Do the people control the Government or the Government the people? This is the central issue of the Nice Re-run. By re-running the Nice Treaty without a comma in it being changed, the Irish Government is in effect siding with other EU governments against its own people, in an attempt to overthrow last year’s perfectly valid referendum result.
According to Times of Malta (1/3/03), Guido de Marco has made comments on Maltese sovereignty and neutrality in connection with the upcoming referendum on EU membership.
It is true that Malta will keep its formal sovereignty, but at the same time Malta will transfer a lot of its decision making power to supranational institutions like the European Parliament and The European Court of Justice.
EU money has been used in Malta to promote wholly one-sided EU propaganda in the lead-up to Malta’s accession referendum on tomorrow, Saturday. On Wednesday 26 February the EU Commission delegation to Malta inserted full-page propaganda advertisements in the Maltese newspapers, misusing EU money for this purpose.
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan managed to get the EU leaders to agree a compromise at the meeting in Brussels yesterday, but big divisions still exist between the EU Members.
“The common European foreign policy is a broken dream, despite yesterday’s face-saving compromise”, says Hans Lindqvist, Coordinator of TEAM and former MEP for the Swedish Centre Party.
This year will be a great referendum year - nine out of ten Applicant Countries will hold referendums on EU accession. The TEAM Board has outlined in a statement, “International best practice for fair EU referendums”, ten criteria for conducting referendums if they are to be fair and democratic, based on a study of international best practice.
In modern democracies that hold referendums all citizens have the right to participate in them on an equal basis as a right of citizenship. Peoples’ right to a fair and democratic referendums entails a right to equality in the referendum process, based on the fact that citizens possess equal rights under the law. Citizens’ entitlement to a fair and democratic referendum is grounded on their human rights as persons and on their positive rights as citizens, as set out in the constitution and law of the state in question. This is explicitly stated in the constitutions and relevant case-law of many countries that hold referendums.
The Nationalist Party in Malta has made a number of Court applications at the Magistrates’ Court, requesting that some pensioners over 80 years of age undertake a medical test before participating in the coming referendum on EU-accession. This test should determine if they have the right to vote or not.
Press release and invitation to press conference arranged by The European Alliance of EU-critical Movements (TEAM):
Date: Friday December 13th
Time: 10.30 am
Place: International Press Center, Vestergade 2, 1456 Copenhagen.
Come to TEAM’s press conference and meet representatives from NGOs and parties in the Applicant Countries who are critical of the Enlargement process and the negotiations. See comments and contact information below.
The EU Commission’s proposal reduces influence of small countries
“The European Commission claims to be the guarantor of the small countries’ influence in the EU. Their draft institutional plan shows that this is not true. It will create a powerful alliance between a strong, independent Commission and a handful of powerful countries making up EU-policies by themselves”, says Hans Lindqvist, Coordinator of TEAM and former MEP for the Swedish Centre Party 1995-1999.
Giscard’s European Union State - a stab in the back for democracy
For years supporters of the European Community, the European Union and the Monetary Union have claimed that these bodies were not building blocks for what would in effect be a European State. However, the proposal just presented by the president of the European Convention, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, drafted by its ruling Praesidium, clearly shows that these earlier claims were false.
The signatories denounce the United State’s threat of war against Iraq. None of the pled pretexts can justify military intervention, which would only represent a hegemonic will of the United States to take control over the principal oil reserves of the world. An attack against Iraq would result in the exacerbation of tension in the Middle East, and support the rise to power of the extremists and to worsen the risks of a “shock of civilisations”.
How do you stop a self-consolidating supranational entity from taking over further competencies from weakened Member States under its control? How do you control a political behemoth that rules over your means?
For every problem there’s a solution, they say. And this time the solution is provided by the Anglo-Saxon, eurosceptic-turned-eurobsessed New Labour philosophy: you appoint a people’s watchdog, teach it the Rules of the Game, and unleash it on the federal version of Byzantium.
The European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament, which is made up of Conservatives and Christian Democrats, has presented the first draft of a real Constitution for a federal EU State. The EPP Group’s federalist dream is crystal clear: An EU Government, an EU Prime Minister appointed by an absolute majority of MEPs, a common Foreign Minister and defence policy, and a common direct taxation.
