Fiscal Treaty Files: We Will Raze Your Homes and Crush Your Dreams – Discuss

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The Government is doing everything possible to prevent a debate on the Fiscal Treaty.  The tactic employed is as old as government itself – fear.  It is hard to keep track with all the plagues and maladies that will be visited on this fair land if the people dare vote no in the referendum:  we will be isolated, we will be turned into Greece, hospitals and schools will close down, public sector workers won’t get paid, the elderly will have to beg for alms on the cathedral steps.

The Minister for Finance came out today threatening people with an even harsher budget if they dare vote no.  More tax increases, more spending cuts, more misery to redistribute.  People are not being invited to participate in a debate; they are being bludgeoned.  The Government has turned on its own people.  In such circumstances, debating the Treaty is redundant.

Therefore, there is no room for thoughtful contributions.  Take Seamus Coffey’s recent post.  Seamus is not anti-treaty:

I’m not advocating a ‘No’ vote, and in my opinion “there is little to be gained from rejecting the Treaty.”

Yet, he takes a forensic look at funding options and finds little evidence for the proposition that we will be denied access to a second bail-out in the eventuality of a No vote.  He first cites two statements issued by EU leaders.  The first was issued last July when the European Stability Mechanism was agreed at EU level:

‘We are determined to continue to provide support to countries under programmes until they have regained market access, provided they successfully implement those programmes. We welcome Ireland and Portugal’s resolve to strictly implement their programmes and reiterate our strong commitment to the success of these programmes.’

This is unequivocal – support for Ireland will continue until we regained market access.  The only condition, naturally enough, is that we successfully implement ‘those programmes’ (never mind that implementing those programmes is actually pushing us away from regaining market access).

But of course, this was issued before the Fiscal Treaty and the clause that requires us to approve it before we can access the ESM.  That is why the subsequent guarantee is so important:

‘We welcome the latest positive reviews of the Irish and Portuguese programmes which concluded that quantitative performance criteria and structural benchmarks have been met. We will continue to provide support to countries under a programme until they have regained market access, provided they successfully implement their programmes.’

This was issued after the Fiscal Treaty – and the ESM clause – was approved at EU level.  Seamus comments:

‘That seems pretty unequivocal to me and this statement was released after the Stability Treaty was agreed and the so-called ‘blackmail’ clause had been introduced.   It has not been contradicted in any subsequent EU statements, and the applicability of the ‘blackmail’  clause to ‘new’ programmes does leave scope for the current Irish programme to be extended.’

This is crucial.  The ESM Treaty refers to ‘new’ financing.  This reference to ‘new’ means that the current programme can be extended and financed under the ESM itself – because it would not be regarded as ‘new’.  It is merely a continuation of support – support that the EU leaders have already guaranteed.

There is another twist to this – something which Tom McDonnell from TASC and myself addressed: that new, extended or ‘rolled-over’ financing can come from the European Financial Stability Facility up to July of next year.  This further underscores the EU leaders’ guarantee to Ireland.  The argument that the current programme runs out after the deadline for EFSF funding doesn’t stand up.  Greece’s second bail-out programme was introduced after the first one was cancelled before it was completed.  Deadlines, new programmes, cancelling old programmes – this is all part of the process to ensure that no Eurozone member is isolated.

In short, the Irish Government is the only the Government in the EU to claim that Ireland will be isolated.

But I fear that Seamus’s arguments – like others who have tried to come to grips with this difficult issue – will not be heard in the cacophony of Ministerial threats upon the people.  Since debate is redundant, logical argument becomes a sideshow, an irrelevance, inconsequential.

But the Government should be warned:  they may well succeed in scaring a portion of the electorate to act in a certain way in the short-term but if they count this as a ‘victory’, they may be severely disappointed.  A government that bludgeons its own people is living on borrowed time.  People will find a way to punish a government that harassed them into a position.

Just remember what happened to Fianna Fail when people finally got a chance to express their opinion at the ballot box.  The current Government may think it’s being tactically clever, but strategically they may be digging its own electoral grave.

