TruthWars Community

The New World Order => Europe - UK => Topic started by: the leveller on February 22, 2018, 08:26:24 PM

Title: TACKLING THE EU EMPIRE
Post by: the leveller on February 22, 2018, 08:26:24 PM
TACKLING THE EU EMPIRE


Basic critical facts on the EU/Eurozone


A handbook for Europe’s democrats, whether politically Right, Left or Centre


Sometimes I like to compare the EU as a creation to the organization of empire. We have the dimension of empire.” – EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, 2007


Readers are invited to use or adapt this document in whole or in part for their own purposes, including changing its title if desired, and to circulate it to others without any need of reference to or acknowledgement of its source.



Contents


The EU’s myth of origin…….……………………….…………………………………….……………..….…….3
EU ideology: supranationalism v. internationalism………….……………….……………….….........4
A spin-off of the Cold War…………………………………………………………………………………………5
The euro as a response to German reunification.…………………………………………….….……...8
The intoxication of Big Powerdom…………..……………………………………………………………......9
EU expansion from six to 28; “Brexit”…………………………………………………………………..…..10
The economic basis of the EU………………………………………………………………………………....11
The succession of EU treaties: the 1957 Treaty of Rome………………………………………….…13
The 1987 Single European Act (SEA)……………………………………………………………………..…15
The 1992 Maastricht Treaty on European Union……………………………………………………..…16
The 1998 Amsterdam Treaty………………………………………………………………………………..…17
The 2001 Nice Treaty………………………………………………………………………………………..…..17
The 2009 Lisbon Treaty: the EU’s Constitution…………….……………………………………………17
EU Powers and National Powers………………………………………………………………………………19
The “doctrine of the occupied field”; Subsidiarity…………………………………………………..….20
More voting power for the Big States under the Lisbon Treaty……………..………………….…21
How the EU is run: the Brussels Commission…………………………………………….………………21
The Council of Ministers……….…………………………………………………………………………………24
The European Council………………………………………………………………………………………..…..25
The European Parliament……………………………………………………….……………………………….25
The Court of Justice (ECJ) as a Constitution-maker……………………………………………………26
The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights………………..……………………………………………….….27
The extent of EU laws……………………………………………..................................................29
How the EU is financed………………………………………………………………………………………..…30
Why national politicians surrender powers to the EU………………………………………….………30
The EU’s assault on national democracy……………………………………………………………………31
EU Justice, “Home Affairs” and Crime; Migration, Schengen…………………….………………...32
The Common Foreign and Security policy: EU militarization……………….…………………… …34
The euro: from EU to Eurozone federalism……………………….…………………………….………..36
The “curse of the euro”…………………………………………………………………………………………..38
Two treaties for the Eurozone: The Fiscal Compact and the ESM Treaty……… …..….…….39
No European people or demos to provide a basis for an EU democracy… ………….…….….42
How the Eurozone prevents the “PIIGS” countries overcoming the economic crisis……….43
The benefits of restoring national currencies…………………….……………………………………….46
Contrast Iceland………………………………………………………………………………………..……………47
Tackling the EU Leviathan……………………………..………………………………………..……………...48
Democrats on Centre, Left and Right for national independence and democracy…………..50
Conclusion: Europe’s Future……………………………………………………………………………….……51
Useful sources of information on the EU……………………………………….…………………….…...53
Reference notes……………………………………………………………………………………………………..54
An invitation……………………………………….………………………………………………………………….56
THE EU’S MYTH OF ORIGIN: All States and aspiring States have their “myth of origin” – that is, a story, true or false, of how they came into being. The myth of origin of the European Union is that it is essentially a peace project to prevent wars between Germany and France, as if a collective tendency to go to war were somehow genetically inherited. In reality the EU’s origins lie in war preparations – at the start of the Cold War which followed the end of World War 2 and the possibility of that developing into a “hot war”, a real military conflict between the two victorious post-war superpowers, the USA and USSR.

These two had been allies in defeating German Nazism and Italian Fascism but became bitter rivals after World War 2 ended in 1945. Europe was then divided between East and West. As fear of communism internally and externally stalked war-ravaged Europe, American policy was to push the continent’s former imperial powers towards economic and political integration with one another, pressurising them at the same time to abandon their colonies. US interests could then move in on these.

In 1947 the two Houses of the US Congress passed a resolution that “Congress favours the creation of a United States of Europe”. That same year US economic aid to revive Western Europe under the Marshall Plan was premised on the recipients supporting economic and political integration. In 1948 the American Committee on United Europe was established. For years this body channelled CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) money to the European Movement. That Movement’s national sections in each country became the main non-governmental propagandists for ever further EU integration and have remained so to this day.

In 1949 the USA wanted a rearmed West Germany inside NATO on that military alliance’s foundation. This greatly alarmed France, which had been occupied by the Germans just five years before. Jean Monnet, who was America’s man in the affair, came up with the solution. He and other technocrats had been pushing schemes of federal-style supranationalism for Europe since the end of World War 1 in 1918. These had had no effect in preventing World War 2, but in the new situation post-1945, with the USA now supporting Euro-federalism as a bulwark against communism, Monnet and his colleagues saw their opportunity. To assuage France's fears of German rearmament Monnet drafted the Schuman Declaration, called after France’s Foreign Minister, proposing to put the coal and steel industries of France, Germany and Benelux under a supranational High Authority as “the first step in the federation of Europe”. This led to the European Coal and Steel Community Treaty of 1951.

A federation is a State, so the political aim of establishing a European State or quasi-superstate under Franco-German hegemony has been there from the start. The preamble to the German Constitution, adopted in 1949, speaks of Germany as “an equal partner in a united Europe”. Far from European integration being a peace project, therefore, the truth is that the first step towards supranationalism in Europe, the 1951 European Coal and Steel Community, was advocated and supported by the USA to facilitate German rearmament in the early years of the Cold War, and to reconcile France to that fact.

