17, December, 2014
Europe today is like a tennis club. Imagine you paid fees to a tennis club and that gave you right to elect the executive committee. All the membership agreed in a vote that the executive should be reduced in size and that it should no longer be composed exclusively of white, 60+, male, left-handed, millionaires. Then these same millionaires decided they would take absolutely no notice of the paying membership. They insisted unilaterally that the tennis club needed them even though everyone in the club paid equal fees and wanted change. Would you say it was democracy? The tennis club membership then took a vote of the whole membership. The executive committee refused to recognize the result of votes and referendums, not once but multiple times.
The year 2014 was declared the Year of the Citizen by the Commission. You might remember that 2013 was also declared the Year of the Citizen. No one asked the citizen in either case! The Eurocrats were not ashamed at a unilateral seizure of millions of euros of taxpayers’ money to pay a ‘citizen’s campaign‘. It brought them no success. According to the official report. it was ‘not effective‘ nor did it reach the ‘media or the citizens‘!
So what happened? Were these tricks of the Council and Commission sufficient to fool the people in the election year for the European Parliament? Did it quieten objections to the political parties parachuting their favourites into the fat, high-paying Commission jobs?
The Juncker Commission wants to boost the economy by creating a 315 billion euro fund for loans to ‘boost jobs and growth.’ Will it work with an already devalued currency? How does it compare with the multi-TRILLION stimulus that OPEC, the oil cartel are giving to the world economy? Why is the Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi saying that he has convinced his fellow OPEC member States that oil supplies should manipulated together even if they have to bring the price down from well over 110 dollars a barrel to 20 dollars?
Have the euro crises and other distractions covered the politicians’ predominant moral turpitude? The latter arises where leaders fool the people on major issues while giving the impression from minor events that they are acting fairly and squarely.
What is European democracy‘s major problem? In contrast to our tennis club, there are no restrictions on candidates for the Commission. They can be black, yellow or white, over or under sixty, they may be rich or poor and they may be right- or left-handed writers. All citizens can be possible candidates for the Commission. What candidates can’t be, according to the oath that all Commissioners take, is the following:
- They can’t be active members of a political party;
- They can’t be tied to an interest like a commercial company, a trade union or a consumer group.
- They cannot seek or take instructions from national governments;
- They must be independent like a judge in a Court of Law.
Governments believe they, against the treaty law, can give instructions to their Commissioners and others in closed door, secret meetings from which the public and press are excluded. Further, the governmental political parties completely ignored the treaty articles about how fair elections European Parliament elections should be run. They have yet yielded to treaty obligations for elections for organized civil society. These measures have been in the treaties since 1951.
The greatest political crimes are perpetrated when CLIQUES of ‘democratic representatives’ change the honest and just rules and allow the electors only to vote on minor matters. Thus they maintain power without proper supervision.
That is the disorder that the European Union is suffering from at the present.
Former French President Valery Giscard D’Estaing condemned the Council’s lack of respect for the Constitutional or Lisbon treaties he helped formulate. ‘There needs to be a more scrupulous respect of the treaties.‘ More than a decade ago it was agreed by all that the size of the European Commission was to be reduced to around a DOZEN people, max.
It was recommended by former members of the Commission. It was demanded by members of organized civil society. It was agreed by all in Convention on the draft treaty. Former European Commission President Jacques Delors said that European Commission must be not exceed about a dozen members plus the president and foreign affairs representative.
It was not only demanded a decade ago. It had been demanded for decades previously from the first expansion of the European Communities in 1973. A small independent Commission with four other independent OPEN institutions are the basis of the supranational system that brought peace to Europe.
So why does the Juncker Commission have 28 Commissioners? Its size and composition is the BIGGEST democratic issue facing the European public. It is the key institution in the Community method. The Commission is not the politicians’ plaything. Democracy belongs to all the people, all the time.
Reducing its size to a small number of totally independent, qualified personalities has long been the most controversial of EU reforms. The public are sick and tired of party nepotism. Political party pals or defeated/ retired/ expendable politicians are parachuted into high-paying Brussels jobs. Why doesn’t Europe have a sleek group of highly respected impartial and independent Commissioners?
There is a simple answer.
The politicians have fooled the public. Have they fooled all the public? Have they fooled it all the time?
What are the implications of the European Council’s Decree to dismantle Europe’s Community system, made furtively over a fine meal at its 22 May 2013 closed-door meeting?
- It denies qualified citizens their democratic rights to become Commissioners (Art 10 TEU).
- It destroys any democratic purpose for voting in the upcoming European elections.
- It denies the vast majority of European citizens a voice in Europe’s governance system.