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4 Responses

  1. Awaken Longford

    May 1, 2012 2:53 pm

    http://awakenlongford.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/eu-fiscal-treaty-explained-in-laymans-terms/

    The level of misinformation and general BS circulating in Ireland around the EU Fiscal Treaty is simply astounding!
    Why won’t the Government just talk about the contents of the treaty instead of the ramifications of a NO Vote, their stance in this issue just illuminates the distance between politicians and the common man.
    They are digging their own electoral grave and rightly deserve it.
    Based on their performance the only option is a NO Vote!

  2. Roger Cole

    May 2, 2012 4:29 pm

    The only case the FG/FF/Labour government is making is that if the people don’t vote yes, the world will come to an end. This motley collection of born again Remondites and Willam Walker socialists nevertheless have found over €10 million to provide for Irish contribution to the European Union German-led Battle Group from July 1 to cover a 120 day period if and when they were sent into Battle, say for example to “defend” “humanitarian” corridors in Syria, thus taking over where French Imperialists left off. As the Afghan war drags on with Irish troops taking part for nearly 11 years, does anybody think such a war would only last 120 day?
    The key point I am making is that what the Kenny/Gilmore/Martin axis is offering by supporting EU treaty after EU treaty which transfers power from the Irish people and the Dail to Merkel etc via EU institutions like the EU Court of Justice is a European Empire committed to perpetual austerity at home and perpetual war abroad. Their problem is that the different people’s in the states of the EU don’t agree with their imperialist view of the future and are beginning to fight back. The EU Empire is doing a very good job of destroying itself, and a no vote will go a long way in helping then. In 2016 we might actually have something to celebrate