The EU celebrates 9 May 1950, the date of this Schuman Declaration, as “Europe Day” each year. Jean Monnet became secretary of the supranational High Authority which ran the Coal and Steel Community. This was the predecessor of today’s Brussels Commission.

Following the Coal and Steel Community Treaty and against the background of the Korean War, the French Government, again pushed by the Americans, produced an ambitious plan for a European Defence Community (EDC) in 1952. As Monnet put it in his Memoirs,1 ”Now the federation of Europe would have to become an immediate objective. The army, its
weapons and basic production, would all have to be placed simultaneously under joint sovereignty. We could no longer wait, as we had once planned, for political Europe to be the culminating point of a gradual process, since its joint defence was inconceivable without a joint political authority from the start.” This proposed Defence Community was to have a European Army, a European Defence Minister, a Council of Ministers, a common budget and common arms procurement under the overall aegis of a European Political Community. The treaty establishing the EDC was ratified by the German Bundestag, but it caused a political storm on both Right and Left in France and in 1954 the French National Assembly narrowly rejected it.

Alerted by this setback the Euro-federalists decided henceforth to play down their ultimate goal of political integration and in future to stress economic integration as the supposed route to prosperity. From 1954 onward “building Europe” was to be presented to Europe’s peoples as essentially a matter of economic growth and jobs. This would make political supranationalism more easily sellable to the different national publics. Supranationalism serves the interests of powerful financial, business and other corporatist elites organised on an EU-wide scale. Supranationalism is the essence of Europeanist ideology.

EU IDEOLOGY - SUPRANATIONALISM V. INTERNATIONALISM: Supranationalism - from Latin supra, ”above” - is where Nation States surrender their authority to a superior entity that rules them and has legal primacy over them, at least in the policy areas surrendered. An example is a multinational Federal State where sovereignty is divided between a superior federal level and inferior national or regional states. Such contemporary Federations as India, Pakistan, Russia or Nigeria are instances. Or it can refer to imperial arrangements like the Austro-Hungarian Empire, once known as a “prison-house of nations”, where different countries are ruled by a centralized bureaucracy in a far-away imperial capital.

The EU has features of both these forms of supranationalism. Supranationalism is the opposite of internationalism, which is a benign and progressive concept. Internationalism – from Latin inter, “between” - implies the pre-existence of sovereign Nation States. It refers to relations of co-operation between the States that constitute the international community, but with each controlling and deciding its own domestic and external affairs in accordance with the wishes of its people. Recognition of States based on the right to self-determination of nations and peoples is a basic principle of modern democracy and international law.

Supranationalism, in contrast to internationalism, implies a hierarchy, with the supranational level on top. Internationalism implies legal and political equality between the parties. Properly understood, internationalism is opposed to all forms of chauvinism and xenophobia. It implies coexistence among progressive “nationalisms” – that is, broad nationalisms rather than narrow, using the positive rather than the negative sense of that word in English. It implies patriotism and love of country, combined with respect for the many national communities into which humanity is divided and admiration for their varied cultural and other achievements.

Internationalism delights in the diversity of nations. Supranationalism seeks to erode national differences, either because they threaten the dominance of a particular ruling power or they make it more difficult for transnational Big Business to establish a world of homogenized consumers and employees. Supranationalism seeks the erosion of State sovereignty. Internationalism seeks to establish and maintain it.

The glory of European civilisation has been the diversity of its national components – in
culture, science, political institutions, economic actors, legal systems, education systems, tax codes, fashion. In classical Europe emulation and competition between nations, communities and individuals spurred creativity and innovation. They contrasted with the centralized empires of China, Japan, India and the Ottomans. The peak of Europe’s cultural achievements occurred when its political units were numerous and small - in Athenian Greece, Renaissance Italy, 17th century Netherlands, 18th century Germany. This classical Europe, which is synonymous with much of what is best in human civilization, is the opposite of the centralised “Europe” of the Brussels bureaucracy, with its mania for imposing uniformity and “harmonization” by means of supranational laws.

EU supranationalism means rule by technocrats, supposed experts who are not elected, without democratic control. The EU Commission is a good example. Supranationalism leaves ordinary people cold. In the EU it means “Brussels talking to Brussels” as the elite groups concerned get ever more removed from citizen voters in the different national communities they come from. It means the governments of the bigger Member States using the EU’s supranational institutions to impose their hegemony on the smaller, while at the same time seeking to leverage the EU bloc as a whole into becoming a world power through which the government of each Big State hopes to wield more influence externally than it can ever do on its own. Lust for world power is the mainspring of EU supranationalism. National democracy is to be sacrificed to that end, while economic laissez-faire is made a constitutional imperative everywhere in the interest of powerful national economic elites, particularly those of the big countries. Supranationalism and internationalism propose quite opposite visions of different ideal “Europes”.

Supranationalists seek to encourage the illusion that one must belong to a big political unit to be prosperous. That is false. There is no connection between size of country and peoples’ living standards. The richest countries in the world are mostly small. The two European countries with the highest standard of living for their populations are Norway and Switzerland - both independent and outside the EU.

The historical and moral guilt of those pushing the European “project” is great. They work to subvert the democracy and national independence of their own peoples and to transfer control of their societies to supranational elites with whom they identify and who reward them generously. Their own peoples meanwhile become disillusioned and depoliticized, while the economic prosperity they have been promised if they shift to supranationalism proves a mirage for many.

The European Union is the ghost of the real Europe. When it calls itself “Europe” and believes it is Europe it is acting out a fiction that future historians will surely compare to the fiction of the Holy Roman Empire, the ghost of imperial Rome, which the French philosopher Voltaire once said was neither holy, Roman nor an empire, and which for centuries spoke German and was ruled from Vienna.

