Aletho News


Why The European Community (“the EU”) Must Collapse

By Robin Mathews | American Herald Tribune | July 8, 2017

The simple reason for the coming collapse of what we call the European Union is the essentially unjust, unequal, undemocratic, and punitive nature of its basic legal structure. The EU Commission and other arms of the (unelected) bureaucracy work happily in that structure, increasing anti-democratic tensions. Their connection with the Imperial Globalizers is almost flagrant. But the source of trouble lies in The European Court of Justice, the Community’s (apparently) highest authority.

The explanation of the truth is revealed by Dieter Grimm, a former member of the German Federal Constitutional Court. In his role there he had (between 1987 and 1999) to meet EU incursions into the German Constitution and its defenses of democratic freedoms. On March 29, 2017, he explained the situation at the invitation of the College de France. (“Quand le juge dissout l’electeur” – Le Monde diplomatique, July, 2017, p. 19). (Narrowly translated, that means “When the judge erases the voter”.)

Very much of German response and (guarded) acceptance of EU “treaty-making” is marked by what is called the “as long as” clause in German ratifications. That clause states that “as long as” all fundamental rights are not guaranteed by the European Community, all new treaties must submit to strict respect for the sovereignty of the German people as written in their fundamental law. That most powerful nation in the European Union declares, in fact, that the European Community is structured as a threat to fundamental human rights and freedoms. Not much more needs to be said.

The present situation explains the (apparent) flailing of new political formations in Europe (and Britain), trying for a grasp on power. Since the tendency of EU national governments has been acceptance of undemocratic power in the Community, and since the mainstream media and “respected” commentators support the undemocratic basis of the Community, the first resistances have been eruptive, uncertain, belligerent. UKIP in England, Marine Le Pen’s National Party in France, The Five Star Movement in Italy and other like formations have not been welcomed in “acceptable” circles.

They are deemed, condescendingly, to be “populist movements”. The word takes its meaning from a nineteenth century, U.S. Party wishing to broaden democracy, to nationalize some infrastructure (i.e. Railways), to limit private ownership of land, and to use a graduated tax system. The term ‘populist’ was also used of a movement in Russia (very early) seeking increased collectivism. Clearly the smell of democracy hangs about the word “populist”. And so the persistent use of the word as a pejorative says much. With all their faults, the “populist” parties in Europe began the demand for action to work against what might fairly be called “creeping fascism” in that Community.

The whole fake target – immigration and immigrants – might be seen, among the new political forces, to be a simple matter of their racism and inhumanity. Except for one thing – the wealthy, the coddled corporations, and international capital want a borderless Europe in order to move low-wage earners from poorest countries across the Community to help force down living standards … and raise profits. That fact becomes obscured by the unique problem caused with the flood of immigrants pressing for acceptance in Europe as a result of the ravages left by Western countries seeking “regime change” in the Middle East.

“Good” political activities, according to the Mainstream Press and its owners are ones like that of Matteo Renzi in Italy (Centre Left) which recently tried to reduce democratic responsibility of the elected by referendum – and was rejected. Or like Emmanuel Macron’s new French “En Marche” Party, a neo-liberal force that also wants to bridle democracy, in France. Macron, like Renzi in Italy, has announced he is willing to go to referendum in his attack on democracy – if he can’t get what he wants through France’s National Assembly. (Both, of course, put forward the claim to want to streamline democracy and speed it up.) The surge of support for Macron in France was almost a desperation measure after the “Socialist” government of Francois Hollande sold out completely to the European Commission and international capital. Macron’s solution is no solution … as time will tell.

In England, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbin points to the biggest symptom of “creeping fascism” in Britain, calling it the folly of “The Austerity State”… the situation in which the general population is increasingly undefended and subjected to ‘precarious’ living, while the wealthy are coddled, corporations are given free rein, and international capital is the de facto legislator. In confronting The Austerity State and vowing to change it, Jeremy Corbin (specifically) and the British Labour Party he leads are climbing in popularity, as the European population – misled by the European Commission, its bureaucratic back-up, and their ‘owned’ media – is finally coming to a slow understanding about where real power resides in European “government”.