  3. Rita Cahill

    May 20, 2012 8:35 pm

    The Evolution of the European Union
    May 19th, 2011
    The path to the European Union has spanned sixty years and several incarnations. While the original goal of integration was to make war on the European continent unprofitable and uneconomical (especially for Germany) with the European Coal and Steel Community, integration has progressed so far beyond that it has reached a point unimaginable in 1951. Understanding the history and evolution of European institutions that have come to make up the European Union is vital for understanding how said institutions function and how they work together. From the Treaty of Paris in 1951 that started the movement towards a united Europe to the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009 that finally integrated all of the previously created organizations truly into the European Union the history of the EU contains many twists and turns, new institutions and mergers of old ones. The European Union is the largest and most integrated collection of countries working together in political and economic harmony.
    After World War Two there was tension in Europe over how to prevent further wars from breaking out on the continent. France especially was worried that Germany would rise for a third time to decimate their country and economy. Robert Schumann, the French foreign minister after WWII, and Jean Monnet, a French civil servant, both sought a way to both rebuild Europe after the destruction of the war as well as a way to make any future German aggression unprofitable. They also wanted to make Germany feel as though they were equal, so stem further ill feelings. If the two countries were to integrate their coal and steel markets (the two most important commodities in wartime), it would make it near impossible for one to attack the other. Each Monnet and Schumann would come up with their own plan, but the Schumann Plan would be adopted as the method of choice to begin the economic integration of Europe, as it was more moderate. The Treaty of Paris in 1951 brought into existence the ECSC, the first real organization of European integration.
    The European Coal and Steel Community was the first of the institutions that would try and unite European countries together. It was an economic union of the Coal and Steel markets of France, West Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries. The goals of the ECSC were to create a free trade area as well as a common market for several different goods used in industrialized economies. The main difference in the ECSC that was not present in many other international organizations at the time was the notion of a High Authority which had the final say on things such as prohibition of subsidies and aid, action against restrictive practices, promotion of research, decisions on whether business practices were allowable, and in some instances control prices. It also had the ability to impose fines on those who did not obey its rulings. There was also a Council of Ministers which was made up of ministers from national governments with each state having one representative regardless of size, which had some control over the actions of the High Authority. The third body of the ECSC was the Common Assembly, which was made up of members selected by national governments. The Common Assembly essentially acted as an advisory body to the High Authority and had no real power. The final institution established by the Treaty of Paris was the Court of Justice. It was created to settle disputes between member states, organs of the ECSC itself, and between each of the former. These institutions formed the earliest basis for the organs of the European Union as they exist today.
    Other institutions that were created at the same time as the ECSC were the European Defence Community and the European Political Community. Each institution was meant to integrate Europe further by linking together their defence plans as well as political administration. The EPC would have created a constitutional assembly which would have worked towards creating a single constitution for all of the countries involved. The European Defence Community, which would have linked together a defence force from the six countries that were originally part of the ECSC, failed before it even came in to effect, as the French National Assembly rejected the plan. Many people still did not want to rearm Germany, concerns that such a force would be ineffective and partial, and in some ways that it was not even necessary. The dismissal of the EDC also spelled the death of the EPC. It would not be until the European Union was created in 1993 that Europe would be more than economically integrated.
    While the EDC was ineffective at creating a common defence system, the Western European Union, which was established with the Treaty of Brussels in 1948 between France, the United Kingdom and the Benelux countries, and was added to by Italy and West Germany in 1955, created a “consultative, primarily defence-oriented, organization”. The WEU permitted West German rearmament with various restrictions imposed, and was specifically responsible for West Germany becoming part of NATO. In total there are currently 28 members of the WEU, with various standings within the organization itself. It is largely defunct as most of its objectives (collective defence) have been taken over by NATO and institutions have become parts of the European Union. It is doubtful that the WEU will continue to exist for much longer.
