Lisbon/EU Treaty

Discussion in 'Your Bloody Soap Box' started by limerickman, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    The Lisbon Treaty - now eupehmistically referred to as the Reform Treaty -
    is trying to be foisted once again on the people of the EU.

    Both Holland and Denmark rejected the Lisbon Treaty in 2006 : when the Treaty was put to the people in a referendum.

    The Treaty is a complex document - however to summarise it : sovereign goverments within the EU will be required to transfer sovereign powers for defence, agriculture, finance and other laws over to Brussels/Strasbourg.
    National goverments, throughout the EU, will not be able to pass legislation in these areas unless approved by the EU Commission.

    Depending on which country you are from, countries representation at EU Commission level will be altered from the existing format - which means that some countries who today have an EU Commissioner, will lose that Commission seat if the Lisbon Treaty is enacted.

    For the Treaty to be enacted, all member countries of the EU must ratify the Treaty in their own country.
    It appears that most countries are not going to put the Treaty to their citizens.
    These countries parliaments will debate the Treaty - but the Treaty itself will not be put to the people.
    Fortunately, in this country, the referendum is being put to the people on this Treaty in mid - 2007.

    I notice too that the British - promised a referendum under Blair - have been told that there will be no referendum in the UK.

    Are our rights as sovereign citizens/nations being signed away to Europe?
    or is the Lisbon Treaty a good thing?
     
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  2. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    Defense too??? Are there any opt-out clauses for any members? I don't see how countries like UK would agree on this one.

    You refer to reducing the clout of some countries like Poland, right?

    You mean mid-2008?
     
  3. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Mid 2008.

    One of the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty is that all EU countries would be required to form part of the EU defense forces : therefore countries which were previously neutral/unaligned, would be required under EU legislation to commit to this new defence force.

    And in terms of clout - EU Commission seats would rotate between countries
    that are not part of the Big 5 (Italy/Germany/UK/France/Spain).
     
  4. 11ring

    11ring New Member

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    In my opinion the treaty should be opposed not because it takes away national rights per se- I am not a nationalist and support the idea of regional or even internation integration and governence at an abstract level. The reason to oppose the treaty is that it is part of cementing a right wing neo-liberal economic and financial policy on EU member states. It will further restrict the ability of ordinary EU citizens to enact an economic system which will benefit themselves as opposed to the tiny European ruling class. The local elites love the idea, because they can then blame their cutbacks and privitisation policies on fatcats in Brussels. That said, should a left wing gevernement or coalition come to power and show some backbone and attempt real reforms (as in make things better, the true meaning of the word, nor the reform we know and hate, which means cutbacks) their ability to do so will be restricted by the Treaty.
     
  5. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    Good points. I used to be totally in favour of E.U. integration but now believe it has all gone wrong. You're also right about the referendum in this country. I happen to believe in an outdated concept called democracy (sovereign rule of the people) but what you witness is no consultation, voting power or accountability.
    I was always in favour of relaxed trade links and a common human rights policy applied to all members, as well as working rights charters and funding for E.U. States.
    The danger here is that Europe is once again taking on delusions of grandeur and drifting away from democracy. I also don't see how Europe can become a superpower the same way as China or the U.S. since we cannot fully unite when push comes to shove. There are too many cultural differences, languages and cultures.



     
  6. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    The impression I have is that it is precisely the inability to fully unite that has caused the EU politicians to go the route of a "treaty" (without a referendum) vs a constitution that is approved democratically by each of the member states. After what happened with the first version of the constitution, they know that the differences are too great for anything to really get approved the traditional way.
     
  7. Crankyfeet

    Crankyfeet New Member

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    You left out language differences...:p
     
  8. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Yes and no.

    The European project was to unite Europe in order to prevent the type of conflicts that created WW1 and WW2.
    European integration was initiated at the Treaty of Rome in 1957 : where France, Germany and the Benelux countries signed a treaty to try to integrate where there were areas of commonality.
    Gradually, as the years went by, other European nations were invited to apply for membership of what was known then as the Common Market.
    In essence, issues like agriculture has commonality across and a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) developed.

    Interesting CAP is probably the only truly integrated policy up until the creation of the EURO in 2002,
    Further certain European countries such as Britain - were very unwilling to consider joining this new body.
    Anthlony Eden in 1957 declared "there is nothing in this for Britain".
    In the 1960's, De Gaulle vetoed Britains application to join this new group and it was only in 1973 that Britain, Denmark and Ireland joined the Common Market as it was known then.

    Gradually over the years, for those countries who did join the Common Market, the powers of soverign goverments have begun to be superseded by
    EU bodies.
    For example, in the EURO mechanism, sovereign countries cental banks, transfer their right to set interest rates to the European Central Bank (ECB).
    Therefore while a country may require higher/lower interest rates to manage it's economy, it cannot set a rate for their country, because the interest rate that is applied by the ECB applies to all member states.
    So the sovereign right of individual countries goverments is slowly being whittled away.

