A superpower is born

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Tapani's picture
Tapani
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A superpower is born

Surprised that nobody else has mentioned this here.

<b>A few days ago, the Irish people voted yes to the "treaty of Lisbon".</b>

<i>What does this mean?</i>

The treaty of Lisbon is a constitution for a federated European Union. Now, all countries in Europe have approved the treaty (despite being opposed by a majority of the people in many countries!).

Once the treaty comes into effect (1 Jan 2010, preliminary), the European Union becomes a legal entity on its own. It will have a president, a foreign minster and have foreign relations on behalf of all the member states. There will be no more "British support" or "French opposition". As one nation, it will be the greatest economy in the world, with <b>one third of the worlds combined GDP</b>. Militarily EU is 2nd only to the US, and well ahead nations like China or Russia. It is a superpower with nuclear weapons.

<i>But beware. It is not the "western democracy" we are used to see in Europe.</i>

The power over this new EU is within the European Council, an elite group of 27 people. They, and not the people, elect the President of EU (and the Foreign ministers). They propose the EU laws. They negotiate foreign treaties. But, <b>the European council is not elected.</b> They can not be voted in or out. Instead, they are appointed for (renewable?) five year terms.

<i>It is not fascism nor dictatorship. We don't have a name for this yet.</i>

Similarily to many totalitarian regimes, EU tries to impose an <i>appearance</i> of a democracy. There is a European Parlament elected by the people, but it has little power. When the European Council proposes a new law, the Parlament has to approve it. But approving is the only choice, the parlament is NOT entitled to reject any proposed laws. It is however entitled to negotiate changes to a proposed law, but if no agreement is reached, the council of European Union has the final say. It is a joke. Not completly unlike the The German Democratic Republic (who also had a democratically elected parlament, without power, for show).

It has gone wrong even before it has started. :-(

 

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Ron Shimshock
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Re: A superpower is born

[quote=Tapani]

The treaty of Lisbon is a constitution for a federated European Union. Now, all countries in Europe have approved the treaty (despite being opposed by a majority of the people in many countries!).

[/quote]

Emphasis mine.  Just to be accurate, this is not true:

Four Western European countries that have chosen not to join the EU have partly committed to the EU's economy and regulations: Iceland (which has now applied for membership), Liechtenstein and Norway are a part of the single market through the European Economic Area, and Switzerland has similar ties through bilateral treaties.  The relationships of the European microstates, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican include the use of the euro and other areas of co-operation.

(source)

Referendums in Switzerland have been regularly rejected, and in 2006 the Swiss Federal Council downgraded the full EU membership of Switzerland from a "strategic goal" to an "option."

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Cloudfire
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Re: A superpower is born

Thanks for the update, Tapani and Ron  . . . It's good to get some continental news on the boards, here . . .

 

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John99
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Re: A superpower is born

The Irish vote was a sad day for most in the EU, is my take on it and, as Tapani said,

(despite being opposed by a majority of the people in many countries!).

I have a hard time understanding why the peoples of France and Germany would allow this to happen without a vote.

Reference RS's comments,

Referendums in Switzerland have been regularly rejected, and in 2006 the Swiss Federal Council downgraded the full EU membership of Switzerland from a "strategic goal" to an "option."

My take on Switzerland is as follows: it has been slowly converting its trade-laws and government policies to conform to EU regs. I.e. on Jan. 1st this year they adopted the 'Schengan treaty' rules for visas, which means Canadian and Americans can only stay for 180 days per years and after 3 months have to leave for 3 months.

The SNB (Schweizerischen Nationalbank) has been devaluing the CHF "to protect exports" and therefore raising import costs.

Switzerland at one time had the highest per capita holdings of gold bullion in the world, until the SNB recommended joining the IMF and selling much of their reserves beginning in 1999. Most of these sales were centered around the low price in gold in 2001 and the early years sales were done through the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) to undisclosed buyers.

I was there for 2 months this summer and almost every day watched jet aircraft spraying chemicals over the skies of Basel. Not trying to introduce 'conspiracy theories' here, but as a former jet pilot, do know the difference between contrails and chemtrails. They may appear to be independent but think their sovereignty is quickly disappearing.

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DrKrbyLuv
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Re: A superpower is born

Hello britinbe,

Ambrose Evans Pritchard's article is dead on, though it comes as too little, too late and he neglects name the "usurpers."  Had the article been written a month ago it may have been a wake up call for Ireland and the other duped nations of Europe.

Maybe a bigger question is where was the rest of the European press?  The only relevant opposition left takes place on the internet and in blogs which are regularly discounted as "unreliable" or "conspiracy theories."  Well, it looks like Pritchard's is half truthful...the EU is a conspiracy against the common man. 