    The European Economic Community was established in the Treaties of Rome in 1957. The same treaties also established the European Atomic Energy Community or Euratom. Each the EEC and Euratom have four major organs, the Commission, the Parliament, the Council and the Court of Justice. The Commission is an appointed body of 14 members, 1 from each smaller state and 2 from the larger ones. The Commission’s role was to be the executive body, drafting legislation and ensuring that the day to day running of the organization was working. The Parliament has control over the budget of the organization but very little control over anything else. The Council of Ministers was composed of one national minister from each of the member countries and was the main decision making body of the EEC. Which minister that was present depended on what was being discussed, such that agricultural ministers were present for decisions regarding agriculture and if the subject of the meeting was energy the ministers in charge of energy would be present. The Court of Justice was not part of the Treaties of Rome, but rather was the same court that had been established by the ECSC, with the ECSC, EEC and Euratom all using it after the Merger Treaty which came in to effect in 1967. The Merger Treaty also created a single Council and a single Commission for all three communities, although different people would attend meetings on different topics. This did not mean that the treaties or the organizations were merged, only that the bureaucracy was.
    Even though the ideals of the Treaties of Rome called for common markets and a free trade area between members, much progress had not been made by the 1980s. In 1987 the Single European Act came into effect, which carried the first real changes to the Treaties of Rome. It set out a timeline for the completion of the internal market between member stands for 1992. It also increased the role of the European Parliament by creating an assent procedure which made it necessary for the Parliament to agree to admission of new members as well as association agreements between the EEC and other countries not within the union. This would be the last amendment to the original system of treaties, as everything would be consolidated in 1993 with the Treaty of Maastricht, otherwise known as the Treaty of European Union.
    As the Cold War drew to an end at the beginning of the 1990s, Europe found itself no longer divided by the Iron Curtain. As more countries could now be included in the common market, there was a renewed push for complete integration of Europe‘s economic, political and legal institutions. In this new atmosphere the proponents of the EEC strove to take their organization several steps forward. With the Treaty of Maastricht they were able to do this. The first thing that the treaty did was officially change the name of the organization to the European Union. Because the Single European Act had set 1992 as an end date for the complete economic integration of Europe and such had been accomplished, the organization required a new forward objective if it was to stay relevant. The treaty set the stage for this by constructing a pillar system for the basis of the continuation of the organization. The first pillar is the organizations that have preceded the EU, such as the ECSC, EEC, Euratom, etc. The second and third pillars are not institutionalized, but rather the implicit cooperation of national governments on issues of the Common foreign and security policy and Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. The Treaty of Maastricht also introduced new and important features of the Union. The first is a solid timeline for a European Monetary Union, as well as the European Central Bank, which would culminate in the introduction of the Euro. It also brought the idea of Citizenship of the Union to fruition with the integration of passports for all member countries. This treaty was the first time that the organization now known as the EU had made a serious attempt to establish a legitimate bid as a truly political entity for all of Europe.
    There were two subsequent modifications of the Treaty of Maastricht, the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997 and the Treaty of Nice in 2001. The Treaty of Amsterdam continued to add to the jurisdiction of the EU, including the ability to legislate on immigration, as well as civil law as it pertained to movement within the EU. Both the Treaty of Amsterdam and the Treaty of Nice tried to deal with the issue of the biggest enlargement in the organization‘s history taking place as 10 countries were slated to join the EU in 2004. To give these countries delegates in each of the organs of the EU would make such completely unmanageable in size as well as shift the balance between the number of large and small states, as almost all of the states joining were relatively small in size. Eventually they came to the compromise of redistribution of seats in the Parliament, the eventual downsizing of the Commission also with which the larger countries would have to give up their second commissioner, and a reweighing of votes in the Council. While this was not the outcome that anyone really wanted, it ended up being the only thing that everyone could come to agreement over; even though each nation understood that without compromise the whole system would be strained to continue to be effective.
    The membership of the organizations that have made up the European Union was slowly increasing during the 1970s and 1980s, and picked up rapidly after the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the USSR. At first it was very hard to have anyone join the EEC, as the French President Charles De Gaulle was opposed to letting the United Kingdom and everyone else who wanted to joined were compelled to do so by the thought of UK membership. After a change in French leadership, 1973 saw the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark be the first countries to enlarge the EEC. Greece finally joined in 1981, followed by Spain and Portugal in 1986. East Germany joined the community de facto when it merged with West Germany in 1990. Further enlargement would not occur until after the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty, as Austria, Sweden and Finland joined became full members in 1995. In the biggest expansion that the EU has seen, many of the former Soviet states joined in 2004. This included Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Malta, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The latest enlargement included the countries of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007. This brought the number of countries in the European Union to a grand total of 27. Countries that are not currently included in the European Union include Croatia, Turkey, and Macedonia who have current membership bids as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Albania, Kosovo, Norway, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Serbia and Montenegro.
