as a Legal Personality (Article 47).
On these and countless other areas the Lisbon Treaty is a huge step towards the United States of Europe, and undermines national sovereignty and the democratically elected national Parliaments of the individual member states.
The Alternative to this development is an extensive, open and democratic cooperation between sovereign states - in Europe and globally.
The undemocratic procedure
The procedure by which the Lisbon Treaty was finally carried through is as undemocratic as its content: The Lisbon Treaty is almost identical with the EU-Constitution that was rejected by the French and Dutch voters in 2005 – a fact emphasized by the former French President Giscard D´Estaing, the main architect behind the EU-Constitution. Ignoring the democratic decision of the French and Dutch voters, the renamed Constitution was signed by the EU-leaders in 2007, and then again rejected, now by the Irish voters, the Irish being the only people who were allowed a referendum this time. With yet another display of their arrogant contempt for Democracy, the EU-leaders forced the Irish to vote again, and only after a scare-mongering of unheard-of dimensions succeeded in obtaining a yes-majority. But the fact remains that the Lisbon Treaty has no democratic legitimacy whatsoever.
The undemocratic development
EU calls itself a “peace-project”; a postulate contradicted by the manifest demand for militarization in the Lisbon Treaty. EEC, the forerunner of the EU, was created in 1957 as a product and a part of the Cold War. In this situation it was accepted by the founding member countries that parts of their democratic rights were transferred to an unelected “High Authority”, outside democratic control. After the end of the Cold War in 1989 the EEC had the possibility to change this undemocratic structure and contribute to the establishment of a broad Europe-wide cooperation between sovereign states. But instead EEC went in the totally opposite direction: With the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 centralization took a huge leap forward and the EEC changed into the European Union. No wonder therefore that the Maastricht Treaty was rejected by the Danish voters.
Since then each new EU treaty has continued the development towards an ever more undemocratic and centralized Union – and the popular opposition has grown accordingly. EU has to use more and more undemocratic methods in order to continue its march towards a centralized and militarized United States of Europe. How long can this continue? What forms will the disregard for elementary democratic principles take next time?
TEAM works for Democracy
In this situation the debate about democratic alternatives to the present-day EU is more necessary than ever. TEAM is a network of democratic organizations from 18 European countries. With information, cooperation among our popular organizations and with visions, TEAM will further this vital debate. And expose the shortcomings of the EU. We shall continue to fight for the survival of democracy in Europe in spite of the set-back that it suffers on December 1st 2009.
For further information please contact:
TEAM Coordinator Mrs. Luise Hemmer Pihl, firstname.lastname@example.org or
TEAM Secretary General Mr. Blaž Babič, email@example.com