- It changes the Community Method into a party political Cartel, run by who knows who. This raises the danger that it might be captured by European of international cartels who act against the citizen’s rights and freedoms.
- It reverses all the treaties that say the European Commission should be totally impartial and that its members must not be politicians’ cronies or take instructions from any government, big or small.
Oh! perhaps you did not even hear or read about the Council’s Decree on 22 May 2013. You did NOT miss the debate! The EU’s 27 political leaders did not permit one. Democracy was changed without any public consultation. The 27 politicians present did not expect you to debate it after they made their decision as Super Citizens. They acted just like an economic Cartel acts on the market, they secretly control supply and demand of democracy! Like any Cartel it thrives on secrecy.
You did not read about it. It was not mentioned in the final communique of 27 Heads of Government and two of the EU’s many presidents. You did not hear about it. European Council President van Rompuy and Commission President Barroso did not speak about it at their press conference. Neither did German Chancellor Merkel, nor French President Hollande, nor the British, in the person of Mr Cameron, who say they defend democracy.
I heard only the Irish Taoiseach make the briefest of statements about it at his press conference and quickly rushed on to other matters. The politicians purposely engineered the Agenda and Agenda Notes so that this major decision of the meeting would not appear in the Conclusions!
The control of the Commission by any group of political parties or States means that the Citizen can say Goodbye to impartial EU government. This key supranational institution is designed to safeguard freedom, fight financial fraud and corruption. It is the world’s first institution able to take international Cartels of companies, international finance or workers to court. Cartels involve, for example, business executives from different companies colluding in secret to fix prices and deny competition in the market. The consumer is ripped off.
Cartels may range from many small manufacturers that ‘fix’ prices of bathroom fittings to major internet operators who misuse monopoly powers to energy cartels like OPEC and its subsidiaries that raise the price of oil from a free market value of 5 to 10 dollars a barrel as in 1999 to 147 dollars recently, despite the huge Iraqi and other new fields coming on stream. Raising of prices has had a depressing multi-trillion euro effect on the economy and employment. Dropping oil prices has destroyed industries (especially alternative energies to oil).
Now the cartel led by Saudi Arabia is dropping oil prices to record lows approaching 50 dollars and aiming lower. It does it simply by opening up the oil taps. A free market does not exist. (In 1999 when the oil price fell to below ten dollars, it exposed what was really a free market price.) When prices rose to 147 dollars a barrel, OPEC cartel was extracting about ten per cent of global GNP! Wow! That really is global blackmail!
How much does the oil/gas cartel filch from the pockets of European citizens by manipulating the price? When the price dropped just 20% to 83 dollars, the world economy received a stimulus package of 1.1 trillion dollars! With a price now fallen by more than 50%, the stimulus is in trillions not a few hundred billions. These enormous sums of money show the power of oil-drug Cartel to blackmail Western societies. Most of what the West gains now is what OPEC blood-sucks from industrialized economies by posting artificially high prices most of the time.
Why did the Saudis now purposefully lower prices? Don’t they lose profits? Yes. But they gain something far more important. A low price completely wipes out the competition of higher cost shale oil and gas. It makes North Sea oil unprofitable. Israel has also uncovered vast oil and gas reserves in the sea between it and Cyprus. The Saudis are so keen on the low price of oil at the moment that they are willing — perhaps for the first time in history — to sell their Saudi oil to Israel!
Why are the Arab oil-producers opening the oil spigots? (The Iranians are against this strategy. They need the money for their Iranian nuclear programme.) The Saudis and Arab oil-producers need to keep the West addicted to oil. The cartel action decimates alternative energy projects. It thus ensures longer lasting oil-dependence when they can eventually raise the oil price in the future. With a protracted period of low prices, financiers will refuse to fund any project that challenges Saudi oil and Gulf gas. Strategically, it wrecks their major competitor– Russia. Russia produces more oil than Saudi Arabia and its whole economy depends on it, including its political stability. Oil and gas are major levers in the global ideological struggle between Islam and Judeo-Christian civilization.
The effect of low oil prices will give a huge boost to the European economy. If Europe had a proper Community style government with an Energy Community as Schuman and the founding fathers recommended, it would have been enjoying massive benefits for several decades. That is why a non-party political, totally independent European Commission is vitally important. Its election method, composition, and the means to dismiss it for incompetence and corruption concern every citizen and voter. In dishonestly attempting to seize control of it, politicians, themselves acting in a political Cartel of major parties and excluding their many critics, have declared war on the citizen’s rights and liberties. They are not trusted. Opinion polls show record low trust ratings of politicians, amid economic and financial corruption and the self-serving construction of the euro.