Abandoned by their governments, Europeans are being threatened and intimidated by an enemy that no one is allowed to mention.

Larry 

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Re: A superpower is born

Ok does anybody know who or what body of people "appoint" the council of 27?????

Whoever does this rules Western Europe.

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britinbe
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Re: A superpower is born
mpelchat wrote:

Ok does anybody know who or what body of people "appoint" the council of 27?????

Whoever does this rules Western Europe.

The heads of the Council of Ministers, so the PM, President & Chancellors of the EU member states I believe.

They had a piece on CNBC Europe this evening about it, conclusion, no effecton the money markets so no problemo........... 

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Re: A superpower is born

Ok so the council of 27 is appointed by each member state by the leader which that leader is decided by whatever the means that member state decides to elect them.

Does that sound right??

If so, than the council is appointed by elected officials.  A bit disjointed from the people but at least the person to appointing is elected. 

Also, sounds like the smaller member states are very well represented while the larger states are not well represented at all.  This means a small minority can rule this council very easily.  Not a good thing for Germany, England, Italy and France.  Interesting how what seems so equal can become minority ruled so fast.

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Re: A superpower is born
mpelchat wrote:

....Also, sounds like the smaller member states are very well represented while the larger states are not well represented at all.  This means a small minority can rule this council very easily.  Not a good thing for Germany, England, Italy and France.  Interesting how what seems so equal can become minority ruled so fast.

Valid observation - at least until one of them says "Nein", "No", "No" or "Non". 

"The Mouse That Roared" was an entertaining movie, but I don't hink it will play well in reality.  Liechtenstein may get a chance to drive the bus, but at a moment's notice the tour itenerary could change if one or more of the Big Four says so.

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britinbe
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Re: A superpower is born
mpelchat wrote:

Ok so the council of 27 is appointed by each member state by the leader which that leader is decided by whatever the means that member state decides to elect them.

Does that sound right??

If so, than the council is appointed by elected officials.  A bit disjointed from the people but at least the person to appointing is elected. 

Also, sounds like the smaller member states are very well represented while the larger states are not well represented at all.  This means a small minority can rule this council very easily.  Not a good thing for Germany, England, Italy and France.  Interesting how what seems so equal can become minority ruled so fast.

EU beuracray is mind boggling, the council is the heads government heads from the member states and as I understand it, these 27 fine upstanding public servants will appoint an EU president.  There are also councils for things like council of finance ministers, council of agriculture ministers etc etc.  There have been powers of veto for some member states but these are very controversial.  Again there are th lobby groups and so you can be your life that the interests of the major/large member states are met.  As always, deals will be done and people will be bought

 

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Tapani
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Re: A superpower is born
John99 wrote:

I have a hard time understanding why the peoples of France and Germany would allow this to happen without a vote.

They let the French vote. They said NO!

They let the Dutch vote. They said NO!

These were the countries most likely to say yes. Unfortunately, according to the Irish constitution, Ireland cannot sign the treaty without a public vote.

So they let the Irish vote. They said NO!

So they let the Irish vote again and again until they say ".. yes". Which they did eventually.

mpelchat wrote:

Ok so the council of 27 is appointed by each member state by the leader which that leader is decided by whatever the means that member state decides to elect them.

Does that sound right??

If so, than the council is appointed by elected officials.  A bit disjointed from the people but at least the person to appointing is elected.

Yes, it sounds right. I am from Sweden. Let me illustrate how disconnected this process is by explaining how the Swedish representative is "elected":

1. The people vote for parties, not individuals.

2. The parties selects representatives to form a Swedish parlament (349 total)

3. The parlament appoints a prime minister, usually the leader of the largest party or group of parties.

4. The prime minister appoints a goverment (20 or so), usually among loyal party members and old buddies.

5. The goverment in turn appoints the Swedish commisioner to the European Council. The timing of this appointment is usually separated from the elections. When the people vote, there is no discussions about who will be appointed.

As you see there really is no democratic influence. This is by design. One of the Swedish commisioners stated something like "it is designed to shield the Council from the fluctuating winds of (public) opinion".

 It is a sad day for Europe indeed.

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John99
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Re: A superpower is born

This just out: Oct 6th

THE IRISH REFERENDUM OUTCOME IS NULL AND VOID

BALLOT BOXES ILLEGALLY DELIVERED 48 HOURS IN ADVANCE

http://www.worldreports.org/news/235_the_irish_referendum_outcome_is_nul...

Another 'rigged vote', how surprising.....

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Bill MacGregor
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Re: A superpower is born

Some notes on the EU, just so you know.