A SPIN-OFF OF THE COLD WAR: Three years after the abortive European Defence Community of 1954 came the 1957 Treaty of Rome. This established the European Economic Community (EEC), popularly referred to at the time as the “Common Market”. In the preamble to the Rome Treaty the six original signatories - France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg - stated their determination “to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe”. There is no legal or political limit to ever closer union, so the words imply a commitment to indefinite further integration.

The European Economic Community existed side by side with the original 1951 Coal and
Steel Community, as well as the Atomic Energy Community, based on the European Atomic Energy Treaty (Euratom),which was signed in 1957 at the same time as the Treaty of Rome. The Euratom Treaty coordinated nuclear energy production and distribution amongst the EU States. The institutions of these three supranational communities - Coal and Steel, Atomic Energy and Economic (EEC) - were amalgamated in the 1965 Merger Treaty. The name “European Community” was used thereafter to cover the combined three communities, of which the supranational Economic Community (EEC) had the widest remit. The European Community remained legally the supranational entity until it was replaced by the European Union in 2009.

In 1963 France and Germany signed the Elysée Treaty with one another. This provided for regular meetings of the French President and German Chancellor, and their respective Foreign Ministers, as well as monthly meetings of officials from each side and the embedding of civil servants from each country in the government ministries of the other for long periods. Although this was - and is - a bilateral treaty outside of and independent of what is now the European Union, it underpins Franco-German cooperation in exercising hegemony over the EU. The main change since 1963 is that Germany has replaced France as the politically and economically stronger of the two.

A half-century passed following the rejection of the 1954 European Defence Community Treaty before European Political Union and all-out Euro-federalism were openly talked about again. This happened in 2004 when the EU States, led by Germany and France, proposed to establish a European Union on the basis of its own Constitution, The Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe, just as the American Union, the USA, had been set up in 1776. After some ratification hiccups, the new supranational European Union based on that Constitution replaced the previous European Community and was brought legally into being by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009.

Historically therefore the EU is a spin-off of the Cold War, which was pushed by the USA and its allies in the 1950s and subsequently to provide an economic underpinning in Europe for the NATO military alliance. Following the 1956 Suez debacle, when the USA foiled the attempt of the British, French and Israelis to overthrow the Egyptian government by force, the Americans urged British Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s government to apply to join the EEC. By doing that Britain would regain America’s favour, as well as obtain from America the guided missiles which alone would enable her continue as the world’s third thermonuclear power. Britain had detonated her first H-bomb in 1957, but had no independent means of delivering atomic weapons to possible targets.

Pressed by the Americans, Britain applied to join the EEC in 1961. Ireland and Denmark applied to join simultaneously because of their dependence at the time on British trade. As a major food exporter France wanted the Common Agricultural Policy to be fully in place, with its big subsidies for French farmers, before admitting food-importing Britain, which would want lower food prices, not higher ones. This led French President Charles de Gaulle to veto British membership of the EEC in 1963 and again in 1967. Britain did not finally join the EEC, together with Ireland and Denmark, until 1973. American proponents of Euro-federalism also advocated a European monetary union from an early date. In 1965 a US State Department memo advised the then Commission Vice-President Robert Marjolin to pursue a common European currency by stealth. It recommended suppressing debate until the point at which “adoption of such proposals would become virtually inescapable”.


In those years of the Cold War between the West and Russia “Euro-federalism” became the
creed of a host of intellectuals on Right and Left across the continent, disillusioned with the failed ideologies of the 20th century. On the political Right fear of communism made people comply with American advocacy of integration. On the Left traditional antagonism to “nationalism”, identifying it with chauvinism and imperialism, provided the rationale for theories which proclaimed capitalist supranationalism to be the forerunner of supranational socialism. In the meantime there were lucrative careers to be made in pushing the integration “project”.

Ideologues from these different backgrounds, left and right, populate the EU institutions. They provide arguments in support of the assault on all things national. They blame historical conflict between Europe’s States on the separate existence of those States themselves, rather than on the character of their governments and the elites that run them. Their fundamental dogma is that Europe’s wars can be prevented by putting the continent’s national democracies, with their different peoples, languages and cultures, under the control of a supranational high authority of non-elected technocrats - namely themselves, or people like themselves - while trying to merge their peoples in a kind of jelly-bowl of nations. Their hope is that in time the supranational entity will become a Big Power in the world.

These europhiles ignore the fact that most wars are civil wars, not wars between sovereign States. They fail to recognise that the wars accompanying the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s and the East Ukrainian conflict in 2014 were significantly stoked by EU interference in those areas at the behest of the larger EU States. They see national sovereignty and the nation State as their ideological enemy. Patriotism and love of country they regard as irrational and out-of-date. They embrace supranationalism with quasi-religious fervour. Criticism of the integration “project” is akin to heresy in their eyes, which was, and is, unacceptable.

Europeanist ideologues on Left and Right have developed the doctrine that by "pooling sovereignty” small States will increase their influence over larger ones, whereas in reality it is the big States that dominate such arrangements. The classical definition of sovereignty is that a State is the sole author of the laws operative on its territory and that it alone determines its relations with other States. This has nothing to do with autarchy or self-sufficiency. It is analogous to the freedom and autonomy of the individual in personal relations. Good relations between human beings, however different they may be in capacity and resources, are best maintained on the basis of equality and mutual respect, neither dominance nor submission between the parties. It is the same between States. Good fences make good neighbours. That is internationalism.

In a democratic State the people are sovereign because it is they who decide through their elected representatives the laws that they are willing to obey and how their State relates with other States through the Government they elect. For Member States of the EU however most laws come nowadays from Brussels. Over most areas of policy the EU now decides for them collectively. If an individual EU State does not obey an EU law it is liable to have heavy and repeated fines imposed on it. EU members no longer decide their international relations independently. Talk of “pooling sovereignty” is like speaking of a woman as being half-pregnant. Sovereignty "pooled" is effectively sovereignty surrendered.

