"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Monday, 14 September 2009

Lies, Damned Lies & The EU

The Lisbon Treaty Official Q&A

This is the official line on the EU but the links give you a better picture.

Does the Treaty of Lisbon increase the number of decisions taken in “Brussels”?
No. The Treaty will be a basis for a more decentralized and transparent approach to implementing EU policies to help ensure that decisions are taken as close as possible to the citizen. It brings the local and regional dimension into the EU legal framework and states that the Union must respect the national identities of Member States, inherent in their fundamental structures, including regional and local self-government. The Treaty will just streamline the distribution of powers between the Union and the Member States by saying who does what. There will be fewer grey areas to cause confusion and uncertainty in the future.
Subsidiarity & the Illusion of Democratic Control

Will the Treaty of Lisbon create a European "Super-State"?
No. The Treaty of Lisbon will be an international treaty agreed and ratified by sovereign Member States that agree to share some of their sovereignty in supranational cooperation. The Treaty of Lisbon will acknowledge that the Union reflects the will of the Member States and their citizens, and that its powers stem from these States.
The Treaty does not alter the basic nature of the EU, but it introduces some major institutional innovations, which will make the Union stronger and more effective. This is not to the detriment of the Member States; on the contrary, the EU complements Member States' action when they cannot meet their goals on their own.
 State building & the EU's Supranational Momentum
History of Europe as a Supranational Region: Primary Documents

Will the Treaty create a European army? No. Military capabilities remain in national hands. The Treaty foresees that Member States can make available civilian and military resources to the Union for the implementation of its Common Security and Defence operations. However, any Member State has the right to oppose such operations and all contributions to them will be always on a voluntary basis.
A group of Member States who are willing and have the necessary capability will be able to undertake disarmament operations, humanitarian and rescue tasks, military advice and peace-keeping tasks. No Member State can be forced to participate in such operations.
Eurogendfor: Multinational Police Force with Military Status
Military Capabilities
European Security & Defence Policy (includes EUNavFor, EUPol and EUFor).

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