Friday 13 July 2012

Romania and the rule of law in the EU

The EU is a strange creature: in order to join a country must respect democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law - a concept that is becoming ever more detailed and developed on the European stage - but the EU finds it incredibly difficult to ensure these standards are respected one a country is inside the club. There have been a few battles over the last few years: France's treatment of the Roma, Hungary's constitutional changes in the media and the courts, and now Romania.

In Romania there is a power struggle over the constitution and the presidency. The social democrat Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, wants to impeach the unpopular conservative president Traian Basescu and has tried to change the threshold necessary in the process to get it done. The Economist also lists a number of seriously worrying changes that the Romanian government wants to bring about:

"His government has replaced the ombudsman (the only brake on emergency government ordinances), grabbed control of the Monitorul Oficial, the official promulgator of laws and decrees, taken over the national cultural institute and threatened to fire the judges of the constitutional court."
These changes has provoked concern in Brussels (and Berlin) over the threat to the rule of law. There is a way of sanctioning Member States that break the values of the EU: under Article 7 TEU a country in breach of these values can be stripped of its voting rights. However it's a nuclear option, and one that is difficult to threaten, never mind enforce or enact. There are two linked reasons for this: one technical and one political.

Politically it is hard for Member States to condemn a fellow Member State, and if the government of the offending Member State is aligned to either the EPP or PES (sitting in the S&D group in the Parliament), then it could have a strong lobby in its favour. Both the S&D and EPP have acted in the Hungarian and Romanian cases in support of governments that they are aligned with, as the Financial Times Blog rightly points out. The tactic used is generally to call for time while the Commission launches an investigation. This brings us to the second problem: the Commission only can investigate on narrow technical grounds, which allows for governments to make some concessions on these matters to lessen political pressure, while the measure is largely passed intact.

The Commission is equipped as a guardian of the treaties, but not as a protector of fundamental rights. To change this and to create a better culture for fundamental rights protection, it would be better for the Fundamental Rights Agency* to be empowered to assess the state of fundamental rights and compliance with the rule of law and EU values. Then it could recommend in a report what needs to be changed to bring a government back into line.

It would still be up to the Commission, Council and Parliament how they should act and if they invoke Article 7 TEU. Still, it is important that we move away from the culture of hiding behind technical requirements and changes and to a culture of debating the substance of protecting rights and the rule of law in the EU and the Member States. Even now European approval - or lack of sanction - carries a certain moral authority and legitimacy. We should make sure this is put to good use and not twisted and hollowed out to provide cover for subverting the rule of law. *The FRA's remit would probably need to be expanded for this.


  1. Why aren't you reporting on other countries' constitutional crises as they struggle to barge in unpopular dictatorial EU legislation to salvage an insane political project, and who the hell do you think you are to speak so lightly of lording over my country with ultimata?

    I'd really appreciate some answers, thanks.

  2. Basically, since EU Member States get to have a say in the laws that affect all Member States, if the rule of law is threatened in one, then it concerns the others. And it works the other way around as well.

    What other constitutional crises do you mean? I've written about the Hungarian one I've also written about standing up to France for their treatment of the Roma and media/freedom of speech issues in Ireland with the blasphemy laws, though those weren't constitutional crises), but I'm not aware of the media laws or the independence of the judiciary being changed in such a way. If you're refering to the Fiscal Compact, then that doesn't affect the rule of law because it doesn't undermine these aspects of the state - it doesn't entail the change of judiciary members for political reasons, etc.

  3. Obviously you are being disingenuous. EU Member States do not in any meaningful form get to have a say in the laws that affect all Member States. In fact, it is the decidedly anti-European Fundamental Rights Agency who you called to act, not other EU Member States, any one of which is already several layers removed from any national interests. As to the extant rule of law, which provides for sovereignty but is denied executively in favour of the EU slave pen, it is being worst threatened by a certain blogger. As it happens, I have not considered making a public call to the security services of my country to enlarge their remit and deal with such threats.