The EU is an economic and political partnership between 27 democratic European countries

Its stated aims are peace, prosperity and freedom for its 498 million citizens, in a fairer, safer world. It was formed particularly to end war in Europe (we have a very bloody history between us all).

Membership of the EU has brought many things, including frontier-free travel and trade, the single European currency, EU wide regulation on business, security, competition, food standards and environmental standards, investment and improved living standards in poorer regions, joint action on crime and terror, cheaper phone calls, amongst other things.

The structure of the EU is as follows;

The European Council is the highest political body in the EU and is made up of the elected heads of state of all member countries. It has no legislative or executive powers but defines the EU policy agenda and handles major EU wide issues.

The European Commission is the Executive of the EU, made up of 27 Commissioners. One is nominated as president by the Council and all the rest are put forward by the Council, one from each member state. The Commission proposes legislation, drafts bills and implements laws passed by the European Parliament, upholds treaties etc and takes care of day to day matters.

The European Parliament is the legislature of the EU and is elected by universal sufferage open to all citizens and has 736 MPs (elected by the 375 people who have a vote). It considers bills proposed by the Commission and passes, amends or rejects legislation. It can also issue non-binding resolutions and holds committee hearings to examine matters.

The Lisbon Treaty is designed to tighten things up so that the EU can work effectively with a membership of so many countries. It will do things like increase the legislative powers of the parliament and sort out voting on the Council - it will maintain the need for unanimity in matters of foreign policy, taxation and defence but will move to Qualified Majority Voting for other matters, whereby a motion is passed when at least 55% of members countries representing at least 65% of the EU population have voted for it. It will introduce a President, elected by the Council to serve for 2.5 years and will form the position of 'High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy'.

All in all, its pretty democratic as everything comes back to electors, via the directly elected Parliament, via the directly elected representatives of directly elected Governments who make up the Council and via their representatives on the Commission.

This is all complex, I know, but its pretty robust and democratic, especially given the number of member countries, aspirant member countries and disparate country agendas and cultures.

As for superpower status, that is a desired effect,if only in terms of market size. Strategically, with China, Brazil, India etc growing and the US declining, I think it makes sense for European countries to work closely together where it can make a positive difference.

I don't share the negative anti-establishment view of this and think, as in most things, we are better together.

All best regards

Bill

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Bill MacGregor
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Re: A superpower is born

Erratum: The Members of the European Parliament are elecetd by the 375 million citizens who have a vote - not just 375 people, which is what I erroneously said.

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Re: A superpower is born

Tapani said,

They let the French vote. They said NO!

They let the Dutch vote. They said NO!

So how did they get it in without the people going crazy?

Tapani's picture
Tapani
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Re: A superpower is born
John99 wrote:

Tapani said,

They let the French vote. They said NO!

They let the Dutch vote. They said NO!

So how did they get it in without the people going crazy?

They changed name of the treaty. The French and Dutch rejected something called "European Constitution", and they renamed it (w. minor changes) "treaty of Lisbon".

One problem is that the constitution and the treaty of Lisbon both are incomprehensible (some EU lawyers understand pieces of it, but I seriously wonder if any single person has read and understood the whole).

 

Bill,

thank you, nice to hear from someone who thinks the treaty is a good thing. Your overview lacks the Council of Ministers /Council of the European union among others. But it is such a mess that a notable percentage of the people will not be able to understand how the whole thing works (and hence, believe that their vote in the EU parlament matters more than it does).

Also, after reading a bit more, I have mixed up European Council and European Commission. The Commission is the one I fear is too powerful after the treaty of Lisbon. Not used to the English terminology.

It is *very* worrying that there are so many areas where nobody can credibly promise "Vote for me, and I will make X (il)legal". And it is EU who decides what those areas are.

 

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Farmer Brown
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Re: A super-Mess is born

I think the EU is great in concept, but is turning out horribly in practice.  Take the most visible component of the union - the Euro.  Initially applauded (and probably still by some), the Euro and the economies using it appear doomed in my opinion.  How can Spain, with 20% unemployment, Italy with close to the same and budget deficits that would make Americans blush, have the same interest rate policy as Germany?  How does that work, exactly?

I think what will eventually happen, if it's not happening already, is that the weak economies like Spain, Italy and Greece will cheat if they are not doing so already.  The EU requires certain limits on government deficits and spending, etc, which if these (and probably some other countries) countries are not already in violation of, soon will be.  Their only other option is to cheat, which everyone just might allow by pretending to look the other way.

This is one of the reasons I am not so ready to write the dollar off.  It is a flawed currency, to be sure, but since the dollar index is over 50% Euro (flawed) and the rest is composed by the Pound (the definition of flawed),   and Yen (could go either way), that only leaves the Australian and Canadian dollars, and I believe Francs. 

 

 

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