THE EURO AS A RESPONSE TO GERMAN REUNIFICATION: Forty years after the 1951 Coal and Steel Community and the 1957 Treaty of Rome setting up the European Economic Community(EEC) that followed, another major shift occurred in Franco-German power. This was Germany's reunification as a side-effect of the collapse of the USSR in 1991. It led these two countries to establish EU Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and its single currency,
the euro. Eurofederalist circles had for years been canvassing a currency union to give the EU bloc this essential feature of statehood. Such a plan had been mooted by the original EEC Six as far back as 1970 in the Werner Report, but it was dropped in face of US opposition. West Germany’s absorption of East Germany and the establishment of a unified German State in 1991 now gave the political opportunity.

The increase in Germany’s territory and population consequent on its reunification greatly alarmed France. But France possessed nuclear weapons, which Germany is precluded from having under its reunification treaties. The deal between the two of them, set out in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, was EU Monetary Union for Political Union, or, put crudely, the Deutschemark for the Euro-bomb. Germany would give up its national currency, the symbol of its post-war economic achievement, and share the running of a new supranational currency with France, while France agreed to work jointly with Germany towards a supranational EU political union, with its own common foreign, security and defence policy, and in time a common European army.

This would give Germany a central role in running a potential EU world power, with its finger eventually on a European nuclear trigger. France in turn hoped that the euro would give it a political lock on Germany. A Franco-German army brigade with joint officers and a joint command was simultaneously established as symbol and prototype of the European army of the future. Belgium, Luxembourg and Spain have since joined this common “Eurocorps”. American support for German reunification was contingent on the reunified Germany remaining a member of NATO, even though NATO’s counterpart, the communist-bloc Warsaw Pact, had vanished with the dissolution of the USSR and the end of the Cold War. America’s involvement in European affairs was thus continued through NATO, as was its support for further EU integration. The US pushed NATO military bases into the former Warsaw Pact countries.

EU propagandists call their new polity “Europe”, even though such ancient European countries as Russia, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland are outside it. It is often said that France and Germany share a common interest in being joint motors of the EU “project”. As French President Charles De Gaulle once remarked: “Europe is France and Germany. The rest is just the trimmings.” The conventional wisdom is that if Germany and France stay together they can push through the Brussels institutions whatever policy suits their interests, while between them they are strong enough to prevent any other group of EU States adopting policies they do not like.

This narrative suits various parties, especially France, but it is hard to imagine that Germany could have failed to see the benefit to itself of much of the continent using a common currency which would, in effect, be under German control because of its population size and economic weight. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who pushed through the euro in face of a reluctant German public opinion, acknowledged this in 1996: “The future will belong to the Germans when we have built the House of Europe. In the next two years we will make the process of European integration irreversible. This is a really big battle, but it is worth the fight.” 2

Germany’s post-war political elite saw economic success as the way back to great powerdom. The Eurozone allows Germany free rein to pursue a mercantilist strategy of seeking export domination (Export Weltmeister Deutschland) by enjoying a significantly lower currency exchange rate with the euro than it could enjoy on its own were it to revert to the Deutschemark. This is a consequence of the internal imbalances within the Eurozone, whereby a country like Germany, with its persistent trade surpluses, can avoid an upward
currency revaluation and thus enjoy a stimulus to its domestic economy, while a country like Italy, with persistent trade deficits, cannot enjoy a downward currency devaluation and is therefore condemned to loss of competitiveness and economic stagnation domestically.

If the euro-currency lasts - although that is unlikely, at least for all its current members - the long-term effects are likely to be similar to those which occurred internally in Italy after its 1860s reunification, with Southern Italy falling behind North Italy, or in the Southern States of the USA, which fell economically behind the North in the decades following the American civil war.

THE INTOXICATION OF BIG POWERDOM: That political realist Germany's 19th century chancellor Otto Von Bismarck once remarked: “I have always found the word 'Europe' on the lips of those powers which wanted something from others that they dared not demand in their own names.” 3 The rhetoric of Euro-federalism, talk of “the European ideal”, the requirements of “the EU project”, the supposed “necessity” of Europe's unification and the like, is at bottom political cover for the national interests of the States concerned, as mediated by their political, economic and media elites.

Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung succinctly described the political thrust behind EU integration: “One formula for understanding European integration is this: Take five broken empires – Germany, France, Italy, Holland and Belgium – add a sixth one later, Great Britain, and try to make one grand neo-colonial empire out of it all.” 4

The founding members of the original European Economic Community (EEC), apart from Luxembourg, had all been imperial powers, in some cases for centuries, possessing colonies on several continents. They were all defeated, ravaged and occupied during World War 2. After 1945 they found themselves in a world dominated by the two military superpowers, the USA and USSR. Their governmental elites, which were used to thinking in imperial terms, said to themselves in effect: if we cannot be Big Powers in the world on our own any longer, let us try to be a Big Power collectively. Jean Monnet put the Euro-federalist perspective in his Memoirs: "Our countries have become too small for the present-day world, for the scale of modern technology and of America and Russia today, or China and India tomorrow. The union of Europe's peoples in the United States of Europe is the way to raise their standard of living and preserve peace.”