    Further EU integration is in the pipeline.
    For example, common tax levels will be required to be applied across the EU.
    Corporation tax (tax on profits), V.A.T (value added tax on goods/services) will be standardised throughout the EU.
    None of these, and many other changes, will be allowed to be debated/voted upon because the Treaty of Lisbon, further amends all previous Treaties and
    states that the EU Parliament and EU Commission can enact laws without referring to the people of the countries in the EU.
     
  9. nns1400

    nns1400 New Member

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    Isn't that known as taxation without representation?

    Though I don't know anything about the EU Parliament...how does that work in terms of representing the people of each country?
     
  10. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Each country within the EU has both national politicians (those elected to the parliament of each respective state) and European politicians (those elected to the European parliament).
    Local parliament politicans don't hold European Parliament seats - and vice versa.
    national parliament elections can be held at any time within respective countries.
    European Parliament elections are held every five years.
    The number of seats per country in those elections is determined on the population size of the country.
    (we have 4m population - we only have 5 European politicians).

    But the Prime Minister ( French President, German Chancellor) meet to discuss and agree European Policy.
    EU Commissioners, appointed by the respective Prime Ministers, do the negotiating for those policies - and the Prime Ministers sign the authorisation to enact legislation.
    That's how it works in very simple terms.

    The Prime Ministers meet every three months or so at EU summits.

    As regards the tax - yes it is tax with no representation
     
  11. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    I wouldn't quite say that. Now, in the district of Columbia, if my understanding is correct, they have no representative in the senate of house of representatives, and hence the taxation without representation. I didn't quite understand from your post on whether the electorate in a country has a direct or indirect role in the election of the members of the European parliament. If the involvement is direct, then it is definitely not taxation without representation. If they choose the politicians who elect the members of the European parliament (thus having only an indirect result on the election of the parliament members), it still doesn't quite count as taxation without representation.

    However, that aside, I agree that it is questionable on how good an idea it is for a central agency to control things like VAT, interest rates etc. given that different member countries have different economies. I didn't realize that the treaty was looking at centralising such aspects.
     
  12. Crankyfeet

    Crankyfeet New Member

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    The economies are different today... but the goal is to integrate them. Lim lives in a country that has powered at a much higher growth rate than other European countries primarily because of a better tax environment for businesses. A homogenous taxation and monetary policy across Europe would take away those advantages.

    Even though pooling defense resources under one authority will reduce each country's ability to make individual military and diplomatic decisions, the idea of having one large force that protects all makes much more sense in a cost/benefit equation.

    It's obvious that Europe is trying to integrate to match the USA. It is funny that they are using population as a gauge for political representation. That's only because it suits the current powers to do so. If India was part of Europe, you can bet that calculation would be out the window.

    Is there any chance of Russia ever joining the EU in the future? Or is it zero probability?
     
  13. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    How does France's nuclear arsenal fit into this?
     
  14. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    Even in a single country where some states are "more developed" than others, it is hard enough to integrate them all with a uniform policy. Then, how much harder is it going to be when you are dealing with different countries?
     
  15. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    The electorate vote in EU elections - citizens elect candidates to the EU parliament.
     
  16. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Good question : DeGaulle as you're probably aware chose not to align France within any common defence policy.
    I think that remains the case.
     
  17. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    We also benefitted from a huge infusion of EU structural funding in the mid-1990's : like Spain, huge capital funding was released from the EU to us in order to bring our economy up to speed with the major economies of Europe.
     
  18. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    "Is there any chance of Russia ever joining the EU in the future? Or is it zero probability?"

    Zero probability. ;) There may be even a bigger potential rift between Russia and Europe than between America and Russia. There's always been mistrust between Russia and Germany too, more on the Russian side. The rift with the U.K. is also so tense Russia just kicked a large part of the British Council out of the country and ordered closure of offices.
    The key factors for Russia are Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Czech Republic and Ukraine. Relations with Estonia (the E.U.'s number one growing economy) boiled over when Estonians removed a Russian WW2 monument which caused riots amongst ethnic Russians within the country and a cyber attack from Russia on Estonia's computer systems. It got very heated. The tensions all date back to Stalin's deportations of Estonians to Gulags and KGB repression.
    Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are all now tied to Europe but still have large numbers of Russians living within their borders without passports in many cases.
    My guess is as the E.U. expands closer to Russian borders, Russia may seek closer alliances with China. It will never join the E.U.


     
  19. DeathMitten

    DeathMitten New Member

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    Essentially it was a way to circumvent the fact that people did not want more integration.

    Practically every time in EU history when people are allowed a direct vote for more integration, up or down, the proponents of more integration lose.

    So they try to do an end-run about it.

    Quite... crafty I would say.
     
  20. Crankyfeet

    Crankyfeet New Member

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    I speculate that the Illuminati are behind all this now that the Age of Aquarius has dawned.
     
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