    The latest change to the European Union has come through the Treaty of Lisbon, which was completely ratified by all members in November 2009. In this treaty for the first time there is a specific clause that addresses the possibility of a member country withdrawing from the Union. It also changed the voting method in the Council, which will now have to include 55% of the Member States representing 65% of the population of the Union for a double majority. One of the biggest changes that occurred to the structure of the EU was the creation of a President of the European Council, which is effectively the head of the European Union. The new treaty also gives the EU jurisdiction over a multitude of new things such as “freedom, security and justice, such as combating terrorism or tackling crime… energy policy, public health, civil protection, climate change, services of general interest, research, space, territorial cohesion, commercial policy, humanitarian aid, sport, tourism and administrative cooperation.” It also consolidated all of the negotiating power available to the Union into one position so as to make it easier to interact with countries outside of the Union and to make it more visible on the world stage. While these are not the only things that the Treaty of Lisbon encompasses and while one does not know the implications of such changes, it will be interesting to see what these changes actually bring about.
    The current organization of the European Union after the Treaty of Lisbon is far from what it started out as in the ECSC in 1951. It now consists of 9 different institutions, as well as dozens of agencies, advisory bodies, financial bodies and interinstitutional bodies. The European Council sets out the general political direction and goals of the Union. The European Parliament (which is directly elected by citizens of the EU) passes legislation in conjunction with the Council of the European Union, which is made up of national ministers from each of the member states. The European Commission both proposes legislation to the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament and ensures that statutes are applied throughout the EU properly. The Court of Justice of the European Communities is meant to settle disputes between organs of the EU, member states, and a combination of both. The European Court of Auditors reviews the financing of the Union’s activities. The European Central Bank is in charge of European monetary policy as well as the administration of the Euro currency, while the European Data Protection Supervisor advises throughout the organization of the EU on data protection legislation. There is also a European Ombudsman to mediate complaints about poor administration by the EU and its organs. This quick overview shows how much more complicated the European Union is than its predecessors, most of which only having 3 institutions.
    The European Union has been in the making for 6 decades, and while Europe is not completely politically integrated, Europe is very close to being a federation of states. From its humble beings as a single common market between six countries, the European integration project has grown to encompass the legal, economic and political institutions of 27 nations. It is important to understand that something as massive as the European Union does not just come into existence with one act or one single idea, but is a collection of hundreds of people‘s ideals and years upon years of hard work and determination. The time that the creation of these institutions has spanned is also helpful in understanding what the objectives of such were, and how that plays into how they are used today. While the goals of Robert Schumann were the ones that Europe chose to pursue in 1951, Jean Monnet‘s goal of European integration was realized nonetheless.
    The path to the European Union has spanned sixty years and several incarnations. While the original goal of integration was to make war on the European continent unprofitable and uneconomical (especially for Germany) with the European Coal and Steel Community, integration has progressed so far beyond that it has reached a point unimaginable in 1951. Understanding the history and evolution of European institutions that have come to make up the European Union is vital for understanding how said institutions function and how they work together. From the Treaty of Paris in 1951 that started the movement towards a united Europe to the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009 that finally integrated all of the previously created organizations truly into the European Union the history of the EU contains many twists and turns, new institutions and mergers of old ones. The European Union is the largest and most integrated collection of countries working together in political and economic harmony.
    After World War Two there was tension in Europe over how to prevent further wars from breaking out on the continent. France especially was worried that Germany would rise for a third time to decimate their country and economy. Robert Schumann, the French foreign minister after WWII, and Jean Monnet, a French civil servant, both sought a way to both rebuild Europe after the destruction of the war as well as a way to make any future German aggression unprofitable. They also wanted to make Germany feel as though they were equal, so stem further ill feelings. If the two countries were to integrate their coal and steel markets (the two most important commodities in wartime), it would make it near impossible for one to attack the other. Each Monnet and Schumann would come up with their own plan, but the Schumann Plan would be adopted as the method of choice to begin the economic integration of Europe, as it was more moderate. The Treaty of Paris in 1951 brought into existence the ECSC, the first real organization of European integration.