Party cartel control obfuscates democracy. No change of policy occurs. Politicians can milk the taxpayer’s golden cow. Politicians have selected themselves as Super-Citizens.
The party machines now illegally select the Commission from among their cronies. President van Rompuy himself declared that the ‘governments’ act more like party coalitions dividing up the Commission cake in secret. Instead of a Gaullist Europe it has become Europe ‘a la carte des parties‘. And the parties are now disdained by the European public. The electorate refuses to vote!
The crucial and unanswered question is: Who controls the party machines, pays them subsidies and in backdoor deals sets their policy agenda? Control of the Commission by national government representatives makes backdoor deals the rule to the detriment of weak and small States. Making only politicians eligible as Commissioners as a class of Super-Citizens is contrary to elementary Human Rights of 500 million citizens.
How did this abuse arise?
It is not who votes who rules the government. It is who writes the rules about the voting. The EU has 28 voting self-serving systems not ONE Statute as required by the treaties. That has been in the treaties since 1951 — without governments implementing it. First governments refused to have any election at all, until Parliament took them to Court. Instead of implementing the article, each EU government fixes the voting system to bar opponents, not to help them.
The governments did the same sort of thing for the Commission which was originally a politician-free zone. Now the Council wishes to hold its thumb on the scales of the ‘honest-broker’ system, the Commission. It makes it dishonestly partisan. It wants to bias the magistrates. The European Council is making clear that no matter what people think, nor how they vote, nor how they protest, a small clique of politicians will decide the result. A Cartel of politicians controls the market of democracy.
Crisis will lead to further crisis. Politicians individually and collectively have failed their ‘stress tests’. MEPs seem quite willing to contort legislation when offered bribes by investigative reporters. Who knows what they do with powerful lobbyists and multinationals? This is the reason that Schuman and the Founding Fathers insisted that the Council should hold open sessions, something it has refused to do. Why? What is so secret about discussing how citizens’ democracy should work?
The Cartel welcomed crony governments of the left, right and centre into the euro. The crony system does not seek to reform. It admits governments that everyone knew to be corrupt and who cooked the statistics. Then when the inevitable problems arose, they created new money institutions — not subject to the European Court of Justice — that involve handouts five or seven times the amount of money in the entire EU budget!
These same politicians feel they are above the law such as the European Court of Justice. It is their right to deny referendums on treaties, to ignore referendums that are negative, to close down national radio and television as they did in Greece — without even a parliamentary vote or legal power. The free press as the Fourth Estate is an enemy of cronyism.
Do you wish to place your future in the hands of a Politburo with powers without real democratic responsibility? When did it happen?
This latest antidemocratic and corrupt decision on voting was made as the Heads of Government gathered at their lunch table on Wednesday 22 May 2013. It was a very short European Council, even though it dealt with tax fraud and energy — Europe’s major problem. The unannounced third topic was to change European democracy — forever!
There was no public debate. Nor did any leader want to start one tomorrow with the public or the press.
The European Council acted like any tinpot dictatorship under Franco, Salazar, Stalin or Hitler, under which many States formerly suffered . When everyone’s eyes were busy elsewhere it issued a fait accompli, a five- sentence press release!
Now we have democratic collapse by Press Release. This is a step worse than Democratic Abuse by Treaty that populations have thrown out by referendums!
Here is the release:
P R E S S
Dirk De Backer – Spokesperson of the President
Brussels, 22 May 2013
The European Council decides on the number of members of the European Commission
The European Council adopted today a decision on the composition of the European Commission. This decision provides that the Commission will continue to consist of a number of members equal to the number of Member States. This number also includes the Commission President and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission (176/12).
The decision, which in effect maintains the current practice, will apply from 1 November 2014.
In view of its effect on the functioning of the Commission, the European Council will review this decision well in advance of the appointment of the first Commission following the date of accession of the 30th Member State or the appointment of the Commission succeeding that due to take up its duties on 1 November 2014, whichever is earlier.
The Lisbon Treaty provided that as of 1 November 2014 the Commission would consist of a number of members corresponding to two thirds of the number of Member States, unless the European Council unanimously decided otherwise.
Today’s decision puts into effect the political agreement reached at the European Council meetings of 11-12 December 2008 (17271/1/08) and 18-19 June 2009 (11225/2/09) where the heads of state or government noted the concerns of the Irish people with respect to the Lisbon Treaty and agreed to continue the principle of one Commissioner per Member State.
Like a typically ineffective dictatorship, this press release provides a link to the key document that authorizes this overturning of the ‘inconvenient’ Lisbon Treaty articles. Check 176/12 that is the Decision of the European Council. It is
- a document whose drafting dates from 2012
- it is undated;
- it is unsigned !!