Plainly, most economic and trade initiatives in Europe spring (primarily) from profit-seeking corporations, banking institutions, and others in the investment community – not from forces desiring the well-being of all Europeans. And so conflict is assured until national governments in the Community are formed by forces truly representing the larger population … which address the fundamental weakness expressed in basically flawed inter-Community treaty-making.

Briefly – history tells all:

From the time of the Marshall Plan (at the end of the Second World War) the U.S. set about to re-create Europe as a gigantic marketplace. The creation of NATO (1949) furthered a U.S./European integrated military led by the U.S.A. NATO and U.S. corporate interests worked to encourage the establishment of a European Union. The cry to the public was that an integrated Europe would end the costly and destructive history of war-making there, a noble aspiration that caught the popular imagination.

But integral to the communitarian cry was the unending ambition of the global imperialists, of “dark” government, of ‘the deep State’ – whatever name is chosen for the (in fact) fascist One Per Cent – the ambition to be, in fact, the real government of Europe and to exploit its wealth and population.

Dieter Grimm puts the matter simply. What he calls “the democratic deficit” of the Union is no longer in doubt and is based upon the transformation of Europe by treaties. The European Court of Justice regards inter-community treaties as the foundation of a European Constitution. It apparently (from what base and/or source of influence?) sees its role as the maker of a European Constitution … through treaty-making – without first demanding that all treaties are based in the protection of fundamental Rights and Freedoms.

Apparently an unique situation in Europe, the condition Dieter Grimm describes is, of course, not unique. Across the world, forces of Imperial Globalization (call it what you will) have been shaping so-called Free Trade treaties (with the apparent close co-operation of “democratic” governments in power) which shift sovereign power away from the elected representatives of the people and their carefully constructed court systems to various forms of faceless, “irresponsible”, privately-appointed decision-making bodies. Those bodies oversee the gigantic raid made by private corporations upon populations helpless to prevent the massive grabbing which results from claims that the country in question is interfering with the right of the private corporations to exploit wealth and people.

Stripping a people of its fundamental human rights and freedoms clears the way for a world of corporate decision making in which all criteria of effectiveness and efficiency are the criteria of the capitalist entrepreneur. In Europe, cooperation between the Globalizers and supine governments is eating at the fundamental protections of working people, structures to insure universal health care and security in old age … and is proposing to “release” people entering the labour market from any defensive organizations so they will be free (as they were in the slave days of the Industrial Revolution) to – singly and freely as independent entities – negotiate with corporations the terms of their employment.

We remember … if the Court doesn’t … that in 2005 the unelected ruling forces in Europe produced a three-volume proposed Constitution for Europe, one which legitimized the neo-liberal structure growing in place. France and Holland rejected it by referendum and, effectively, killed it. Undaunted, the bureaucrats largely resurrected its intentions in the 2007 Treaty of Lisbon. The Treaty did not need referendum approval and was signed into being by all member States, including the governments of France and Holland – flying in the face of what was clearly a democratic expression of the popular will. In 2009 the Treaty of Lisbon came into force. Dieter Grimm argues that the European Court of Justice is “constitutionalizing” treaties … arguing for and accepting them as ‘basic law’, superior to all national law and national Constitutions. Germany, for one, disagrees.

In short, at least since 1964 (the Treaty of Lisbon being merely another nail in the coffin of European Union democracy) the European Court of Justice has ruled that all treaties (and, indeed, all Court of Justice rulings) take precedence over national laws and Constitutions. But since that process is constructing, in Jeremy Corbin’s words, an “Austerity State” which is plainly unjust, unequal, undemocratic, and punitive to the larger European population, it cannot survive.

Failing an internal reconstruction of the Community – which seems (at present) almost impossible, European Union national populations – sooner or later – will elect governments that set in motion the clause in the European rule-book that begins exit from the Union. Then Britain’s much berated Brexit, voted to begin Britain’s withdrawal from the European Community, will become the rule, rather than – as it is now – the highly criticized exception.

Robin Mathews is Professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

July 9, 2017 - Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics | , ,

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