    The European Coal and Steel Community was the first of the institutions that would try and unite European countries together. It was an economic union of the Coal and Steel markets of France, West Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries. The goals of the ECSC were to create a free trade area as well as a common market for several different goods used in industrialized economies. The main difference in the ECSC that was not present in many other international organizations at the time was the notion of a High Authority which had the final say on things such as prohibition of subsidies and aid, action against restrictive practices, promotion of research, decisions on whether business practices were allowable, and in some instances control prices. It also had the ability to impose fines on those who did not obey its rulings. There was also a Council of Ministers which was made up of ministers from national governments with each state having one representative regardless of size, which had some control over the actions of the High Authority. The third body of the ECSC was the Common Assembly, which was made up of members selected by national governments. The Common Assembly essentially acted as an advisory body to the High Authority and had no real power. The final institution established by the Treaty of Paris was the Court of Justice. It was created to settle disputes between member states, organs of the ECSC itself, and between each of the former. These institutions formed the earliest basis for the organs of the European Union as they exist today.
    Other institutions that were created at the same time as the ECSC were the European Defence Community and the European Political Community. Each institution was meant to integrate Europe further by linking together their defence plans as well as political administration. The EPC would have created a constitutional assembly which would have worked towards creating a single constitution for all of the countries involved. The European Defence Community, which would have linked together a defence force from the six countries that were originally part of the ECSC, failed before it even came in to effect, as the French National Assembly rejected the plan. Many people still did not want to rearm Germany, concerns that such a force would be ineffective and partial, and in some ways that it was not even necessary. The dismissal of the EDC also spelled the death of the EPC. It would not be until the European Union was created in 1993 that Europe would be more than economically integrated.
    While the EDC was ineffective at creating a common defence system, the Western European Union, which was established with the Treaty of Brussels in 1948 between France, the United Kingdom and the Benelux countries, and was added to by Italy and West Germany in 1955, created a “consultative, primarily defence-oriented, organization”. The WEU permitted West German rearmament with various restrictions imposed, and was specifically responsible for West Germany becoming part of NATO. In total there are currently 28 members of the WEU, with various standings within the organization itself. It is largely defunct as most of its objectives (collective defence) have been taken over by NATO and institutions have become parts of the European Union. It is doubtful that the WEU will continue to exist for much longer.
    The European Economic Community was established in the Treaties of Rome in 1957. The same treaties also established the European Atomic Energy Community or Euratom. Each the EEC and Euratom have four major organs, the Commission, the Parliament, the Council and the Court of Justice. The Commission is an appointed body of 14 members, 1 from each smaller state and 2 from the larger ones. The Commission’s role was to be the executive body, drafting legislation and ensuring that the day to day running of the organization was working. The Parliament has control over the budget of the organization but very little control over anything else. The Council of Ministers was composed of one national minister from each of the member countries and was the main decision making body of the EEC. Which minister that was present depended on what was being discussed, such that agricultural ministers were present for decisions regarding agriculture and if the subject of the meeting was energy the ministers in charge of energy would be present. The Court of Justice was not part of the Treaties of Rome, but rather was the same court that had been established by the ECSC, with the ECSC, EEC and Euratom all using it after the Merger Treaty which came in to effect in 1967. The Merger Treaty also created a single Council and a single Commission for all three communities, although different people would attend meetings on different topics. This did not mean that the treaties or the organizations were merged, only that the bureaucracy was.
    Even though the ideals of the Treaties of Rome called for common markets and a free trade area between members, much progress had not been made by the 1980s. In 1987 the Single European Act came into effect, which carried the first real changes to the Treaties of Rome. It set out a timeline for the completion of the internal market between member stands for 1992. It also increased the role of the European Parliament by creating an assent procedure which made it necessary for the Parliament to agree to admission of new members as well as association agreements between the EEC and other countries not within the union. This would be the last amendment to the original system of treaties, as everything would be consolidated in 1993 with the Treaty of Maastricht, otherwise known as the Treaty of European Union.
    As the Cold War drew to an end at the beginning of the 1990s, Europe found itself no longer divided by the Iron Curtain. As more countries could now be included in the common market, there was a renewed push for complete integration of Europe‘s economic, political and legal institutions. In this new atmosphere the proponents of the EEC strove to take their organization several steps forward. With the Treaty of Maastricht they were able to do this. The first thing that the treaty did was officially change the name of the organization to the European Union. Because the Single European Act had set 1992 as an end date for the complete economic integration of Europe and such had been accomplished, the organization required a new forward objective if it was to stay relevant. The treaty set the stage for this by constructing a pillar system for the basis of the continuation of the organization. The first pillar is the organizations that have preceded the EU, such as the ECSC, EEC, Euratom, etc. The second and third pillars are not institutionalized, but rather the implicit cooperation of national governments on issues of the Common foreign and security policy and Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. The Treaty of Maastricht also introduced new and important features of the Union. The first is a solid timeline for a European Monetary Union, as well as the European Central Bank, which would culminate in the introduction of the Euro. It also brought the idea of Citizenship of the Union to fruition with the integration of passports for all member countries. This treaty was the first time that the organization now known as the EU had made a serious attempt to establish a legitimate bid as a truly political entity for all of Europe.
