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What are the Consequences of Lisbon?

Now that Ireland has approved of the Lisbon Treaty by referendum and will soon have ratified, the immediate attention is going to be on the presidents of Poland and the Czech Republic. However, even eurosceptic blogger and UK Indepence Party spokesperson Gawain Towler does not see a prospect of the treaty being delayed long enough for a future Tory government to put it to a referendum.

This does not necessarily mean that independence has become impossible under the new European 'superstate' - as the sceptics would characterise the amended institutional structure. Our commenter John in Michigan points out that the treaty arranges for a procedure to let Member States exit the Union. There was no previous arrangement for such matters, which does not mean that leaving the Union was impossible, just that it would have to be sorted out under the very unclear rules of customary international law.

European defence policy and European foreign policy should be the main fields that benefit from Lisbon. In European defence policy, it will become possible to go ahead with integration in a smaller group if some states do not want to go along. The foreign policy of the European Union has previously been largely reducible to 'enlargement'. One thing the EU lacked was a professional diplomatic service. Another problem was the continuing wide divergence of perceived interests between Member States. Given that foreign policy will continue to be conducted by unanimity, the question whether a coherent policy will emerge - and how soon and for which reasons - will be a nice test of foreign policy doctrines.

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Zyme on :

This looks almost too easy: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8289920.stm Is Prague already cracking open?

Marie Claude on :

Zyme & Name, could you help me with argumentation here : http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/irish-voters-say-%e2%80%98yes%e2%80%99-to-european-federal-superstate/#comments

Zyme on :

Do I understand it correctly that it is mostly Americans in this discussion? Well Marie, if this is the case then I cannot understand why you make such a big issue out of it. These people are not affected by the recent developments, and they also cannot understand its importance. It is like when we two would start discussing interstate issue in the US - nothing sophisticated could come out of this. It is best to let the dust settle across the pond. Why should we want to shake these people up too early? ;)

Marie Claude on :

:^) I know quite a few of the commenters there since a while, but concerning EU, they are kinda stubborn ! and most likely see us under sharia and soviet laws

Pat Patterson on :

Maybe not particularly stubborn but horrified that there was a decision to give up parts of those nations sovereignty. The old Confederation put a new constitution to the people who generally argued for months, voted at the local level and then instructed their state's representatives to approve the document. And they reserved powers for themselves and then watch in trepidation and dismay as their allies commit to a structure that has virtually no input from the citizens except when bought off. If Europe can figure out a way to not cause world wars every generation then most Americans will approve but most Americans will also wonder how long a state can last without the approval of the citizens.

Marie Claude on :

it's because these countries are also manipulated, uh, is theren't any interest for some big powers that we remain unified ? These countries don't seem to understand that they are in a recession process, and that they are going bankrupted, if they want to remain in their historical space.

Marie Claude on :

un-unified was ment

Zyme on :

" is theren't any interest for some big powers that we remain unified ?" Why would they be interested? I believe many of those critics across the Atlantic are now actually worried they might get their single phone number to call and a real competition here :)

Marie Claude on :

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/386952.html

John in Michigan, US on :

[url=http://atlanticreview.org/archives/1330-Georgia-Started-the-South-Ossetia-War.html#c20242]Zyme's comment[/url] suggests that it is not possible to withdraw from individual treaties, that it is only possible to withdraw from the entire EU. The treaty article Zyme quotes suggests that the details of the withdrawal are subjected to negotiation: "the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union" Therefore it is possible to imagine a State (country) using the threat of total withdrawal to negotiate an exemption from Lisbon. However, this seems unlikely, since to get leverage in such a negotiation, the State would have to threaten total withdrawal. Total withdrawal may not be exactly economic suicide, but it would certainly be painful and risky. A more likely method of nullifying Lisbon would be for a State's legal system to find that a particular provision of the Lisbon treaty was illegal/unconstitutional in the first place. That would open difficult questions of severability (if one part of Lisbon is found illegal, do the other parts remain in force?). But even that doesn't seem likely, at this point.

Zyme on :

I wonder why you are so focused on how to disable Lisbon right after it is enacted. You shouldn't overestimate the loud crowd wanting to severe the ties to the EU. Even in the UK the jurisdiction, the administration, hell even the legislation is in straight line with the EU legislation. Nobody there doing any kind of resistance. Existing next to the Union is a prospect only attractive for countries which are totally independent in economical means, such as Norway and Switzerland due to extraordinary circumstances. It is no realistic prospect for the others. They all fall in line with Europe and move ahead on the road to integration.