- it makes no reference to any democratic authority, such as the European people’s voice, referendums, the European Parliament, national parliaments, the Economic and Social Committee or any other Consultative Committee. It refers to no economic debate except the bribe made on the second Irish referendum. Nor does it explain why under European Council ‘Democracy’ the first was invalid and a second was called for. Everywhere else in the world a No means No.
Where the document says ‘Decision of the European Council’ it really means DECREE. The Tsarist Russians would call it an Ukase. It has no democratic base, authority or legitimacy.
It is a bluff because the European Council is trying to pass off as EU law what amounts to a secret, unilateral fait accompli.
In other words, the European Council wants to change the democratic system of the original treaties by a Press Release and by an UNSIGNED, IRRELEVANT DRAFT document. Furthermore its authority is a Spokesman, a paid official not a democratically elected representative.
This press release also puts a deceitful spin on history. In December 2008, the Lisbon Treaty was not active.
It was dead! In fact it was twice dead. The European Council declared it was alive! This is what the European Council acting as a Politburo declared:
The European Council re-affirms that the Treaty of Lisbon is considered necessary in order to help the enlarged Union to function more efficiently, more democratically and more effectively including in international affairs. With a view to enabling the Treaty to enter into force by the end of 2009, the European Council, while respecting the aims and objectives of the Treaties, has defined the following path.
On the composition of the Commission, the European Council recalls that the Treaties currently in force require that the number of Commissioners be reduced in 2009. The European Council agrees that provided the Treaty of Lisbon enters into force, a decision will be taken, in accordance with the necessary legal procedures, to the effect that the Commission shall continue to include one national of each Member State.
The treaty proposal had just been rejected by the Irish electorate in a referendum. A number of other countries had also rejected the Lisbon Treaty in its former appearance as the Constitutional Treaty — France (55%) and the Netherlands (62%). The British, Czechs, Irish, Polish and the Danish who had been promised referendums did not have one as the politicians expected even more crushing rejections.
The Cartel politicians decided to impose the Treaty by autocratic force. The Constitutional Treaty was shorn of a few clauses. Important ones? Judge for yourself. The deleted articles provided for a European flag and a European Anthem. They are no longer official. Hadn’t you noticed? The Commission’s Berlaymont Building and all other EU buildings are surrounded by DOZENS of European flags!
The Constitutional Treaty was rewritten as amendments to the Treaty of the European Economic Community. (The Rome Treaty of Euratom, the non-proliferation treaty, was not affected.) As a list of amendments, it was incomprehensible as a functioning system. Nevertheless, some Parliaments such as Hungary passed it even before the parliamentarians had received the consolidated text! The European Parliament to its great shame refused even to publish the complete text!
Then the French changed their Constitution so that the French government could refuse another referendum. The other governments refused to hold referendums again. Except the Irish! They voted. They rejected it. They thought the Lisbon Treaty rubbish or dangerous. They were told to vote again and this time Yes. If they did they could retain an Irish Commissioner (to guard Irish interests). They would be more than OK. They would also get ample EU money to boost the economy. Tell that to them now!
The Lisbon Treaty was not agreed by many peoples in the Member States, either because governments refused to recognize the referendums, or allow one to take place, or because they even changed the Constitution to refuse people the right to reject the Lisbon Treaty as they had the Constitutional Treaty (with which it was practically identical, except for a flag and a song!).
This is the chronology of the anti-democratic slide to Politburo takeover:
1951 Treaty of Paris with 9 Commissioners, eight nominated by Member States and one selected by these eight without recourse to State nomination. This Commissioner is mandated by the others. The Community’s major principle was to oppose to any form of dangerous cartel and restive practice. Hence the Commission must be independent, non-ideological, impartial and act as ‘economic magistrates’ to ensure rules are obeyed for the expansion of production and lowering of prices in a single market.
1957 Treaties of Rome EEC with 9 Commissioners; Euratom with 5 Commissioners from the six Member States. The treaty of Paris specified that numbers may be reduced. It did not permit an increased number for these States. Europe’s three Communities show that the Commission must be independent of national governments. Instead, following de Gaulle’s war on the Community, governments increasingly parachuted their own political representatives rather than selecting impartial Europeans.
At the turn of the century abuse was rife. The public objected to the constant parachuting of politicians into the Commission. Politicians were dominating and States offering independent candidates were fewer and rarer. Instead of a small independent group the Commission became bloated with overpaid political cronies.
