8, January, 2017
In its first announcement of 2017, the European Commission has started with quite obvious Fake News. The European Commission Spokesman announced that
“The European Project is turning 60 this year with Birthday celebrations being scheduled for Rome in March”
Wrong! March will not be the 60th anniversary of the European Union. The EU was formulated by the Treaty of Maastricht 1993.
Wrong Again! The Birthday of the European Project, after the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950, was the signing of the Treaty of Paris on 18 April 1951. Schuman read out the Great Charter of the Community that all governments signed.
The first sectors involved in this great European experiment in democracy were coal and steel. The European Community of Coal and Steel began to function in August 1952.
Are all today’s European officials and 28 governments so mathematically challenged?
How does the Commission explain this preoccupation with 1957? The spokesman said:
“First of all we like the Treaty of Rome, because it was the treaty establishing the European Community that preceded the European Union. We like … the Treaty of Rome because it is a milestone that enabled the six signatory Member States to trigger a level of cooperation through common policies that was unprecedented and was not enshrined in law before the Treaty of Rome. So we use the 25 March 1957 as the formal departure, if you like, of this fantastic historical experiment of the European Union.”
He said nothing about supranational democracy and how it works. How should it work?
On 18 April 1951 the six governments initiated the European Community’s five democratic institutions.
The Six also signed what Schuman called the “Charter of the Community”. That title recalls the Magna Carta of British history. It emphasizes its importance.
It describes entry and exit conditions based on supranational Community democracy. (‘Supranational’ also appears for the first time in an international treaty in the ECSC article 9 to describe the High Authority, later called the European Commission.)
A supranational Community was totally new in history. It was neither confederal (like NATO) nor federal like the Federal Republic of Germany or USA. Only one institution was given federal powers and that was controlled by a European Court of Justice and a Consultative Committee composed of equal membership of entrepreneurs, workers and consumers.
The Charter also defines which States can become members of any Community. The States have to be among those whose people ‘are free to choose’. That ruled out the States – the so-called People’s Democratic Republics – of the Soviet Bloc.
They were invited to join. Schuman said that Russia was free to join. The condition meant that the States had to sign up to the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of the Council of Europe.
The State had to guarantee freedom of information, religion and assembly. If any citizen had a complaint against the State he or she could take it freely to the national courts. An appeal could be made to the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
This was a hard pill for governments ruled by a Politburo to swallow. So none of them applied.
The first Community also initiated the Single Market. Single markets for coal, scrap iron and steel were opened across the Community in 1953. This broke nationalistic competition, which in turn led to wars.
With the Single Market came the right of workers to move freely around the Community. The Community budget paid for housing projects in the coal and steel industries, and for retraining of workers when inevitably worn-out mines were closed. Consumers had access to the cheapest coal and steel products. Workers and firms could redeploy. It fulfilled the promise made by Robert Schuman when he explained the Community project on 10 August 1950 in the Council of Europe.
“Its only preoccupation must be the improving of the productivity of the industry and the rising of the standard of living. … In no case will workers’ standards be lowered. This is an absolute rule that we laid down among our basic principles from the first.”
The budget was paid for by a levy on coal and steel products, up to a maximum of one per cent. There was no Court of Auditors. None was needed. The enterprises were very careful about the contributions they had to pay, the workers too watched carefully over their budget for their social requirements. Consumers made sure money was not wasted.
That one percent levy seemed a small price to pay for stable, full employment and increased, cheaper production. Nevertheless, to the surprise of many, the Treaty of Paris, with its duration of fifty years, was not renewed in 2002. Lobbying by steel firms may have something to do with it. There was no referendum in Member States. The matter was decided in the Council of Ministers, its doors still shut from the Gaullist period.
Shortly afterwards, the prices of steel rose sharply. Firms were bought by foreign investors. Many workers were thrown out of work.
In 2016 the EU apparently “forgot” to celebrate the 65th Birthday of European democracy. What is their substitute?
Europe of 1957 was entering the Gaullist Dark Ages for European democracy. It contrasts with the founding democratic principles of Europe’s true Birthday in 1951.
The Charter of the Community was buried by Gaullists in the archives of the French Foreign Ministry. It was again published in 2012 thanks to M. Bernard Cazeneuve, the present French Prime Minister, following a request by the Schuman Project.
Ten years ago EU Governments colluded to spend millions of taxpayers euros to “celebrate”this totally FALSE Birthday! Why? They thought that by spending millions on public relations (that is false propaganda) they could persuade the public to accept the renaming of the Constitutional Treaty (that had been rejected in referendums). They forced it through parliaments without a free vote. They renamed it the Lisbon Treaty.
What is the result of this shameful Machiavellian scam? Brexit! Loss of trust of both the governments and the central institutions of the EU. Massive crises of legitimacy from Greece to Finland. European Council President Donald Tusk feared the worst
“As a historian,’ Mr Tusk told the German newspaper Bild, ‘I fear Brexit could be the beginning of the destruction of not only the EU but also Western political civilisation in its entirety.”
Deceit and secrecy have their consequences. Will the European Commission maintain its ‘Fake News’ and its mathematically challenged “Birthday” to March this year? Or will we have politically effective and scientifically correct democracy?
David Heilbron Price