For Germany in particular EU integration offered a way back to political respectability following the frenzy of the Hitler period. German reunification in 1990 opened a path for that country to become a world power again, but under an EU flag, with France seeking desperately to keep up with her in the process. Germany's reunification, its economic dynamism and the fact that its population is 82 million compared to France’s 64 million, tilted the Franco-German power-balance in Germany’s direction. Following German reunification France wanted the EU to expand around the Mediterranean, with herself as hegemon over her former African colonies. Germany blocked France in this and pushed the EU instead to expand into Eastern Europe. In responding to the post-2008 financial crisis France would like some kind of EU transfer union, with Germany subsidising her and permitting her to maintain her statist traditions. Germany by contrast insists on "ordo-liberalism", competition on the basis of EU-imposed rules, without cross-national financial transfers or at most minimal ones, and with Germany setting the EU's strategic priorities. There is thus continual tension between the two, while at the same time they have a joint interest in agreeing a common policy which they can impose on the rest through the EU institutions.
Germany’s power-elites envisage a federal or quasi-federal “Europe” being united under German hegemony in steps similar to those which Prussia took to bring a federal Germany into being in the 19th century – first a customs union, then a common currency, then a political union, and then a common army. As a consequence anti-German feeling is now spreading throughout Europe. Not for the first time in their country’s tragic history, Germany’s rulers are failing to foster a national patriotism and a legitimate concern for maintaining their country’s sovereignty that is not a threat to the rest of Europe. Will the German people allow themselves to be misled again?
This is not the whole story of the European Union (EU), but it is the most fundamental part of the story.

EU EXPANSION FROM SIX TO 28…“BREXIT”: Other EU countries had their own motives for embracing supranationalism. While America pushed Britain into applying to join the then EEC in 1961, island Britain has traditionally sought to prevent one power dominating the continental mainland. In the era of the Common Market British governments did not want to see the continent under the hegemony of the Franco-Germans. Their ambition has been either to prise France and Germany apart or else be co-opted by them in a triumvirate of equals that would jointly run an ever more integrating and powerful EU bloc. Both aims have proved illusory. This is the root of much British Euro-scepticism.5

Britain’s leaving the EU as a result of Prime Minister Cameron’s 2016 referendum would be a shattering blow to the integration project, for other EU countries would almost certainly follow. By insisting on such a step Britain’s democrats would have restored their self-government and rejected a Europe inevitably dominated by Germany. As in 1940, Britain would once again have saved herself by her exertions and saved Europe by her example.

Spain, Portugal and Greece saw EU membership as guaranteeing democracy following long periods of dictatorship. Spain and Portugal too had been imperial and colonial powers. Their elites likewise were nostalgic for Big Powerdom. The East Europeans saw the EU as a way of moving out of Russia’s sphere of influence. Their representatives in the EU bureaucracy, the European Parliament, Court of Justice, Central Bank etc. are paid salaries that typically are large multiples of what they could earn at home. Brussels offers especially attractive career prospects to their national elites.

For these, as for politicians, senior bureaucrats, media figures and social science academics in the smaller EU States generally, there is the sense of importance of having wider fields to play a part in, side by side with representatives of Europe’s bigger countries. Many are lured by the intoxication of helping to build a superpower. ”It is nicer to be running Europe than running Slovakia,“ as one of them put it.

In 2004 and 2007 the EU expanded to include the former communist countries of Eastern Europe and enlarged from 15 to 27 members, and then to 28 in 2013 with the accession of Croatia. During the Cold War decades from the 1940s to the 1980s, when the East Europeans were client States of the USSR and linked to Russia in the communist economic bloc COMECON, the Russians never insisted that they should replace their national currencies with the rouble. The EU by contrast insists that all applicant countries commit themselves to abolishing their currencies and adopting the euro before they can join the EU. This is further evidence of the bloc’s neo-imperial character.

Although the EU post-Lisbon has the formal constitutional structure of a supranational Federation, in reality it is a highly centralized power bloc which is increasingly dominated by
the State interests of Germany, with France in a supporting role. This is far from the “partnership of equals” of its official statements. In power-political terms the EU is an entity that is divided into three groups of States. The big States, primarily Germany and France, take the strategic policy decisions, interacting with Britain, Italy, Spain and Poland. Then come the smaller creditor countries of the Eurozone – Austria, Finland and Benelux. They tend to support Germany as the biggest creditor country. Then come the debtor countries of the EU periphery as well as the former communist countries to the east. Their relation with Brussels and Berlin is virtually a neo-colonial one.

The elites of countries in this third group are happy to be on first-name terms with the ministers of the big countries in the EU Council of Ministers, but for their citizens it is the underlying power relations that really matter. They have lost their national democracy and find themselves fundamentally subordinate.

Power relations are not everything of course. A genuine, if naïve, idealism animates many across Europe who support the “integration project”. Such people take refuge in the EU’s foundation myth of it being essentially about peace and overcoming the legacy of Europe’s wars – ignoring the EU’s calamitous interventions in Yugoslavia and Ukraine. Transcending the bloody legacy of World Wars 1 and 2 was undoubtedly a consideration of the EU’s “founding fathers”, mingled with less idealistic motives. But reasons of State and real-politik have come to predominate over the years as the EU has grown more powerful and more centralized, and Germany has been reunified.

Other believers in the EU/Eurozone are disillusioned with aspects of national politics or with the inadequacies of their national politicians and think that supranational ones would be better. They fail to notice that it is these same national politicians who are usually the principal pushers of EU integration and they do not ask themselves why this should be so. The political and economic forces that the more naïve among europhiles identify with are far from altruistic, as became ever clearer as the post-2008 euro-currency crisis unfolded, spreading disillusionment amongst many.

Norway, Switzerland and Iceland are three West European countries that have not joined the EU because they valued their independence. The Norwegian people rejected EU membership in referendums in 1972 and 1994. Norway and the EU are members of the European Economic Area (EEA), as are Iceland and Lichtenstein. Norway has free trade with the EU and voluntarily adopts most EU laws relating to the free movement of goods, services, capital and labour, but generally not in other areas. Switzerland rejected membership of the EEA in a 1992 referendum. The Swiss have bilateral relations with the EU and adopt EU laws in some economic areas.

THE ECONOMIC BASIS OF THE EU: The economic deal between France and Germany as set out in the 1957 Treaty of Rome offered import protection for French farmers, who were much more numerous and politically influential then than they are today, in return for free trade for German industry. For decades the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) kept European food prices high by excluding cheap food imports from the rest of the world. As CAP supports were tied to volume of farm production, this benefited big farmers most, French and Irish ones particularly. At the same time it made food dearer for housewives and raised labour costs across the EU.

