Mr Luc Van den
European Committee of Regions
Dear President Van den Brande,
inauguration as President on 6 February 2008, you emphasized that the Committee
of Regions is an independent institution in a European Community of values. We
must jettison the idea of Europe as a hierarchy, you said.
spoke in the Berlaymont press room the next day, I asked you whether the CoR, as
one of the independent institutions designated in the treaties, would publish a
consolidated version of the Treaty of Lisbon and with a full commentary. So far
the Council has refused to do so. You said that you would give warm
consideration to the idea.
like to ask you what are the results of your reflection. I believe that the
publication of a readable version of any Treaty purporting to change the
European governance system is an urgent and primary necessity. What nation or
group of nations has ever been asked to agree to a governance document that
people are not allowed read? What democratic administration has ever refused to
provide a readable copy of the chief document about how a democracy is supposed
I would like to ask you to encourage an in-depth analysis by specialist
sub-committees of the hazardous innovations of the Lisbon Treaty. This treaty
will greatly reduce the Community’s anti-cartel powers. The European
Parliament’s power to dismiss the Commission will be lost forever in all
practical terms. The new, politicized Commission itself will be chosen from a
party list and elected on the basis of the ideological majority in Parliament.
The unforeseen consequences of this retrograde step are enormous. Democracy
itself is under threat.
and the other founding fathers specified that the Commission, made up of
experienced, wise Europeans with proven independence of mind, should be
impartial and completely independent of sectional interests: labour, political
parties, business or any other. The Commission’s duty was to seek out European
values, the common good and defend all European interests. The Commission is the
guardian of the treaties encapsulating these European values, not a guardian of
of the Consultative Committees was designed to ensure that no regional, economic
or social interest was neglected or abused. They are therefore “completely
independent in the performance of their duties in the interest of the Community”
(articles 258, 263, Nice Treaty). The reason for this was that for a century or more the cartels had, via
their strong manipulation of the media, finance and political parties, assured
that their own selfish interests predominated. Such greed in the coal, steel and
armaments industries led to wars. The names of Krupp, Thyssen (book: “I paid
Hitler”), IG Farben, Vickers-Armstrong, Schneider and de Wendel are identified
with this problem. Such firms created international cartel rings outside the
reach of national legislation. The European Commission/High Authority became the
world’s first, international anti-cartel agency. We have all benefited.
we are faced with even more serious dangers. The present draft of the Lisbon
Treaty, still not available in a readable form, is an open invitation to
corruption. Cartels, including powerful multinationals, can easily subvert
ALL major European party political systems or suborn party political
secretariats to ‘go easy’ on cartel or trust operations. The whole European
system of values can be distorted and corrupted.
Commission recently fined one US multinational some 900 million euros, not for
cartel illegalities but for refusing to obey a Commission anti-cartel
decision plus a Court judgement to stop such illegalities. A fraction of this
money could subvert any political party. If a highly respected US firm commits
such bad behaviour, what are we to expect from mafia or drug money or the black
economy which may involve a fifth of the world economy?
is now in a very delicate position in relation to petroleum and gas supplies.
Exporter States supplying gas in Europe and petroleum from the Middle East have
massive sovereign wealth funds, amounting to some 2000 billion euros (2
trillion). What party political secretariat could resist the lure of such funds?
Why, therefore, is the Lisbon Treaty returning to a system that failed many
generations in political anarchy, blood, slavery, exterminations and war? The
massive funds of competitor States, held and used in non-transparent ways, could
be surreptitiously employed to foster self-serving economic, political or
religious aims in opposition to the fair interests of our citizens. History
shows they could be aimed at just plain corruption and extortion. This is no
time to hamstring the independence and impartiality of the Commission, which has
a proven track record of breaking cartels. All European citizens will suffer.
asking you, Mr. President, to give urgent, public attention to this serious flaw
in the Lisbon treaty so our democratic institutions can eradicate it. A first
step to this is to see that the Lisbon Treaty is published in a readable form
with an in-depth analysis, and then is democratically discussed. I look to the
Committee, as a key European institution, to fulfill its designated duty in the
interests of all the Community.
to Mr Pöttering, EP, Intelligent
Citizen's Guide to Treaties
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