    Your muddled thinking is reflected in claiming that democracy and arbitrarily dictated "fundamental rights" and their similarly arbitrary enforcement have something to do with one another. Obviously it never crossed your mind that such diktats, widely unaccepted as they are which you will continue to ignore, only mimick a form of people's power if they are already agreed to (which, again, they have not). Even in that rare case they do not stem from a democratic process, but an external agency, thus they are implemented undemocratically.

    You appear to bark a lot about the importance of the mock EU Parliament where, regardless of what they LARP back home about proper representation, most MEPs nearly vow on-stage to protect EU interests, i.e. their financial interests against the (usually divergent) national interests. I am sure that Eurocrats find it excellent to be able to plausibly hoodwink their electorate that they never will never get just what they want because the will of most other peoples' supersedes theirs, and they should just suck it up--banking on their complacency, laziness, weakness and suggestibility, attachment to authority--while a radical agenda is pushed on matters on which public opinion is unacceptable to the governing class, and will never be sought. You hope that this scheme will evade the obviousness that membership is extremely expensive to them and bad for them in innumerable, well-known ways.

    As a professional EU bottom-feeder furtively attracted by the power your employers wield, you probably know very well that the radical EU treaty change demanded by Merkel, in EU interests, and agreed by EU leaders on March 25th 2011 not only needed unanimous approval by them as members of the European Council, but also needs all 27 EU member states to approve it "in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements". Acting on this foreign order--and things are what they are--clearly constitutes an abridgment of the rule of law and provokes a constitutional crisis in my country, something duly ignored by the dear Commission when it suits them. I'm sorry your ilk was not yet successful at gnawing away at everything resembling sovereignty; fortunately for your side, your team is easily able to buy my local political class with other Europeans' money.

    As for your aspects of the state, the independence of the judiciary--that's obviously impossible given membership in the EU, and thus a moot point. In fact, that's what the article is partly about, isn't it? Could you please cease with the Orwellian terms and say what you mean, i.e. the opposite? Censorious laws affecting the media they have been introduced by the EU IIRC, but censorship already operated de facto through select media ownership and its attendant pro-EU bias. I am rightfully more worried about what the supreme state is doing than the politically irrelevant administrative provinces.

  4. Finally, were I to check your write-up on the "Roma" topic, would I find a position that is actually pro-European as your blog profile description claims, or one that diminishes basic rights of self-determination and thereby expresses racial hatred against an indigenous European population (which you would otherwise deny even existed if not to attack)?

  5. I base my assertion that Member States have a say on laws affecting each other, because they vote on draft laws in the Council (and can propose them in the area of freedom, justice and security). The rule of law is a concept: you can read about it here. It means that the law is upheld in all cases and not arbitarily applied, and it requires an independent judiciary. As for fundamental rights, they are detailed in the European Convention of Human Rights and in the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights. If a country doesn't want to comply with them, it shouldn't sign up to them.

    On the Roma, I said that the French state should deal with each individual's case on an individual level. I don't deny either the existence of the French or the Roma (you're comment's confusing at points about what you're referring to), nor their right to self-determination, but the rule of law should be respected - that is, that the law is applied as it's been written. The law should be changed democratically before a different rule is enforced.

    "As to the extant rule of law, which provides for sovereignty but is denied executively in favour of the EU slave pen, it is being worst threatened by a certain blogger."

    First of all, Romania, and the other Member States, are sovereign and free to withdraw from the EU and their treaty obligations that they've signed up to, but until they do they should comply with those treaties. Please refrain from insults in your argument. Just because we disagree don't mean you have to resort to name-calling.

  6. You know very well that there is absolutely nothing voluntary about the EU or my own country having joined the EU; it currently has less political autonomy than the Generalgouvernement and slim chances of skipping off with the EU's consent. You must have noticed that the political establishment within each Member State favours the EU more strongly than the ruled do. You cannot have missed that the EU's advertisements and propaganda, mostly of baked teenagers dancing, have sod all to do with its inner workings--I doubt the subjects thereby understand how, e.g., the DGs are run. You are probably aware that any attempt of a government to forcefully shut down your foreign propaganda outlets and have an honest, meaningful debate about the nature of the your lovely dictatorship will be met with threats, sanctions and lots of screeching, the latter perhaps from yourself.

