The HISTORY, PURPOSE and FUTURE of Europe
Commission # 2
Should it be the retirement home
for failed/ unwanted/discredited/ hard-up politicians?
|Directed by David H Price.
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News and Research on Europe highlighting Robert Schuman's political, economic, philosophical contribution from the independent SCHUMAN PROJECT
When the Irish voted No in their referendum of June 2008, many commentators said that they reacted because they did not want to lose 'their national Commissioner'. Nearly all States have former politicians in the European Commission.
us start by dispensing with two myths.
no treaty in all the history of European integration says that any State
should even have a national representative in the
Commission. Secondly, seeing that is the case, it follows that no treaty
says that a State’s representative should be an ex-politician, disgraced
politicians or any politician of any size, shape, colour, form, gender or
treaties say the reverse. They say with a unanimous voice that the members
of the Commission should take absolutely NO instructions from the
government of which they may be a national. Thus any Commissioner of
French nationality should not take or solicit instructions from the French
government. Can everyone even a politician understand that? Nor should the
Commissioners ‘solicit instructions’ from any group, whether
political, commercial, or any form of association. Is that clear? The
members of the Commission should be INDEPENDENT.
treaties are so clear that it is a wonder that anyone could have the
slightest doubt. It should be a source of amazement and wonder to behold
that the present European Commission. It is stuffed to the gunnels with
national politicians!! Further there are 27 of them
— whose nationalities correspond exactly to the nationalities of
the 27 Member States!
has the impudence to place national politicians as their members of the
Commission? Why no one but Europe’s ‘democratic’ national
leaders, apparently democratically elected, of 27 democratic governments.
Many have university degrees in law and politics. These are the people who
should be policing the treaties to see the articles are respected! Are any
of them honest? It would take only ONE to say: ‘Hey wait a minute
fellow prime ministers. What we are doing is WRONG. The treaties say that
we should not be doing this!’
and many European citizens, are still waiting for that honest man or woman
to open his mouth.
Read the Treaties!
what Europe’s founding treaty says: “Members
… shall exercise their functions in complete independence, in the
general interest of the Community. In the fulfillment of their duties,
they shall neither solicit nor accept instructions from any government or
from any organization. They shall abstain from all conduct incompatible
with the supranational character of their functions.”
(Treaty of Paris, article 9).
the next line the treaty forbids the governments from trying to influence
the Members. “Each Member State undertakes to respect this supranational
character and not to seek to influence the members … in the execution of
present Nice Treaty says much the same thing … with one exception.
Nationalists and Gaullists feared or objected to the word, supranational.
Supranational democracy was one thing they did not want. Why? It would
quickly show them up as less than democratic at home! They therefore
caused this word to be struck out at the first revision of the treaties.
was a futile gesture. The meaning is the same. Supranational
means that the Commission is totally independent of all interests. The
main text remains. No government had the audacity to try to substitute it
with a phrase that said: ‘Member States have the right to influence a
Commissioner especially if the Commissioner is of the same nationality and
it is a Gaullist government or nationalist government of that ilk.’
That would be just like saying we have the right to bribe the
referee in a football match.
theory, in law and by agreement in this compact made between all
democratic member states, Commission Members remain free to make proposals
subject only to their own judgement (which should be based on wide
European experience and impartial information) and their conscience. They
have to form judgements based on talking out questions of Europe in detail
in conjunction with the other members, exercising the same faculties of
honesty, analysis and non-ideological deductions.
500 million people are watching and judging them as to whether they are
independent. Some pass the test; others fail. It is far too tempting for
Commissioners to assume they must become a champion for a particular
interest group or political ideology. For those outside such interest
groups, they look as trustworthy as a crooked cop.
national leaders, selecting the Commission presents them with another
temptation. What better place to create high-paid jobs for the political
boys and girls that they did not want at home, than to send them to
Brussels? The voting public on the other hand has now got a real Litmus
test to show whether politicians at home are really honest. Do they insist
that the Commission should not be a dumping ground for politicians? See
what has happened in the last decade since new treaties began to be
discussed! In recent years hardly one has passed the test. We are in a
period not so much of a democratic deficit but a ‘surplus of
arrogance’, as one commissioner called it.
is it to represent political parties or government systems?
a way to ease out unwanted political colleagues?
to provide a healthy pension at the end of a career?
to act as a representative for industrial lobbies?
to protect the workers by close ties to unions?
to introduce reform that is in a party political programme but can't be introduced in the national parliament?
to make contacts with European industry so that a politician can get an even fatter job by resigning early?
to provide a speaker with European credentials to rally votes at national elections?
to provide a training ground for a future lobbyist and wheeler-dealer?
to manipulate European money that cannot be got at a national level for the party?
to make sure that money goes to a local favoured region?
to create 'research' and work projects for special interests?
to build the army of contractors to eliminate an independent civil service?
to stop other nations complaining about the member's State?
to block anti-corruption investigations at a European level?
to make sure that favoured cartels and interests are not investigated?
to provide other jobs for the party 'boys and girls' by 'parachuting' them in as advisers and contractors?
to be the long-arm of the government back home?
to work with party buddies in the European Parliament to execute plans cooked up in secret?
TO BE HONEST, INDEPENDENT AND IMPARTIAL, RESPONSIVE TO ALL EUROPEAN INTERESTS, KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT EUROPEAN VALUES OF JUSTICE AND PROGRESS, ENCOURAGING MEANINGFUL DEBATES WHILE RESPECTING THE SPIRIT AND LETTER OF THE TREATIES UNDER THE OPEN RULE OF LAW AND FULL DEMOCRATIC FREEDOMS ?
The Commission is there to: a) propose European legislation of common interest b) execute democratically agreed policy; c) act as guardian of the Treaties.