John in Michigan, US on :

"why you are so focused on how to disable Lisbon" Well, you already know my objections, but also, I am just plain curious to see how it all turns out. It isn't often one gets to have a front row seat to the making of history. It isn't often one gets to have a front row seat to the creation of a new nation, the European nation. Re treason, is it possible I misunderstood the quote? "The Tyden.cz server then wrote that a plan was being considered in the CSSD of how to put the president on trial for treason..." ([url=http://www.ceskenoviny.cz/news/zpravy/government-can-force-klaus-to-sign-lisbon-treaty-czech-lawyers/399935]source[/url]) What is the Tyden.cz server? It looks like an online news site. Is it the party organ of the Social Democrat (CSSD) party? Perhaps talk of treason is normal in Czech politics...does anyone know?

Zyme on :

"It isn't often one gets to have a front row seat to the making of history." Seat is correct, as we are unable to take part in the making. But then again, when did ordinary people do? :) "What is the Tyden.cz server? It looks like an online news site. Is it the party organ of the Social Democrat (CSSD) party?" I don't think it is a party organ, but I don't speak Czech so I can't find out for sure ;) "Perhaps talk of treason is normal in Czech politics...does anyone know?" Then we most certainly misunderstood each other! They are talking about treason as a Czech criminal offense for sure. And why wouldn't they - treason is a criminal offense here in Germany as well. In fact I am surprised by your surprise - isn't there such an offense in the USA?

Marie Claude on :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svGmS5PJruA check what Santa Klaus is saying, LMAO He just want to be the trouble maker like a spoiled child

John in Michigan, US on :

MC, are you sure you linked to the correct interview? The things he says could be wrong, or they could be right, but I don't see anything in that interview that reminds me of a spoiled child. If he was being loud and obnoxious, I could see how you might accusing him of making trouble; instead, he is calm and deliberate. But if he is just making trouble, it is quite normal for a politician, no? :-}

Marie Claude on :

well, I am not arguing on "global worming" ideology, where I could agree with him, but on the fact that he says he doesn't want EU, so, I am asking him to give back all the money that EU bet on the development on his country, see where it would be without EU. But the Czechs aren't on his waves, their parliament and senat already signed the treaty. He is just pushing the deluded button further while saying that he is waiting for the constitutional department to pronounce its agreement, that means, he wants to paralyse the processus, just for the sake of being the trouble maker. I am waiting that his population hang him by the feet, like Mussolini :lol:

John in Michigan, US on :

Yes, we have a crime of treason, it is defined in the Constitution in a way that makes it very hard to prosecute (two independent witnesses to the act of treason are required). Treason in general means giving aid and comfort to an enemy country, particularly in times of war. It does not mean incompetence or failure to perform your duties. For example, Boris Yeltsin's alcoholism probably should have caused him to be removed from office, but it wasn't treason. Being stubborn or obstructionist isn't treason, in my opinion, unless it is part of a specific plot to help a specific enemy (for example, delaying deployment of troops in order to give enemy forces an advantage). As someone from former E. Germany should know, laws against treason are far too often abused to resolve political disputes. In the Czech Republic's debate about the Lisbon treaty, who or what exactly is the enemy? By enemy I don't mean some vague, conceptual enemy, I mean what specific country or movement is the enemy? What is the specific act of treason that you think Klaus committed? Surely, if pro-Lisbon movements can collaborate across national boundaries, as they have, then collaboration by anti-Lisbon parties (Klaus and UK Conservatives) across national boundaries isn't treason? Is the simple act of being a Euroskeptic the same as treason?

