Archive for May, 2008

What does the government hide by hiding the Lisbon Treaty?

May 18, 2008

Because the Lisbon Treaty is a constitution, the decision on the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty means no less than an equivalent of parliamentary elections on an essential level: the voters’ decision on whether Ireland would keep its current government and parliament or accept the government and parliament and other state offices in Brussels. By not providing information on this fact, the current government campaigns to promote a ‘yes’ vote on the referendum, amounts to the deprivation of the Irish voters of their constitutional-democratic right to fair and free elections.

The propaganda recently launched by the government in support of the new federal EU constitution nicknamed as “Lisbon Treaty”, has failed to actually attach the text of the Treaty to their claims on what this treaty is about. The voters of Ireland will be called to submit their votes on an international treaty that is not available for them as of today, less than a month before the referendum.

The ca. 300 pages on the widely advertised website http://www.lisbontreaty2008.ie include only the instructions and extra texts to be applied to the existing EU treaties; however the website does not offer the text-base to be modified by these amendments, nor does it offer a consolidated presentation of these texts. How can the voters of Ireland be expected to make a decision on a treaty that they will never even see in full, only scattered fragments of it? Or every citizen of Ireland is expected to know all the existing EU treaties by heart, then to perform the necessary puzzle-game of insertions, deletions and modifications of these scattered texts?

Instead of the actual text subject to the referendum what the voters can see are instructions for deletions, insertions, renumberings and other modifications. Here are some examples of the many:

GENERAL PROVISIONS
64] Article 61 shall be replaced by the following Chapter 1and Articles 61 to 61 I. Article 61 shall also replace the current Article 29 of the Treaty on European Union, Article 61 D shall replace Article 36 thereof, Article 61 E shall replace Article 64(1) of the Treaty establishing the European Community and the current Article 33 of the Treaty on European Union,
Article 61G shall replace Article 66 of the Treaty establishing the European Community and Article 61 H shall take over Article 60 thereof, as set out in point 62 above:

BORDER CHECKS, ASYLUM AND IMMIGRATION
65] Articles 62 to 64 shall be replaced by the following Chapter 2 and Articles 62 to 63b. Article 62 shall replace Article 62, paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 63 shall replace points 1 and 2 of Article 63, paragraph 3 of Article 63 shall replace paragraph 2 of Article 64 and Article 63a shall replace points 3 and 4 of Article 63:

JUDICIAL COOPERATION IN CRIMINAL MATTERS
67] Article 66 shall be replaced by Article 61 G, as set out in point 64 above, and Articles 67 to 69 shall be repealed. The following Chapter 4 and Articles 69 A to 69 E shall be inserted. Articles 69 A, 69 B and 69 D shall replace the current Article 31 of the Treaty on European Union, as set out above in point 51 of Article 1 of this Treaty:

POLICE COOPERATION
68] The following Chapter 5 and Articles 69 F, 69 G and 69 H shall be inserted. Articles 69 F and 69 G shall replace the current Article 30 of the Treaty on European Union, and Article 69 H shall replace Article 32 thereof, as set out above in point 51 of Article 1 of this Treaty:

It is obvious that the voters cannot be expected to know the contents of the referenced articles nor the location from where they can download the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community (the text-base amended by above instructions).

The voters are especially not expected to understand immediately what the above mess actually means when applied to the respective parts of the existing treaties.

What the government and all pro-Lisbon groups hide by hiding the Lisbon Treaty is:

– The inability of the “yes” side to justify their statements on the very basis of the text itself.

– The contradictions between the actual content/implications of the Lisbon Treaty and the official statements of the EU and the Irish government on the treaty.
Actual truth by the text of the treaty : abolishment of democracy and transparency by elevating non-elected bureaucrats to the top of the decision hierarchy over all Europe, abolishment of the current voting and other citizens’ rights of ca 500 million citizens, loss of national sovereignty of the member states by the primacy of the Union law over the legislative decisions of the national parliaments, exclusion of the voters of 26 EU-states from the most essential decision of establishing the federal EU state itself, etc.
False statements held as the official ‘truth’ : “improved democracy”, “more transparency”, “increased role of the national parliaments in the EU’s decisions”, “increased involvement of the people in the EU’s decisions”, etc.

– The direct consequences of ratifying the constitutional Lisbon Treaty (“Conceptual map: the Lisbon Treaty is a constitution”), such as the loss of national sovereignty in economical, political, economical, social, military and other perspectives, and the countless further negative consequences, such as the loss of military neutrality and loss of an independent tax regime, etc.

– The fact that as soon as the Lisbon Treaty would be ratified in all member states and the treaty would come into effect, the actual government and parliament functions currently performed by the national state officials will be transferred to the respective EU-institutions. In this regard the decision on the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty means no less than an equivalent of parliamentary elections on an essential level: the voters’ decision on whether Ireland would keep its current government and parliament or accept the government and parliament and other state offices in Brussels. By not providing information on this fact, the current government campaigns to promote a ‘yes’ vote on the referendum, amounts to the deprivation of the Irish voters of their constitutional-democratic right to fair and free elections.