    There were two subsequent modifications of the Treaty of Maastricht, the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997 and the Treaty of Nice in 2001. The Treaty of Amsterdam continued to add to the jurisdiction of the EU, including the ability to legislate on immigration, as well as civil law as it pertained to movement within the EU. Both the Treaty of Amsterdam and the Treaty of Nice tried to deal with the issue of the biggest enlargement in the organization‘s history taking place as 10 countries were slated to join the EU in 2004. To give these countries delegates in each of the organs of the EU would make such completely unmanageable in size as well as shift the balance between the number of large and small states, as almost all of the states joining were relatively small in size. Eventually they came to the compromise of redistribution of seats in the Parliament, the eventual downsizing of the Commission also with which the larger countries would have to give up their second commissioner, and a reweighing of votes in the Council. While this was not the outcome that anyone really wanted, it ended up being the only thing that everyone could come to agreement over; even though each nation understood that without compromise the whole system would be strained to continue to be effective.
    The membership of the organizations that have made up the European Union was slowly increasing during the 1970s and 1980s, and picked up rapidly after the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the USSR. At first it was very hard to have anyone join the EEC, as the French President Charles De Gaulle was opposed to letting the United Kingdom and everyone else who wanted to joined were compelled to do so by the thought of UK membership. After a change in French leadership, 1973 saw the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark be the first countries to enlarge the EEC. Greece finally joined in 1981, followed by Spain and Portugal in 1986. East Germany joined the community de facto when it merged with West Germany in 1990. Further enlargement would not occur until after the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty, as Austria, Sweden and Finland joined became full members in 1995. In the biggest expansion that the EU has seen, many of the former Soviet states joined in 2004. This included Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Malta, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The latest enlargement included the countries of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007. This brought the number of countries in the European Union to a grand total of 27. Countries that are not currently included in the European Union include Croatia, Turkey, and Macedonia who have current membership bids as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Albania, Kosovo, Norway, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Serbia and Montenegro.
    The latest change to the European Union has come through the Treaty of Lisbon, which was completely ratified by all members in November 2009. In this treaty for the first time there is a specific clause that addresses the possibility of a member country withdrawing from the Union. It also changed the voting method in the Council, which will now have to include 55% of the Member States representing 65% of the population of the Union for a double majority. One of the biggest changes that occurred to the structure of the EU was the creation of a President of the European Council, which is effectively the head of the European Union. The new treaty also gives the EU jurisdiction over a multitude of new things such as “freedom, security and justice, such as combating terrorism or tackling crime… energy policy, public health, civil protection, climate change, services of general interest, research, space, territorial cohesion, commercial policy, humanitarian aid, sport, tourism and administrative cooperation.” It also consolidated all of the negotiating power available to the Union into one position so as to make it easier to interact with countries outside of the Union and to make it more visible on the world stage. While these are not the only things that the Treaty of Lisbon encompasses and while one does not know the implications of such changes, it will be interesting to see what these changes actually bring about.
    The current organization of the European Union after the Treaty of Lisbon is far from what it started out as in the ECSC in 1951. It now consists of 9 different institutions, as well as dozens of agencies, advisory bodies, financial bodies and interinstitutional bodies. The European Council sets out the general political direction and goals of the Union. The European Parliament (which is directly elected by citizens of the EU) passes legislation in conjunction with the Council of the European Union, which is made up of national ministers from each of the member states. The European Commission both proposes legislation to the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament and ensures that statutes are applied throughout the EU properly. The Court of Justice of the European Communities is meant to settle disputes between organs of the EU, member states, and a combination of both. The European Court of Auditors reviews the financing of the Union’s activities. The European Central Bank is in charge of European monetary policy as well as the administration of the Euro currency, while the European Data Protection Supervisor advises throughout the organization of the EU on data protection legislation. There is also a European Ombudsman to mediate complaints about poor administration by the EU and its organs. This quick overview shows how much more complicated the European Union is than its predecessors, most of which only having 3 institutions.