Zyme on :

"Treason in general means giving aid and comfort to an enemy country, particularly in times of war." Same here. "As someone from former E. Germany should know, laws against treason are far too often abused to resolve political disputes." I am not from former E. Germany ;) "What is the specific act of treason that you think Klaus committed?" The people bringing this up probably considered his doing to be highly damaging to the Czech Republics interests. That should be "all". They seem to expect him to resign after such a serious criminal prosecution is started, so it was considered a tool to remove him from office. "Surely, if pro-Lisbon movements can collaborate across national boundaries, as they have, then collaboration by anti-Lisbon parties (Klaus and UK Conservatives) across national boundaries isn't treason?" I always find it miraculous that in entire Europe a clear majority in the press is with the cause. Klaus' people can collaborate, but they will always fight an uphill battle against public opinion. "Is the simple act of being a Euroskeptic the same as treason?" No, not yet :D

Pat Patterson on :

"No, not yet." That is creepy. In the US one can call for the dismemberment of the Union and not be thrown in jail because there actually is a legal remedy via amendments to the Constitution. But the idea that calling for the dismemberment of the EU could be called treason in the future is somewhat disturbing since there doesn't seem to be anyway to modify that mess that is posing as an EU Constitution.

Zyme on :

I wouldn't call it a mess Pat. In fact it is a masterpiece. How could a constitution looking like one on the first glance have made it through all 27 countries? Only this way success was possible.

Pat Patterson on :

Mainly because it didn't. This constitution comes as a binding part of the Lisbon Treaty after being rejected by two states. So a success built upon legal chicanery is hardly ever going to be considered legitimate by the citizens of this half-nation.

Zyme on :

"after being rejected by two states." It's three. Let's not forget the first Irish referendum. But yeah, who cares :) "So a success built upon legal chicanery is hardly ever going to be considered legitimate by the citizens of this half-nation." Look at Germany. Did we pick our current constitution by ourselves? It takes a devoted secret service (or several of em) infiltrating all ideological opponents and hey presto - there you have a stable system. Believe me, where there is opposition there is also a overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens who will never cross the line to active resistance. At least in civilized Europe that is. And this is why it's going to work.

Marie Claude on :

did you hear of "Libertas" ? http://www.observatoiredeleurope.com/notes/Cas-Libertas-l-Europe-se-ridiculise-a-Washington_b1113286.html that is the main sponsor of the "no" vote http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertas.eu uh who are the persons behind ? http://peoplekorps.blogspot.com/2009_05_01_archive.html funny, right-wingers Americans, uh, De Villiers is their favorite candidate for France LMAO, he just rejoined UMP to still maintain his chances to get elected for the next regionales, bye bye Libertas ! uh, again, http://blog.yellow-stars.com/2008/06/who-funded-libertas-and-ganley.html CIA in there ? what a surprise !

Zyme on :

Yes I have read that there may be dirty foreign hands (or money) behind this movement. Obviously, they need to spend more next time :)

Marie Claude on :

:lol:

Pat Patterson on :

Not one documented case of CIA involvement in any of the links but lots of opinion most bordering on Truther parody. That doesn't seem to slow the conspiracy theorists down. Ganley also owns huge amounts of property in Russia so I suppose that makes him just as likely to be an agent of the FSB. And what American cares about an ex-rugby player from France?

Marie Claude on :

oh, has CIA sumthin against our rugby men now ? LMAO

John in Michigan, US on :

"It takes a devoted secret service (or several of em) infiltrating all ideological opponents and hey presto - there you have a stable system." Fair point, when the allies set up the current German system, we didn't exactly give Germans (or Austrians, or Italians...) a choice. But those were exceptional circumstances, obviously. I think it fair to say, this is also the model for the new EU super-state. Europe still, after all these years, is in a state of emergency. The Allied occupation will be replaced by the European occupation. I guess that's what's so depressing about the EU project. It seems to assume that Europe dare not experiment with true, representative democracy. Worse still, now we learn that any Europeans who dare to suggest that Europe can govern itself are not simply mistaken or wrong, they are traitors. Very, very sad. But you are wrong about yourselves, and perhaps it takes an outsider to see it. Europe will one day wake up from this new authoritarian twilight, and on that day, freedom-lovers around the world will welcome Europe back into the ranks of civilized, self-governing people. Perhaps central Europe really is in a genuine state of emergency. Their occupation only ended a decade or so ago...and is now resuming. But the walls came down for a bit, and people got a taste...ultimately, they will want more... OK, above is mostly a rant, take it in that spirit.