On the free trade side, the EU Treaties make it illegal under European supranational law for national governments to put obstacles in the way of the unimpeded movement of goods, services, capital and labour amongst the 28 Member States. EU law forbids Governments
from discriminating in favour of their own citizens or business firms by adopting any such measures, whether liberal or restrictive, although the possibility of doing this in the interest of a particular people’s economic welfare is one of the reasons why countries want to have their own governments in the first place.

It is normal for private businesses to desire minimal interference by the State with their profit-making activity. EU law drastically limits the possibility of such interference. Membership of the EU means that any national law that seeks to enforce a national “common good” in the economic sphere must give way to supranational EU law in all areas covered by the Treaties. Unsurprisingly, EU-based transnational capital, business and financial firms with branches in different EU countries, are the principal lobbyists for ever further integration. US headquartered businesses in Europe have a similar interest. They influence politicians and media through bodies like the European Roundtable of Industrialists, the European Banking Federation and Business Europe. The latter body links the industrial and employers’ confederations of the EU and numerous business federations and business-financed think-tanks. These finance the European Movement and other federalist lobby-groups and have been powerful pushers of successive EU treaties. They in turn interact with secretive bodies like the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission, political networks that have been longtime backers of the integration project. The result is a form of supranational corporatism, a fusion of political, bureaucratic, financial and business interests that interact with one another at the Brussels level while being freed from democratic accountability and control at Member State level.

Most court cases before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) are concerned with enforcing the EU’s foundational “four freedoms” – free movement of goods, services, capital and labour. These erect the basic principles of classical laissez-faire into constitutional imperatives. No government or elected parliament may legally violate or change them, regardless of the wishes of their voters. The Constitution of the EU, the Treaty of Rome and its amending treaties, is in reality the first State or quasi-State Constitution in modern history to be drawn up without the slightest democratic element, entirely in the interest of transnational Big Business. The EU Treaties provide justification nowadays for almost any intervention by Brussels in the domestic legal system of the EU member countries. It is hard to find a sphere of human life that is unaffected by EU law.

Each successive EU Treaty was sold to the different peoples across Europe as a modest incremental step towards obtaining more jobs, growth and higher living standards. Yet each took powers away from national parliaments and governments and the citizens who elect these. The Treaties gradually reduced these national institutions to shadows of their former selves, especially in the EU’s smaller Member States. Europe’s Nation States were thus effectively turned into EU provinces or regions, with their traditional national democracy eroded and their citizens subjected to the rule of a supranational political and economic elite that runs an EU system whose complex workings most people poorly understand.

Former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, who was later Vice-President of the Convention that drew up the EU Constitution, described the process frankly: I don't think it is a good idea to replace this slow and effective method - which keeps national States free from anxiety while they are being stripped of power - with great institutional leaps ...Therefore I prefer to go slowly, to crumble pieces of sovereignty up little by little, avoiding brusque transitions from national to federal power. That is the way I think we will have to build Europe's common policies." 6 (See the fuller quotation in the references at back.)

At the same time the prosperity which the EU, and particularly the euro-currency, promised
people has proved an illusion. Nearly one-third of young people in the EU today cannot find employment.

This is “The Great Deception” of the EU project, to use the title of what is probably the best book in English on its development (See information sources at back). The EU’s story has been a constitutional revolution by stealth. Unsurprisingly, those responsible find it hard to acknowledge the enormity of their mistake, or the dire consequences for millions which their europhilia has been responsible for. At a personal level they can avoid facing up to the social carnage they have caused because they are themselves usually comfortable materially. That is why the euro-currency experiment has not yet been abandoned. The technical challenges to doing this are serious, but are not as difficult as they are portrayed, or as they will be psychologically in due time for the EU’s elites.

THE SUCCESSION OF EU TREATIES: THE 1957 TREATY OF ROME: The 1957 Treaty of Rome established the European Economic Community (EEC) to complement the supranational Coal and Steel Community of 1951. This EU foundation treaty established the four supranational institutions, the European Commission, Council, Court and Parliament - to enforce free movement of goods, services, capital and labour amongst the original six Member States and establish a Customs’ Union with a common external tariff vis-à-vis outsiders.

Giving up the right to impose national controls on the movement of goods, services, capital and labour between countries and agreeing to obey supranational decision-making in these policy areas was an unprecedented surrender of State sovereignty by the governments concerned. The politicians who agreed to it were doing something constitutionally unprecedented. They were depriving their own people of the right to make laws and decide policy over vast areas of government – a right that in some cases had been struggled for for generations. And they were depriving future generations of that right.

Cross-national free movement of goods, services, capital and labour are not unqualified positives at all times and everywhere, as EU spokesmen imply. Free movement of goods is fine for countries at similar levels of economic development, but it can inhibit industrialization for less developed countries or for poorer regions within countries. Historically, the advanced economies of the EU launched their own industrialization on the basis of trade protection. They became free traders only when they had became economically strong. Free movement of services can lead to a lowering of labour, health, environmental and other standards if the countless regulations enforcing such standards nationally are harmonized downward rather than upward, as tends to happen in the EU. Free movement of capital deprives countries of control over their national savings. It can lead to a State or area becoming deindustrialized or afflicted with asset bubbles, or affected by violent movements in exchange rates, depending on whether there is a net outward or net inward movement of funds. Free movement of labour can lead to unwelcome migration flows, a brain drain from poor countries and the undermining of labour standards and community cohesion in rich ones.

The Common Commercial Policy governing movement of goods means that EU Member States no longer negotiate their own trade treaties. The Brussels Commission now does this for them collectively. This gives the EU great power externally. Obtaining access to the EU market often requires non-EU States to conform to common EU technical, health and safety and environmental standards. This puts them under pressure to enforce EU rules outlawing State aids, nationally preferential public procurement and export subsidies in their domestic economies.