To make a decision on switching to a new constitution is a decision that most generations in the history of humankind never had to make and will never have to.

A constitution, especially one that enabled Ireland to realise its highest potentials, therefore is seen by most of us as a given, the value of which will be really seen only when it is lost.

A new constitution holds the key to our and our children’s future in every sense.

An undemocratic constitution like the Lisbon Treaty, – which is a constitution to cheat and deprive 500 million of their voting rights, by its very introduction – is depriving us of something the loss of which is unknown for most of us: political freedom.

Ultimately this is the very fact that the government and the EU-leadership hide by hiding the Lisbon Treaty.
Without political freedom we will be at the mercy of the further decisions of those who now are cheating the whole of Europe.

On the other hand, a consolidated version has been offered for the voters to download on a website of a “NO to Lisbon campaign”-group, “Libertas”: http://www.libertas.org/content/view/233/128/

The obvious reason for the openness of the “NO-groups” is that they have nothing to hide. They have provided objective information on the Lisbon Treaty, therefore the text itself only proves their justified stance against the treaty.

Top Reasons to Vote NO to Lisbon Treaty (updated)

May 13, 2008

Summary

1. The Lisbon Treaty is an incomprehensible document, which is NOT readable in a linear way. It was NOT meant to be read by anyone, just to be blindly accepted. It is against basic common sense and against the sense of responsibility to sign any treaty or contract without fully knowing its contents and understanding its consequences.

2. The Lisbon Treaty is a constitution, therefore entails the loss of national sovereignty of the member states.

3. The Lisbon Treaty is the same as the former EU Constitution in disguise. The new constitution was designed as a plain “reform treaty” with the purpose to avoid referendums in the member states and to enable the leadership of Europe to circumvent the will of Europe’s peoples.

4. The Lisbon Treaty has been drafted and is being implemented via a profoundly undemocratic process.

5. The Lisbon Treaty is a profoundly undemocratic constitution laying down the foundation of an undemocratic federal state, with the non-elected European Commission on the top of the decision-making hierarchy.

6. For smaller EU countries like Ireland, the Lisbon Treaty means a radical loss of the voters’ influence on the nationally elected EU-bodies.

7. The Lisbon Treaty means the loss of permanent representation of the member states in the European Commission, which signifies an increased centralisation of the EU-leadership and a further departure of the EU federal state in exercising its powers over the nations of Europe.

8. Voting NO does NOT mean losing EU membership. The Lisbon Treaty and the current leadership of Europe has an alternative – a new plan and constitution for a free alliance of Europe developed by the EUDemocrats.

Details

1. Incomprehensible document

The Lisbon Treaty is an incomprehensible document, which is NOT readable in a linear way. It was NOT meant to be read by anyone, just to be blindly accepted. The leaders of Europe have signed and ratified the Treaty without ever having read the entire text and without the opportunity of having analysed its implications from all perspectives. The incomprehensible, unreadable and too complex text cannot be read and understood within a reasonable time frame. The fundamental constitutional provisions of the Lisbon Treaty are hidden in scattered fragments of complex, renumbered, and cross-referenced amendments. The advocates of the “yes campaign” claiming their monopoly for the “official truth” disregard or are ignorant of the fact that the 272 pages offered for downloading as the “full text of the Lisbon Treaty” only contains the modifications, deletions and additions to the existing treaties, which altogether add up to ca 3000 pages (!)
It is against basic common sense and against the sense of responsibility to sign any treaty or contract without fully knowing its contents and understanding its consequences. This is especially true in the case of making a decision regarding a new constitution, which will ultimately determine our and our children’s future, with implications affecting all the relevant aspects of our life.
(Note: most of the advocates of the treaty admit that they have NOT read the text.)

2. Loss of national sovereignty
Since the Lisbon Treaty is a constitution that lays down the foundation of a new federal state of the European Union, ratifying the treaty implies the loss of national sovereignty of each EU-state, in legal, political and economical terms. Most of the main negative consequences, such as the tax harmonisation, will be secondary consequences following from the loss of national sovereignty.

3. A document to mislead the peoples of Europe
The text of the Lisbon Treaty is the same as that of the former EU Constitution, under different name and with different presentation. Since the EU Constitution was meant to establish a new federal state, the Lisbon Treaty serves the very same purpose in a disguised form, thus depriving the nation states of their sovereignty. The European Commission and the national governments of the EU countries deny the loss of national sovereignty in order to avoid putting this Treaty on referendums. By the act of misleading and making the voters unknowingly give up their national sovereignty, the political class of Europe forcefully imposes new citizens’ rights and obligations onto nearly 500 million citizens by a grand-scale deceit, and deprive the voters of Europe of their current voting competencies.

4. The undemocratic process of Lisbon
Propaganda of distorted facts and deceit are by definition methods of undemocratic forces rather than of democracies.