An Amsterdam Treaty protocol and the 2000 Nice Treaty (article 213) then limited all States to one Commissioner only, forgetting conveniently that the treaties say nowhere that a State has a right to a Commissioner. (The treaties say the opposite — which is why when there were six Member States, the Euratom Community had only five Commissioners.) The Commission was becoming a club of wall-to-wall political cronies. With the major enlargement of 2004, something had to be done.
The Convention presided by former French President Giscard d’Estaing drafted a Constitutional treaty where the Commission had to be reduced in number. This made clear that the Commission was not a dumping ground for politicians, one for each State.
With the enlargement after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a Protocol to the Amsterdam treaty specified that the number of Commissioners should not exceed the number of Member States.
In 2008 the existing treaty of Nice required that the Commission must be reduced in numbers to avoid overstaffing and turning it into an international secretariat.
The Irish people were refused a referendum on the Constitutional Treaty in 2005 or 6. They rejected the Lisbon Treaty in June 2008 by 53.4 to 46.6%. In October 2009 were humiliatingly told to think again in a second referendum.
If you check the 2008 European Council Communique quoted by the Spokesman, you will see that the European Council admits it has no democratically solid basis for the Lisbon Treaty. Therefore no legally sound basis exists either (a) to accept the Lisbon Treaty draft against the clearly stated wish of the people and (b) to change a difficult article in the Treaty that the politicians had forced through parliaments by block votes.
The decision to accept the treaty (to be called the Lisbon Treaty) that had been rejected by Irish voters was made in the middle of the night. None of the CITIZENS of 27 nation States were consulted. The Communique admits that it was a political decision, decided by politicians. It does not say it was for their own benefit and not the public’s but that was obvious.
The big problem was Ireland. Irish voters rejected the Lisbon Treaty. Under any normal democracy that would have dumped the Treaty in the bin. The European Council meeting after midnight also agreed to bribe the Irish electorate who had rejected the Lisbon Treaty as undemocratic. They said that Ireland must vote again— itself an extraordinary lack of democratic procedure. The bribe consisted of overturning the Lisbon Treaty’s stipulations that the Commission should not be European and composed of a small number of Commissioners. It would become international and composed of National Commissioners and by implication give party politicians in government the right to chose one of their cronies to be a Commissioner. No article of the Lisbon, constitutional or any other treaty gives governments powers to invest cronies with this office.
There are NO SUPER-Citizens in the EU who have preferences and exclude normal citizens. The Council’s document supposedly
- supporting their ability to nominate national representatives (against treaty law) and
- only from political parties of the socialist, liberal and ‘Christian democratic’ persuasion lacks any democratic basis. (It goes against treaty law and a discrimination against the CITIZENS and their human rights to participate).
It is a fraud. It has no democratic approval or authority. It is merely a self-serving splinter for political fraudsters.
This occurred after all in the first Year of the Citizen, one of two consecutive ones decreed by the Party Machines. Do you expect the party Machines to open up a debate with the Citizen about such a trivial matter as Democracy? This new decree says: ‘European governance is the private business of government ‘fixers’ and parties! Citizens do not stick your noses in it!‘
In short it says that the European Commission can remain a dumping ground of national politicians — in complete violation of treaty law. Cronyism is to become the new law. The British, who say the EU must be reformed, failed their electorate. They chose as their nominee for the Commission, a party politician who was formerly called a lobbyist. He was parachuted into Brussels with a high salary but no public support or knowledge. No matter what the public think of him or the Prime Minister’s choice, this is an egregious example of corrupt cronyism. The treaties exclude politicians from applying for the post of Commissioner as they say that Commissioners should
‘be chosen on the grounds of their general competence and European commitment from persons whose independence is beyond doubt.’
I will avoid saying anything about the general competence of politicians. However there are many, many people in Europe, in European NGOs, in the offices of the Ombudsmen, in Law, Business, workers’ and Human Rights who have a great deal more competence than many politicians show. They may also have independence, that is, the ability to be impartial, unprejudiced and non-ideological.
Politicians are automatically excluded from any candidature because a political party tends to be ideological. That is, it has preferences of one side in society over another. Such people cannot be considered ‘honest-brokers.’
It is a designation that thumbs its nose at the public.
The Governments continue their practice of a bloated Byzantine bureaucracy. This was initiated by de Gaulle and his anti-Community henchmen. Its aim? to turn the Commission into a political secretariat.
The Community system is now being reshaped into a Dictatorship not of the Proletariat but of the Party Machines. The same party machines have failed to attract even a half of the electorate. New anti-cartel parties are springing up everywhere.
It is not only the EU that is reached a crisis of democracy, but the national governments too.David Heilbron Price
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