Commission Debate 7: Only a disreputable Commission refuses to signal the major rejection of Europe’s founding fathers!
3, May, 2009
The Constitutional Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty have one thing in common: both want to make the most destructive inroads to the independence of the Commission as a whole, and of the independence of the Commissioners in particular. This is a disgraceful betrayal of European democracy and the principles of Community.
All the previous treaties say that the Commission must be composed of ‘independent and experienced’ persons. They are NOT national representatives. That Commissioners became national politicians was an insistence of nationalists, like the Gaullists. The treaties do not say Commissioners have to be party political members as a condition. It does not say only political parties may chose the name of Commissioners. The latest treaties want to discriminate against normal people, that is, the vast majority of citizens who do not have party membership. Believe it or not, Democracy can exist without party politics. It did for thousands of years!
Whoever the Commissioners were or are now, they have a duty. The Commission is guardian of the treaties. Did the present Commissioners and all other politicians explain to parliaments and to voters in the referendums these facts? Did they show them where in the treaties and why the Commissioners are required NOT to be representatives of their State? Did governments and the present Commissioners explain that being an active politician is against the principles of the treaties? Please submit quotes to email@example.com ! Did they explain the following?
The main purpose of the Commission is to act as an honest-broker for all European states, associations and individuals. It is like the person who cuts up a cake, as equally as possible, before the greedy children (governments) choose the portions. Obviously this rôle should not be given to one of the governments, and certainly not one of the big states, known as the bullies of history.
Equally obvious, having a Commission composed only of national politicians is not likely be as good as having decisions made by a college of really fair-minded, independent, non-ideological, experienced persons. The Commissioners should be chosen because they are the most fair-minded, the most honest and incorruptible people in Europe. A bunch of national politicians will bring the decisions to the lowest common denominator after national arm-wrestling inside the Commission. It is mini-power politics and will be scarcely better than the squabbles that take place inside and outside parliaments and the Council of Ministers.
The abuse of placing national Yesmen inside the Commission was the reason that, during the Gaullist period in France, voting had to be introduced inside the Commission. Previously consensus was sought. De Gaulle hoped that a strong politician of Gaullist persuasion could bamboozle all the others (Germany was politically dependent and the others were weaker like Italy, or smaller and therefore insignificant.) It did not work then and it certainly will not with twenty more States now and maybe thirty more in the future. Voting was necessary because as some Commissioners became ideologically biased, politically dishonest and were given instructions from their capitals.
Trying to stack the Commission with national ideologues was a blatant violation of the letter and spirit of the treaties then. It is today. Hallstein and others spoke out boldly then against de Gaulle.
An honest Commission would say so today, loud and clear!David Heilbron Price
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