“Dictatorship is one of the two chief forms of government in use today. Modern dictators usually use force or fraud to gain power and then keep it through intimidation, terror, suppression of civil liberties, and control of the mass media.” (Encyclopædia Britannica)

The implementation of the Lisbon Treaty by means of deceit is the end of the nation states of Europe, end of political freedom and the end of democracy in Europe.
Because the Lisbon Treaty is a constitution the referendum on this treaty in all of the EU-states would be the absolute requirement of the democratic foundation of a new federal state. A new constitution is the fundamental set of laws defining the rights and obligations of the citizens and defining the type of the system (democratic or other) they will be governed by; therefore the citizens’ direct approval of the new system would be the a priori requirement to satisfy the principles of democracy in the process of constitutionalisation. However, in the case of Lisbon Treaty, the citizens of 26 EU countries out of 27 countries are not granted the democratic constitutional right for general elections to express their decision on the new federal constitution.
Rather than following the democratic process of constitutionalisation, the leaders of Europe have utterly contradicted the voters’ voice expressed via the former French and Dutch referendums. With the European Parliament having ratified the Lisbon Treaty long before the results of the Irish referendum on the Treaty, the EU has revealed its utter disrespect for the voice of the Irish voters as well.
It is a contradiction in terms to guarantee a region of democracy, security and rule of law, and to establish a new political system in the respective region by the very act of abolishing the voters’ ultimate right to have a say on the system to be implemented. While the EU and the national political class resort to totalitarian means to pursue their ambitions, they use derogatory labels like “nationalism”, “xenophobia”, and the false application of the terms “terrorism” and “racism”, etc. to suppress the voices of democracy, and to neutralise the European voters’ rightful and lawful self-defence against the undemocratic process of Lisbon.

5. Undemocratic constitution – wide gap between promises and realisation
The Lisbon Treaty itself and its supporters claim that the treaty’s provisions will actually implement a democratic system, and the treaty will even “improve democracy”. However, based on the very text of the Lisbon Treaty, the exact opposite is true. So far only the “NO to Lisbon” groups could substantiate their claims by the actual text and by an objective analysis of the implications of the Treaty. As opposed to the statements of the advocates of Lisbon Treaty, this treaty is a profoundly undemocratic constitution designing a profoundly undemocratic political system, in which the essential legislative powers of the national parliaments are transferred to a distant, unaccountable and unelected group of bureaucrats, the European Commission. The Lisbon Treaty is a constitution with provisions protecting the new federal state against its citizens, rather than protecting the citizens against the abuse of powers by the state. The system the treaty designs is without effective checks and balances of powers, which would be required as per the principles of democracy.

6. Radical loss of actual influence of the voters on the political decisions
For all EU-countries, especially for the smaller countries like Ireland, the loss of national sovereignty under Lisbon implies a further loss of democratic influence on the political decisions. As of today the voters of each EU-country delegate ALL of their representatives by general elections into their national parliament. The electorate is represented with 100% coverage of the decisions made by their respective national parliament. However, under the Lisbon Treaty the voters of each EU-country can delegate by general election only a fragmental representation into the European Parliament and the Council, the members of which will however exercise powers over ALL citizens of Europe. This fragment equals the percentage determined by the country size divided by the entire size of the EU. In the case of Ireland, this percentage will be 12/751 =1.6%. The Irish voters’ ability to influence the overall decisions made by their political lead will therefore be reduced from 100% to 1.6%.

7. Loss of permanent representation in the Commission

After 2014 the EU-states lose their right to a permanent Commissioner. In any 5 year term only two-third of the EU-countries will be represented in the Commission, in the ultimate decision-making body, which will shape the all-time strategies and the very direction of the EU. Because smaller countries like Ireland will not have significant say via other EU-institutions either, for Ireland the loss of permanent commissioner entails the absolute lack of influence on the decisions of the EU.
The loss of permanent representation of the member states in the European Commission signifies an increased centralisation of the EU-leadership and a further departure of the EU federal state in exercising its posers over the nations of Europe.

8. Voting NO does NOT mean losing EU membership and does not mean rejecting alliance among the countries of Europe; it means a demand for restoring the voters’ rights and other guiding principles of democracy, rule of law and constitutionalism in Europe. It means asking for an accountable political lead, and for a transparent and truly democratic system established on a genuine debate and factual agreement between the leaders and voters of Europe. The optimal alternative of the Lisbon Treaty is to retain the sovereignty of the nation states and to design a truly democratic European system in which a strong yet free alliance among the countries of Europe is developed under the constitutional control of the voters over their own national governments and over the decisions of the EU. (See the EUDemocrats’ website under the References.)

Main references

The research articles and references on this blog:
“The Lisbon Treaty Blog
Facts about the Lisbon Treaty – what political science tells us”
https://howardh.wordpress.com/2008/04/25/summary-on-the-lisbon-treaty-research/

“Lisbon Treaty Irish Referendum Blog – National Platform”
http://nationalplatform.wordpress.com/

“Defend Sovereignty – Neutrality – Democracy: Vote No to Lisbon!”
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87547

EUDemocrats – the alternative of the current EU-leadership
http://www.eudemocrats.org/

Selected references, readings and videos posted on this blog:
https://howardh.wordpress.com/selected-references/
https://howardh.wordpress.com/other-readings-and-videos/