    If you proceed to lie on this obvious point of there being free association I will continue to call you a liar. As for the EU scrounger description, you appear to derive your employment from the EU (which is supposed to be all voluntary and what everyone wants, so what's your use? part of the "vanguard", just crystallising things for the plebs?), at the expense of others who work productive jobs (nevertheless, I'm not going to repeat it). Your blog shows you revel in seeing the EU use its powers to intimidate and overturn. Blanking out on the effects of diplomatic pressure is simply not credible. After all, the news lately has been all about that sort of pressure; and your preceding entries joined in to bash UK's tentative (yet unserious) peering out of the box.

    My country is not functionally sovereign. Most functions of the government have been captured by the EU, only to later serve them up to its clients on a second round of regulatory capture. The well over a hundred thousand pages of EU directives that no elected government can repeal prevent any sort of meaningful domestic reform. Elections thus serve as a mere change of guard for administering received EU law without question. You then claim that the same political establishment given legal, financial and media privileges by the EU, and readily following orders from it, would honestly negotiate with its master for popular interests. "Sovereign and free to withdraw" is a grossly dishonest description of the state of affairs. You have also not even noted the asset-stripping clauses of the Lisbon Constitution-qua-Treaty.

    The EU and its minions seem to reactively fret about any challenges to the above system, hence the reason for the offending blog post. Such challenges could only come from a consolidated, strong government--a political powerbase bent on reforming the current system from the bottom up. In terms of propaganda politics, you guys have really done a bungled piece of work. Even with the control of the mass media, all you could do was openly deride your base, promote groveling obeisance for Western Europe or cover the latest internecine parliamentary scandals and other irrelevancies, all useless for forging a long-lasting "European" foundation. Perhaps this is all you can muster with the total lack of legitimacy or apparent goals beyond destroying indigenous European nations, shamelessly intruding into their lives or getting a vigorish on their national economies.

  7. Additionally, thanks for offering to educate me on what the rule of law is. I'm obviously a newbie, so I'll try to offer an example to see if I got it right.

    You probably know that the European Parliament had been seemingly unlawfully constituted since December 1st, 2009 when the Treaty of Lisbon came into force, there being 3 more German MEPs than are allowed under the rules laid down in the treaties as now amended, with the knock-on consequence that 18 other persons have not been allowed to take their seats. Along that period of two years, instead of all its acts deemed null and void, the Parliament was actually well within the "rule of law", because everyone had much later "voluntarily" agreed to some sort of Transitional Protocol that led the European Parliament to be lawfully constituted once again, and always has been. Similarly, see the pre-emptive bailouts. Is this about right?

    After hopefully getting it right about the rule of law concept, and this was quite exciting, I have some further more serious questions about the EU and my country--questions whose answers do not seem to appear on Wikipedia or elsewhere--if you can handle them. Thanks.

  8. I stand by my comments on the Member States being sovereign and free to decide whether or not to stay in the EU or leave. Are you saying that Romania wasn’t free when it made the decision to join?

    I don’t know where you get the idea that the EU controls the media – the rare examples of the EU or EU institutions getting involved in communication or the media (such as Europarl TV) are laughably small and terrible as communication or PR.

    I wasn’t bashing the UK having a debate in my previous posts, I was calling for a more open and detailed debate by discussing what powers would be the focus of renegotiation, and what the internal market is (and how other Member States see it).

    For the EP there is an election law setting the parliamentary terms at 5 years, so to reconcile these fixed terms with the changes of the Lisbon Treaty, transitional measures were needed. I’d be interesting in any sources you have proving that the protocol was not voluntarily signed up to.

