Twenty Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the EU is a Reincarnation of the Former Soviet Union
By Hans Vogel
Now that the Czech Republic has announced it will ratify the Lisbon Treaty, the EU will be even closer yet to becoming a unified monster state, with more than half a billion inhabitants. Inhabitants is the correct term, since “citizens” would indicate a set of political rights. The people living in the EU should rather be called “subjects,” since they have no influence whatsoever on the constitution of the centralized European government, the “European Commission.” The Europeans are allowed to vote for members of the European Parliament, but this body has about as much political power as the ineffectual German parliament meeting at Frankfurt in 1848. Political power in the EU is firmly in the hands of the European Commission, which is set to obtain even more power under the Lisbon Treaty. This infamous treaty does not hold the peoples of Europe in high regard. As a matter of fact, it is only halfway through the treaty (originally presented as a “Constitution”) that one finds the first references to the people.
The first impression one gets while reading through Chapter III of the Lisbon Treaty (the so-called reader-friendly text), is a rather favorable one. This so-called Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union “ places the individual at the heart of its activities, by establishing the citizenship of the Union and by creating an area of freedom, security and justice.” That really sounds grand and reassuring, does it not? Reading on, one clause seems even more impressive than the other.
For instance, article 1 is wonderful: “Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected.” So is article 3:1: “Everyone has the right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity.” What about article 6: “Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.” And look at article 8:1 “Everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her.” Or what did you think of article 11: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”
The list goes on and on. The Lisbon Treaty obviously is an effort to put together the most enlightened elements of all existing European constitutions. Therefore, as far as these “fundamental civil rights” are concerned, the Lisbon Treaty may be regarded as having taken effect already, at least in most of the EU.
It is quite enlightening to take a look at the way the lofty articles cited above are being put into practice. Take “human dignity,” for instance. As a result of the benefits Neoliberal Capitalism has been showering on Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall, by day the streets of most European cities have become a living room for increasing numbers of homeless. At night these streets are transformed into open-air bedrooms, with the homeless making themselves comfortable on mattresses made out of flattened cardboard boxes. The streets seamlessly convert into dining rooms whenever the homeless are hungry. Then they go about scavenging for leftovers among the rubbish in dustbins and garbage containers.
And what about the CIA rendition flights to secret torture centers in EU member states Poland and Romania, with most other EU member states giving clearance for these flights through their sovereign airspace? So far, some 80.000 individuals are believed to have been abducted in this way, many of these with the full collaboration of the EU and its member states.
Clearly in the EU, “human dignity” is not inviolable, nor is it being respected or protected. The treatment meted out to EU citizens suspected of terrorism is a violation of articles 3:1 and 6. Their physical and mental integrity is not respected in any way, and their right to liberty and security of person is trampled on, courtesy of all 27 EU member states.
All talk about human dignity, physical and mental integrity, and liberty and security of person is empty. It is empty because the security of the state (the EU and its member states) is deemed to have priority. You can find proof in the Lisbon Treaty, Title II, article 67:2 “ The Union shall endeavour to ensure a high level of security through measures to prevent and combat crime, racism and xenophobia, and through measures for coordination and cooperation between police and judicial authorities and other competent authorities, as well as through the mutual recognition of judgments in criminal matters and, if necessary, through the approximation of criminal laws.” The clause seems bland, but it means state security (however defined) takes precedence over the rights of individuals.
Article 8 is also very interesting. It would seem to state that one's personal data are safe. But are they? Under current EU regulations, member states are required to keep records of all e-mail traffic and all telephone conversations. In fact it is as if the government would be reading all your letters. Many EU member states, the government can enter your computer at will and change data and records on your computer without your knowing it. All this snooping and spying is, of course, in the interest of state security, to “fight terrorism!” It all looks as if the Nazi slogan “Du bist nichts, dein Volk ist alles!” (You are nothing, your people is everything) were put into effect in today's EU.