“The Commission’s suspension of former chief accountant Marta Andreasen shows clearly that President Romano Prodi and Vice President Neil Kinnock does not have any ambition to deal with fraud and mismanagement. Instead, they use more efforts to silence their critics”, says Helle Hagenau, member of TEAM’s Board and Secretary General of No to EU in Norway.
The four Applicant Countries in the so-called Višegrad Group - Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary - are planning to co-ordinate next years referenda on EU-membership, reports the internet news portal EUobserver.com. The idea is that the country with the highest support for EU-membership will hold the referendum first to influence the outcome in the other countries.
Statement on the death of Professor Kristen Nygaard, Oslo, Norway:
Professor Kristen Nygaard died suddenly on Friday 9 August 2002 aged seventy-five years. Kristen Nygaard was a central person for the EU-critical movement, both in his home country and in Europe as a whole. He was more than anyone else responsible for Norway´s No to EU-membership in the second referendum in 1994.
The political perspective of the Red-Green Alliance is international, not Danish or European. We therefore dissociate ourselves from both old-fashioned nationalism and “modern” Euronationalism. Our alternative contains both socialist and democratic elements. Socialism, for us, is an essential condition for fully fledged democracy, but a number of democratic reforms can obviously be implemented under capitalism.
The EU has been created to adapt Europe to the needs of European big capital, and as such forms part of the global liberalisation project of the bourgeoisie. EU integration has steadily increased in intensity with the establishment of the framework for the formation of an actual European state, as well as the continued liberalisation of societies.
The latest accusations of budget fraud within the EU and harassment of former chief accountant Marta Andreasen shows that the Commission can not be trusted. An institution which has no control over its spendings can not claim increased powers. This needs to be taken into consideration when discussing the future roles of the EU´s institutions, says TEAM´s Coordinator Hans Lindqvist, Värmdö, Stockholm, Sweden.
The Paris-based think tank “Europe 2020” has presented a vision for the future European cooperation, which accordning to themselves “throws the traditional European visions up-side down”. The think tank is very critical of how the EU works today. The working methods are described as “obsolete” and “outdated”, they “can no longer handle the consequences of what they brought to life, nor do they correspond to world as it looks today and tomorrow”. The proposals presented are supposed to create a future EU, which will “reinforce the legitimacy” and create an “effective democratic control”.
Statement from Anthony Coughlan, Secretary of the The National Platform, Ireland, followed by the Irish Government´s “National Declaration on Neutrality” and the “Declaration of the European Council” from the Summit in Seville, issued 21 June 2002.
The Seville Declarations on neutrality do not derogate one iota from the Treaty of Nice. They do not change the military provisions of the Nice Treaty or previous EU Treaties in any way. Today’s Government Declaration is no different in that respect from the very similar Declaration it made at the time of the 1987 Single European Act Treaty and which it also deposited with the SEA instrument of ratification in Rome.
The budget for the EU shows that the European Women’s Lobby, the Florence Institute and JEF (Young European Federalists) amongst others, are funded by the EU system. Many of these organisations will also address the Convention during the sessions on 24th & 25th of June.
Klaus Hänsch MEP and Pervenche Beres MEP, members of the Convention, have together with some socialist collegues presented their vision for the future EU under the heading “A New Federalism”. It is a concrete plan for a Federal Superstate/Superpower with greater economic and military powers at the centre. This supranational European Federal State is supposed to be based on a Constitution and headed by a President, a Prime Minister and a Government, according to the proposal.
Jacques Chirac won the second round of the French Presidential elections on Sunday May 5th with a majority of over 80 per cent. This is a clear message from the French people. They have said “No” to the National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen’s extremist and xenophobic policies. Even though Le Pen was defeated, the election must generally be regarded as a victory for him on a personal level, for he got more votes and media exposure than ever before.
Yes to international co-operation and No to EU-membership
The signing organisations support democracy, human rights, non-violence and respect and tolerance between all ethnic and religious groups. We hereby agree upon the following platform and alternatives to membership of the European Union. We are against any kind of discrimination based on e.g. gender, age, culture, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, political belief, sexual orientation and social groupings.
Europe as a continent has existed geographically for centuries. Throughout its history there have been many attempts to unite it politically under one superpower and to use military and economic means to subordinate its free nations and peoples to one dominant Big State. Today we must resist the latest attempt to do this in the name of the European Union and EU integration.