    For the bail outs, there’s a lot of discussion and it would be better looking to the more specialised blawgs than this general blog (there’s a few on my blog list, but I’m sure you can find many, many more too). The first bail outs withstood challenges in constitutional courts (the Bundesverfassungsgericht in Germany), though I would be more sceptical than the German court in this instance. It’s an area where I haven’t read all the legal literature, so I’m afraid I can’t give you a full answer.

    I’m interested in your take on the situation in Romania. Do you think it breaks the rule of law (internally for Romania, even if you reject/leave out the EU side)? Maybe I've got what's happening in Romania wrong - what is/how is the political dispute going?

    I’ll ask again for you to stop using insults, otherwise I won’t bother replying.

  9. ¶1-2: Sorry for the length, but . . . You are clearly obfuscating and conflating the Romanian Government, currently legally subordinated to the EU, with "Romania" in hopes of arguing for its legitimacy. The Romanian Government's decision to join a the so-called political union came closely after a coup of the former Communist Government led by some of its underlings with the known logistical support of some EU "Member States". The former Communist Government was widely regarded as illegitimate. The unpopular Government following the coup was also as a matter-of-fact declared the same in a sort of legal wrangling to extend another presidential term to one of its ringleaders.

    The decision to join the what later became the EU (hereafter EU for simplicity) expressed by the Romanian Government circa 1990 clearly had no democratic assent. Furthermore, the severe crackdowns it undertook on protesters (some of whom criticised inter alia the foreign policy we are discussing) would count as severe "human rights" (whatever that means) violations which would have EU squawkers decry them. Successive government formations followed suit, and the matter was never put before a plebiscite--which would have been better to execute then than now, after years over years of my population receiving its Gleichschaltung.

    Instead, having been paid to do so, and having been promised benefits, the political class aggressively campaigned for the EU, including by issuing threats to the population of the consequences of not consenting. Furthermore, and more importantly, it had granted legal backing to the establishment of foreign propaganda outlets, such as the mass media and most "N"GOs, which led an overt agenda on the EU's behalf and promoted its anti-European filth.

    Said promotion of filth stands in contradistinction with the aims and functioning of free speech in a nation-state democracy, where the genetic relatedness and fellow-feeling among its members compel political expressions ultimately fleshing out to be advantageous to the public weal. The constant churning out of foreign propaganda by the EU, its Member States, its hirelings and its fellow-travelers dampened out my people's freedom of speech. As such, there has not been a single instance of actual hostility to the European Union expressed in my country's mass media that I know of.

    Your choice to pony up an entity that immediately sought arrangements with foreigners as the basis of their rule rather than a popular wellspring, and which later became a subordinated part of the EU, is considered a moot point. You are in effect saying that an EU institution, i.e. my elected non-sovereign government, is free to secede from the EU. While I may find mild dissenting arguments, I'll agree--with the caveat that is both unlikely and superfluous. So what? I already know that the EU may do as it pleases.

  10. ¶3 I apologise if I'm terribly wrong, but I believe you called the UK potential freeriders that should be subject to potential penalties as a clear disincentive to renegotiation (a charge that is eminently laughable given everything).

    Anyone who is well-versed in European history will know that what is sometimes called Kremlinology has actually been a standard feature of European diplomacy. It could be as small a matter as Stalin's replacement of the Jewish Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Litvinov with Molotov on May 3, 1939, a signal which the German diplomatic service had correctly interpreted as Stalin wanting an agreement with Germany.

    It could be a great a matter as what happened in June 1940 when, shortly before the French surrender, President Paul Reynaud resigned and the French Assembly (after it had moved to Vichy from Bordeaux having first fled Paris) elected Marechal Petain to the presidency, with the specific mandate to negotiate a cessation of hostilities with Germany under the best terms possible. President Petain then negotiated the armistice with Germany, which provided for German military occupation of the north and Atlantic seaboard but otherwise were surprisingly mild given the scale of the German victory. For further appeasement, the French Assembly located at Vichy voted to dissolve itself upon Petain being granted full legislative powers by that body.