The Lisbon Treaty (Art.207 TFEU) extends the Common Commercial Policy to cover trade in services, commercial aspects of intellectual property and investment agreements with States outside the EU. Bilateral and multilateral trade and investment treaties, which EU Member States previously negotiated with countries around the world, are now negotiated on their behalf by the Brussels Commission. Unsurprisingly, the interests of the Big States tend to prevail in these negotiations. These commercial treaties open the way for EU-based business corporations to take legal action against entire States abroad whose domestic regulations on health, labour or environmental standards are regarded as “barriers” to trade or affect corporate profitability.

Collective trade pacts negotiated by the EU, such as the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the USA, and its Canadian and Pacific area counterparts, expand the role and powers of such private corporations through their ability to access sympathetic international arbitration tribunals. Under previous World Trade Organisation (WT0) rules only governments had the standing to take actions of this kind. That is no longer the case. Transnational companies have already used such lawsuits across the globe to reduce competition or threats to their profits by, for example, launching legal actions against national green energy and medicine policies, anti-smoking legislation, bans on harmful chemicals, environmental restrictions on mining, controls on genetically modified foods, health insurance policies and measures to improve the economic position of minorities. Even the threat of such litigation can cause governments to shelve socially progressive policies.

TTIP proposes a scheme of “permanent regulatory cooperation” between the EU and USA. The imposition of laws and regulations is the most fundamental function of government. In democratic States regulation on social or economic grounds should be the result of open discussion and decision by the elected representatives of the People. What transnational business interests want is minimum regulation and “equivalence” between EU and US standards at the lowest possible level. This proposal would institute a permanent behind-the-scenes negotiation between EU bureaucrats, American ones and corporate lobby-groups on both sides of the Atlantic long after the TTIP treaty has been signed and ratified, when public interest has waned. It would amount to a takeover of fundamental powers of government by the representatives of corporate capital, interacting with the EU bureaucracy. This is a result of trade agreements having become an “exclusive EU competence” under the treaties. In political terms, TTIP has the aim of tieing the European States economically to the USA and resisting giving developing countries such as China, Russia and India any real say in setting international trade and investment rules

The EU gains power by these means to influence domestic economic policy in non-EU countries, particularly poor and less developed ones, which goes far beyond enforcing free trade and restraining traditional trade protectionism. The TTIP, if agreed by Brussels and Washington, would be practically irreversible. The treaty would be enforced in all 28 Member States as a matter of EU law and could only be amended or revoked on the European side by all 28 agreeing, which is impossible to see happening.

The Rome Treaty also introduced the protectionist Common Agricultural Policy, which has led to higher food prices for Europe’s consumers and higher labour costs for Europe’s industry. It established the Common Fisheries Policy, whereby the territorial waters of the Member States are fished in common. This has been disastrous for fish conservation in the North Atlantic. That in turn has led to the ravaging of coastal fishing communities off Africa, to where European fishing fleets have moved.

In the 60 years following the 1957 Treaty of Rome membership of the EU went from the original six founding members to nine (with the UK, Ireland and Denmark in 1973), then ten (with Greece in 1981), then 12 (with Spain and Portugal in 1986), then 15 (with Austria, Finland and Sweden in 1995), then 25 (with Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia in 2004), then 27 (with Romania and Bulgaria in 2007), and then 28 (with Croatia in 2013). In 2015 the EU recognizes Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey as formal candidates for joining it in the future. Thirty years after the Treaty of Rome came the next big push to Euro-federalism, the treaty called the Single European Act.

THE 1987 SINGLE EUROPEAN ACT (SEA): The Rome Treaty had removed tariff barriers to trade between the EU Member States and established a free trade area and customs’ union among the original six Member States. The Single European Act made non-tariff barriers to trade illegal under EU law and set up the so-called “single” or “internal” market throughout the free trade area. Non-tariff barriers range from State aids to public purchasing, to different national standards for goods and services, to differential health and safety measures at national level, different veterinary standards, labour standards and the like. The SEA led to a host of harmonization directives and regulations aimed at ironing out these national differences. The Single Market is essentially a single regulatory zone. To enforce these rules by means of a vast programme of EU legislation, unanimity was replaced by weighted or qualified majority voting (QMV) in deciding policy across most economic areas of the EU, with the bigger Member States being allocated most votes. Member States thereby lost most of their veto powers. Yet the ability to say No is the essence of State sovereignty.

Qualified majority voting is the system by which EU laws pre-2014 had to have approximately two-thirds of all Council votes to be adopted, with the Big States having three to four times the votes of the smaller. See below for the new population-based system post-2014 that was introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon. That treaty increased the relative voting weight of the Big States even more, Germany ‘s in particular, compared with the original Treaty of Rome.

The “single market” doctrine deriving from the SEA, which the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has pushed to the limit through its judgements, shifts a wide range of what are essentially domestic matters to the supranational level, where they can be imposed on some 500 million people by means of qualified majority voting in the EU Council of Ministers. The ECJ has ruled that the EU has exclusive competence to negotiate international treaties externally for any policy area where it has exclusive competence internally. This has led to the EU becoming a major economic actor internationally.

Brussels regards all sorts of unrelated issues as “single market” ones, which it must decide under EU law - for example the length of working hours, emissions trading, work safety regulations, veterinary standards, driving tests, vitamin supplements, the size of lorries, the dimensions of vegetables sold in supermarkets etc.

The cost to national economies of EU harmonization measures can be high. For example the EU law permitting 50-ton lorries throughout the Member States requires governments to make costly adaptations to roads and bridges, which national taxpayers must finance. EU rules on maximum working hours bear most heavily on employers in poorer member countries, where hours of work are typically longer than in rich ones. EU regulations of one kind or another impose different economic costs on the different Member States. Europhile economists tend to ignore these indirect costs when working out whether an EU country is a
net contributor to or a net beneficiary of the EU. They often just subtract the flows of funds between national exchequers and Brussels, which gives quite a misleading impression.