Zyme on :

"It seems to assume that Europe dare not experiment with true, representative democracy." Nobody likes to hear it, but could you imagine a political enthusiasm in Europe for democracy like it existed when Communism and Fascism spread out? It is a cultural thing I would argue. Authoritarian systems fit better here, as they apply to the individual nature of the people who generally think "me and my family first". People are always a lot more concerned about themselves and their relatives in comparison to general values like human rights and equality. A true democracy lives from the genuine input of the community I would say, not from the greed and power-hunger of its leaders and the rest ducking their head. I dare to say that the enthusiasm for Communism a century ago did not stem from genuine idealism among the people, but instead mostly from the perspective of the poorest class to better its situation. But I wouldn't portrait this as only a negative trait. You can also look at it from the perspective of division of labor. When only some people are truly interested in the background needed for political leadership, then clearly they are best suited for leading those which focus on their own lives. So when only a few get to decide about the fate of millions they are free to pursue a long-time strategy. Also resources are getting bundled and only this way lasting achievements can be created. "The Allied occupation will be replaced by the European occupation." It is impossible to predict I would argue, but should we get a European Army, then your scenario becomes a lot more likely. "Worse still, now we learn that any Europeans who dare to suggest that Europe can govern itself are not simply mistaken or wrong, they are traitors. Very, very sad." You know I am personally surprised by this amount of ideological "charge" as well. I cannot spontaneously explain where it came from. It certainly grew over the decades after the war in Western Europe. But most of the Eastern Europeans seem to have become involved in it quickly after the Fall of the Iron Curtain as well. Maybe it is a feeling that in the end, we all belong together and should defend our interests against the others. Just like when Germany united in 1871 :)

Marie Claude on :

What I wrote there : http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/how-about-a-congressional-clawback-for-taxpayers/#comments "hmmm, for the EU, you are right, but since Lisboa treaty will be the rule, we’ll have a bit the same constitutional system as your’s, an elected president, a foreign affairs office… the European parliament will prevail on the Brussels commission. Up to now populations weren’t really interested in EU parliament and in their own EU deputees, though laws that were voted by them prevail on our nationals. In term, national deputees will have no more justification, and might get cut down, while the european’s will get more attention. Now, this is where “global world economy” is driving us, there isn’t anymore “hope” for singular and small countries like 2000 years gave the habits to differency each others, this is kinda sort of Roman empire bis in rule. I am not afraid of that, since specific provinces in each country will have more weight than in their nationals."

John in Michigan, US on :

I share your hope that the EP will help close the democratic deficit. Perhaps in the coming years, people will take the EP more seriously; perhaps there could be reforms that give the EP greater power, to balance out the Commission and the Council.

Marie Claude on :

uh, Kaczynski finally signed the Lisboa treaty yesterday

Zyme on :

It seems that both sides are moving into the trenches now. Vaclav Klaus declared that he is not going to sign the Lisbon Treaty. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6871365.ece "His remarks were greeted with outrage in Europe. German and French diplomats, in talks with their Czech counterparts, explored two ways of removing the Klaus obstacle: impeach him or change the Czech constitution to take away his right of veto." It is also reported that Sarkozy has threatened the Czech Republic with expulsion from the EU. Also German diplomats are cited saying that “If the president is obstructing the democratic process and opposing the decision of parliament as well as the will of the people, he is moving beyond the law and will need to face the consequences” "Klaus is unlikely to give in without at least some concessions. He is said to want to be seen as the leader who derailed the European project. A comparison is being drawn in Prague with Edvard Benes, the pre-war Czech leader who in 1938 had to flee to Britain after refusing to cede territory to Hitler under the Munich agreement." http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6869578.ece Only that his time, Britain is on our side, for the time being :) Also it is hard to imagine that Klaus would succeed with his demand of ruling out reparations for the post-war expulsions, as not only German but also Hungarian movements are seeking such reparations and neither government would want to confront the unions of displaced persons. This time the disagreements cannot be sit out as the British general elections cannot be postponed forever. Time is pressing, and so interesting times lie ahead. Most hilarious I found a comment by a Brit, saying that "Surely Merkel will be satisfied with the Sudetenland, I am convinced that she will put forth no further claims" :D

Marie Claude on :

Klaus is pathetic, without going until expulsion, just we can cut down subventions to the Czechs, see if the mobs won't claim for the resign of Klaus ! Yes, I have read of his new argument about the Sudetenland. This is regarding EU as it wouldn't exist. People are free to settle where they want. Also he is repeating the old arguments that we can read on american conservative blogs and papers

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