    Although the Romanian Government similarly negotiated with the EU from a position of inferiority, having lost the Eastern Bloc's protection and risking setting off the EU's ire against it on the international scene, its final terms of surrender were based on creating a modus vivendi between both negotiating parties' greed rather than popular national interests.

    Going back to our matters, when the European Union and its many mouthpieces claim they have maintained peace in Europe until now, which is untrue, what they send out is that they will stake their regime staying in power on starting an aggressive war on my continent, causing a heavy toll on European peoples. When the same crew claims that countries will be hurt by its absence, or that countries are unfree unless their propaganda organs dominate the airwaves, what they mean is that any defector country will be blockaded for resources (whether normally or by slapping them with surcharges), issued propaganda against and be subject to attempts to have its representative leadership ousted by the unhappy conditions they would help create.

    However, if "everyone" "voluntarily" "agrees" to endure the playpen, everything will be fine. The Eurocrats also coach their claims in terms in universalism, never explaining why THEY have to be in charge, never publicly entertaining the possibility that one can disagree with the motley leadership and some of its zany measures and goals rather than many features of the EU.

    Your piece appeared to amplify standard EU litany, and threats are threats.

  11. ¶4-5 Your tendentious excuses for not demanding due process and the rule of law, as well as general lack of concern, are noted. The law is then usually what the Commission presently agrees it is, or was, with no protection against it for so-called "European citizens". Once again, this is not about what the Romanian Government, which derives its legitimacy from the current unwillingness or inability of a largely disarmed population to exterminate and replace its security apparatus and later it, decides to do. This is about my protection from that government, and the EU that had absorbed it. Not that the EU's internal contradictions matter much, but I was just offering them as an example of how lowly Eurocrats are if the bleat about the "rule of law".

    What is the EU doing to protect my "rights", which happens to include my say-so at what foreign countries do or so you claim, from the German government and politicians who threaten and pressure against due process by asking for expedition? I like the "fiat justitia ruat caelum" concept (ignored in the first round of bailouts), so I'm waiting with bated breath for the Commission's worries made public. Some MEP argued that the Court is too uneducated to decide at this juncture, and I'm sure many of his colleagues agree, so I'd like the verdict and signature of the law delayed until another doctorate or two is obtained.

    Could you inform whether you personally believe there is a certain "culture" of formal or informal goading to pass emergency measures because of supposed collegiality rather than strict national interests, and irrespective of the unwashed who may desire to put in spanner in the works of the project? The community method or wtfever it is called? Should I ignore every issued statement to that effect as a joke? Please answer this bit.

    ¶6 Well, there was a clear powergrab by one reigning faction against the President (and his own faction), although it was all perfectly legal from my read of things. Given that successive political formations have shown no initiatives apart from implementing EU rules, and we have a rich history of broken political campaign promises which gained no traction because they had been deceptively based on competences already relinquished to the EU, the turnout for some vote on the matter is poised to be low. Thus, a struggle ensued on the necessary turnout required, a matter which seems to have petered out with a 50% requirement for said vote to be be taken into account.

    I could offer a more detailed field report, but the matter is wholly uninteresting given lack of policy change or simply because, legally-procedurally, the whole political maneuvering has a single-time effect.

    Since many do not care about who gets the government cheese this time, the people voting against the faction more disliked will likely number below the required amount. These silly proceedings will likely come to an end. I read that they are touted in the media as a national referendum, which is odd given the EU's vile and insulting ban on such. Based on the same rules, it is also straightforward that Germany will not be able to honestly activate Art. 146 of the Basic Law.

    Hopefully that was less insulting. You seem to offer the cultic happytalk version of how we volunteered into a cosmic, fulsome agreement with the EU, twenty-six Member States and their peoples, and that's okay. Moving on, my more pressing concerns relate to what will happen to me and mine in the woodshed. Questions later asked, however.

