30, December, 2018
In all European history, the European Commission amounts to the greatest innovation of political governance systems of Europe.
- It is not found in centralised systems.
- It is not found in confederal systems.
- It is not found in federal systems.
The European Commission — which was first called the High Authority — is an Honest Broker. What is the highest authority in a democracy? It is the call of justice and honesty. We can all recognize natural laws of justice, especially when it affects us.
This innovation explains why Europe now has PEACE. Without it peace would not have happened. Monkeying with it is the most dangerous stupidity that Europeans could think of. Brexit is just the latest outcome of a partisan, party-political Commission.
The fallacious Spitzenkandidat system EXCLUDES non-political citizens. It restricts the Commission to the BIASED — those with political ideologies in parties funded by who knows who.
In May 1948 Robert Schuman, the initiator of Europe’s peace-enhancing democracy, called for a Regulator of Liberty to help European States re-establish themselves after WW2. Schuman was then Prime Minister of France. Western Europe with frail democracies was facing a massive Soviet Red Army that had already taken control of Central and Eastern Europe.
Why a Regulator? This first stage was to help resolve disputes between democratic States, to safeguard the future but also propose measures for the benefit of all. The first such Regulator was for Liberty. The Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms listed our essential civil liberties. It showed the Soviet system was a party dictatorship, intent on crushing religious and other freedoms. Autocracies were equally dangerous.
The Regulator was something that ordinary people could understand. But it was still highly controversial for people who had not thought through the problem of war and peace.
Democracies are under the Rule of Law. But governments sometimes abuse their powers of law-making. Governments can be abusive. Germany in the interwar years was nominally a democracy but it turned sour as Nazis seized power. How can democracies prevent this from happening again?
Individuals and groups can appeal to European judges when personal or other Liberty has been violated. That would stop States descending into the black cellar of a gangster State like Nazi Germany. What would be the rules that the judges would apply? Natural justice, human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Europeans then could have growing confidence in cross-border relations and economies of scale. First it was necessary to only tackle the most vital part of the economy. There was no question in Schuman’s mind of creating an instant federal system covering all aspects of society. He dismissed the idea as ‘utopian‘.
For historic reasons of the causes of war, Schuman targeted the international cartels that led to both of the two world wars and for the Franco-Prussian war in 1870. Cartels fired up the nationalist arms race before the world wars. Cartels also profiteered internationally by exploiting the arms sales by sharing patents.
Europe, he said, must proceed step by step. So the regulator was first introduced in a more technical system of European cooperation like the single market of the European Coal and Steel Community. Then it was applied to the Customs Union of the Economic Community and the nuclear security system of Euratom. Thus a technical type of Regulator of Liberty was required within each Community.
Imagine if a group of ideologues controlled the major armaments firms in Europe. What if a party was able to control the customs tariffs or the internal Single Market and hence aspects of all international trade? What if some ruthless power-hungry group of gangsters controlled the nuclear industry in Europe. They could possess the sole means to build nuclear bombs. They could define security policy and extract a ransom.
None of these foreseeable events is in the public good in one country or all European countries.
The Commission acts as an Arbitrator of the parties concerned working for their good as defined in rules by the parties concerned. It oversees industries, workers and consumers as well as assuring technical advancement and regional fairness.
It is not composed of one Arbitrator but a group or college. Think of it as the Jury of Europe. The Jury is chosen because each of its members is considered non-partisan, free of any prejudices of the case before them.
Who chooses them? A Jury is chosen from a list of citizens. And they are chosen not by a positive vote because they look handsome or pretty. They are chosen by elimination of prejudice.
INDEPENDENT. They have to be NON-PARTISAN and seen to be impartial by both parties in a dispute. The Commission members have to be totally independent but also experienced in the subjects that come before them.
That is what the treaties say from the start. The Commission must be made up of experienced people who have shown they are not biased in favour of any State, political party, commercial or other interests or personal bias. They are independent of any issue that comes before them. They cannot be accused of bias because their experience shows that they are not partisans for one side or the other.
That is why democratic countries hold to the Jury system composed of free and honest citizens. They judge the issues at stake. The Jury is the highest judge. A Jury can make a judgement in defiance of the judge in court and the law passed by a parliament. Both of these could themselves be biased. How? The judge because he wants to stick to precedent. The parliament because the parliamentary majority may have been nobbled by lobbyists or special interests. The laws themselves may reflect ideology, corrupt practice, not natural justice.
And thus the concept of an impartial, non-partisan authority must be safeguarded.
De Gaulle wanted to destroy the Community idea that brought Europe its first lasting peace. How did he plan to attack it? He wanted to turn the impartial Commission into a political secretariat where his Gaullist representative could dominate proceedings. Thus he could dominate the whole politics of Western Europe.
Democrats would have none of this. Statesmen like Luns, Spaak, Bech and others opposed him.
So should we. Political parties should not control the Commission by their fraudulent Spitzenkandidat system.David Heilbron Price