    The European Union has been in the making for 6 decades, and while Europe is not completely politically integrated, Europe is very close to being a federation of states. From its humble beings as a single common market between six countries, the European integration project has grown to encompass the legal, economic and political institutions of 27 nations. It is important to understand that something as massive as the European Union does not just come into existence with one act or one single idea, but is a collection of hundreds of people‘s ideals and years upon years of hard work and determination. The time that the creation of these institutions has spanned is also helpful in understanding what the objectives of such were, and how that plays into how they are used today. While the goals of Robert Schumann were the ones that Europe chose to pursue in 1951, Jean Monnet‘s goal of European integration was realized nonetheless.
    What is happening in Europe should not surprise anyone. Here is the unknown truth about European integration. 70 years before the European Union was born, an Irish scholar wrote about European integration – how it would develop, its character and future prospects. He warned Ireland and England would become provinces of Europe, and they would not be saved if Britain joined a confederation of European nations which would develop through a great European crisis. He has been proved right. Ireland has no control over its economic destiny. In Britain, European laws reign supreme. Majority of Britons want Britain to leave the EU because the EU has become a burden on them.
    The ‘Seer of Dublin’, whose father was a Scot, specifically recorded that the European confederacy would become the next major political feature in history after the restoration of the Jews to Palestine. He has been proved right. The state of Israel was created in Palestine in May 1948. Two years later, in May 1950, the EU was born with the Schuman Plan after the Second World War. Everything the Seer wrote about EU has come to pass. The Lisbon Treaty and the Fiscal Charter will pave the way for his word on Europe’s future to be fulfilled. I urge the Irish to examine what the native of Dublin, who was educated at Trinity College, wrote about Europe’s future before they vote on 31 May to adopt or reject the Fiscal Compact Treaty. I also encourage the Scots to examine what the Seer wrote about Europe’s future.
    The French and the Germans will sacrifice France and Germany to save the euro. But they will labour in vain to save the EU. The EU has no soul. It is a ‘corpse’ on its way to a crematorium. Why? Because European leaders have ignored the crucial advice Schuman and Adenauer offered to Europeans concerning the survival of the European project. Jean Monnet’s European Titanic is doomed. No one can save it from hitting an iceberg. The Irish and the British must heed the warning of the Seer of Dublin and leave the EU. Had the passengers who perished on the Titaninc had known the unsinkable ship would sink on its maiden voyage, would they have joined the doomed luxurious vessel? I leave you with the “Seer’s” word on democracy: “Democracy, not despotism, is the goal towards which civilization is tending. But democracy in its full development is one of the surest ways to despotism. First, the revolution; then, the plebiscite; then the despot.” The Eu is corrupt. It is a dictatorship. It rejects the democratic decisions of its members.
    What is happening in Europe should not surprise anyone. Here is the unknown truth about European integration. 70 years before the European Union was born, an Irish scholar wrote about European integration – how it would develop, its character and future prospects. He warned Ireland and England would become provinces of Europe, and they would not be saved if Britain joined a confederation of European nations which would develop through a great European crisis. He has been proved right. Ireland has no control over its economic destiny. In Britain, European laws reign supreme. Majority of Britons want Britain to leave the EU because the EU has become a burden on them.
    The ‘Seer of Dublin’, whose father was a Scot, specifically recorded that the European confederacy would become the next major political feature in history after the restoration of the Jews to Palestine. He has been proved right. The state of Israel was created in Palestine in May 1948. Two years later, in May 1950, the EU was born with the Schuman Plan after the Second World War. Everything the Seer wrote about EU has come to pass. The Lisbon Treaty and the Fiscal Charter will pave the way for his word on Europe’s future to be fulfilled. I urge the Irish to examine what the native of Dublin, who was educated at Trinity College, wrote about Europe’s future before they vote on 31 May to adopt or reject the Fiscal Compact Treaty. I also encourage the Scots to examine what the Seer wrote about Europe’s future.
    The French and the Germans will sacrifice France and Germany to save the euro. But they will labour in vain to save the EU. The EU has no soul. It is a ‘corpse’ on its way to a crematorium. Why? Because European leaders have ignored the crucial advice Schuman and Adenauer offered to Europeans concerning the survival of the European project. Jean Monnet’s European Titanic is doomed. No one can save it from hitting an iceberg. The Irish and the British must heed the warning of the Seer of Dublin and leave the EU. Had the passengers who perished on the Titaninc had known the unsinkable ship would sink on its maiden voyage, would they have joined the doomed luxurious vessel? I leave you with the “Seer’s” word on democracy: “Democracy, not despotism, is the goal towards which civilization is tending. But democracy in its full development is one of the surest ways to despotism. First, the revolution; then, the plebiscite; then the despot.” The Eu is corrupt. It is a dictatorship. It rejects the democratic decisions of its members.