Taking account of the regulatory burden of the acquis communautaire - that is, the totality of supranational EU law and policies “acquired” by Brussels to date - greatly changes the calculation of the costs of EU membership for individual countries. Many EU rules reduce the competitiveness of small countries and of small firms vis-a-vis big ones. They tend to benefit the big States and the more monopolized sections of transnational business, for these are better able to bear EU regulatory costs. Such regulation weighs heaviest on small and medium-sized enterprises. New EU Members are required to adopt every single one of this vast superstructure of rules, set out in over 100,000 pages of legal text. The only issue in EU accession negotiations is how many years they will be given in which to do this.

The Single European Act also made the first moves towards Europeanising foreign policy, as well as decisions on human rights matters. These were greatly expanded in the treaties that followed.

THE 1992 MAASTRICHT TREATY ON EUROPEAN UNION: This required all EU Members with the exception of Britain and Denmark to abolish their national currencies and adopt a single EU currency, the euro. So far 19 of the 28 have done this. The internal “price” of a currency is the rate of interest - how much one has to pay to borrow money. Its external “price” is its rate of exchange with other currencies - how much of one’s currency one must pay to acquire the currencies of other countries. Thus by joining the Eurozone the 19 States concerned abandoned national control of their interest rates and their exchange rates. By doing this their governments abandoned vital economic tools for influencing the supply of credit internally and their economic competitiveness externally in the interest of the common good of their own peoples.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has the exclusive right to issue euro banknotes. Its primary objective under the treaty is ”to maintain price stability” (Protocol No.4 on the Statute of the ECB). This means keeping the general level of price rises in the Eurozone - the 19 Member States that have adopted the euro - at or close to 2% a year. The ECB controls the money supply and credit conditions of the Eurozone as a whole. In practice this means what mainly suits Germany and France, for between them these two contain half the Eurozone’s population.

The ECB was modelled on the pre-euro German Bundesbank and is independent of democratic control. Art.130 TFEU states that it shall not seek or take instructions from any government or from any EU institution. It is run by an Executive Board of six full-time persons decided by the European Council of Prime Ministers and Presidents, voting by qualified majority, and a Governing Council consisting of the governors of the national Central Banks. The QMV provision ensures that the Big States normally get the nominees they favour on the Executive Board. From 2015 the voting rules changed so that only 15 of the 19 Eurozone States have votes at any one time on the Governing Council, which sets interest rates and decides monetary policy for the Eurozone as a whole. The five biggest Eurozone economies share four voting rights and the fourteen smaller ones share 11 voting rights, each on a rotating basis. This gives the bigger States greater influence on Eurozone monetary and banking policy.

The ECB and national central banks operating on its behalf are forbidden from offering overdrafts or other credit facilities to Member States, including the purchase of public debt instruments (Art.125 TFEU). This makes the ECB different from traditional central banks, in
that it does not have a single State Government it is responsible to, which can force it to inflate the currency and alleviate debt by printing money. This is to prevent the ECB, as a supposedly independent central bank, financing the borrowing of Member States. That would breach the principle on which Germany and others agreed to Economic and Monetary Union in the first place, namely that weaker Eurozone States would not impose fiscal obligations on the stronger. The ECB has sought to finesse this ban on bailouts during the post-2008 financial crisis. Its “quantitative easing” programme, introduced in 2015, enables it to provide money without limit to the banks of the Eurozone States. Many legal authorities consider these measures to be in breach of the EU treaties, but the Court of Justice has stood over them in various judgements for political reasons.

On the constitutional side the Maastricht Treaty introduced the term “European Union” for the first time, as encompassing at once the supranational relations of the Member States of the “European Community” and their “intergovernmental” relations in the areas of foreign affairs and crime and justice policy. In the latter areas States retained their traditional sovereignty for some years after Maastricht. Unlike the European Community, this embryonic or notional European Union did not as yet have full legal personality. Hence the Maastricht Treaty was titled a treaty “on” European union rather than “of” union.

A treaty actually establishing a real Federal-style Union would have to wait until the EU Constitution was embodied in the Treaty of Lisbon 17 years later, by which time people had got used to the name “European Union”. The legal transformation into a full supranational union covering virtually all areas of government policy could then be made without people noticing the change or realising that a real federal entity was being established. This is a further illustration of the deception that has marked the constitutional evolution of the integration “project” from its start.

THE 1998 AMSTERDAM TREATY extended qualified majority voting to a number of new areas. It gave the EU the power to decide human rights. It gave it its own external border and immigration policy, a harmonised approach to civil and criminal law across the EU and its own foreign and security policy. Under this treaty the European Arrest Warrant removed many of the traditional safeguards in the extradition process. If a court in one EU State issues a warrant for a person’s arrest and extradition in another, courts and police in that other country must act on it even if the offence alleged is not an offence in the State whose citizen’s extradition is requested. This is a serious threat to civil liberties.

THE 2001 NICE TREATY increased the relative voting weight of the Big States in making EU laws. It abolished the national veto and extended qualified majority voting in a further range of non-economic areas. It allowed sub-groups of Member States to integrate more closely among themselves, using the EU institutions for that purpose and presenting the remainder with policy faits accomplis. This is called “enhanced cooperation” in EU jargon. This development created a legal route for the Big States to move away from the original concept of the EU as, at least in theory, a partnership of legal equals, and to concentrate on integration instead for the countries that had adopted the single currency, the Eurozone.

THE 2009 LISBON TREATY, THE EU’S CONSTITUTION: This treaty incorporated most of the provisions of the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe of 2004, which sought to establish the European Union directly on the basis of its own Constitution, just as with any State. In 2005 French and Dutch voters rejected this constitutional treaty in referendums, followi<