  12. I see that no reply has been forthcoming, although that may be because you are gone rather than anything else.

    I should have also added that your statement in the article about the attempted change of the necessary threshold is a bit misleading. It is actually a reversal of the change instituted by the suspended President's side, upon survival of impeachment proceedings back in 2007 with a 45% turnout, to set the admission bar at 50%. The suspended President's party has also called for his zealots not to participate in the election, expecting mass unpopularity but a low turnout. Both changes were tailormade for specific occasions.

    On the bailouts topic, once again you missed the point and led the discussion elsewhere (though a worthwhile elsewhere). The point is that EU treaties have been broken by EU leaders, and therefore more importantly from my point of view Romanian national law has been broken by Romanian ministers enabling ultra vires acts and yet they wriggled and wriggled to avoid their culpability.

    There is no real recourse for this because national courts would be reluctant to determine that the eurozone bailouts breached the treaties and would refer the case to the European Court of Justice for their final decision, and it's a foregone conclusion that the lawyers at that Court would approve the bailouts as furthering the process of "ever-closer union".

    To anyone who has a reading comprehension level above a so-called "Roma", the following was and is perfectly clear no matter whether it suits anyone or not: "A Member State shall not be liable for or assume the commitments of ... another Member State." National parliaments and peoples were fooled into approving the treaty and get it ratified and in place on different conditions. French Minister for Europe Pierre Lellouche claimed on the occasion that EU leaders had made "de facto" changes to the treaties.

    No amount of blawgging or talks of what potentially captured entities like national courts (now dedicated to euro-federalism) decide can change the fact that the EU is a serial law-breaking criminal enterprise.

    As for your repeated false claim of my country being sovereign, my Constitution binds Parliament, the President, the Government and the Judiciary to EU law over national law. The Constitutional Court mused, inter alia:
    - EU law > other international law > national law;
    - EU law includes anything emanating from the EU that looks like an order;
    - The Constitutional Court is itself bound by EU law.
    All of which are well within the spirit of that article. Of course, this applies de facto to other so-called "sovereign" states. But here, all bases are already blatantly covered. Leaving the EU requires the EU's nod-so and formal proceedings according to the EU, so thanks for playing.

    Finally, in case you've pussied out of my grilling (which has yet to start), I'll let slip a parting note: stop writing "publically" you chimp; it's "publicly", even for the Irish.

  13. Thanks for the further background.

    I maintain that Romania, and the other Member States, remain sovereign because it is ultimately up to them whether or not they leave or stay. That there is a procedure for withdraw doesn't take away from the fact that it's the choice and power of the Member State. The primacy of European law only lasts as long as membership, so that doesn't change my fundamental point. But then I'm not sure under what circumstances you would consider joining the EU legitimate?

    And the point that EU leaders break the rule of law on the European stage undermines your argument that they are controlled by the institutions in Brussels, since they can, as sovereign nations, change the terms of the agreements between them.

    I checked the OED, and both publically and publicly seem to be equally acceptable. I don't mind being corrected, but since you continue to throw insults into this debate, I think we should just leave it there.

  14. (But publicly might be a bit more appropriate in some cases).

  15. Okay, fine, I'll cut the insults against you personally. The question of legitimacy of joining is difficult to establish. Where can I start?

    1.) In my place of dwelling, the present Constitution enabling EU accession and full plenary power over every state institution was largely voted down, both due to the surrender and the lack of any other meaningful reform (probably also because the government's mindless campaign for it was locally injuncted). Given the wrong vote, the resounding dismissal magically became an approval by almost inverted percentages. The farthest on the why question is a pers. comm. that the EU hath it be so; we tend to be friendly and loose-lipped. The interesting developments I will leave for another time.

    2.) All over the EU, elected politicians receive votes and support on the basis of campaign promises, many pertaining to functions already relinquished to the EU. The same elected politicians betray that support and those votes, since their primary legal mandate is not serving those voters or promises, but dutifully serving out EU law. That's what they're there _for_. Of course, betrayal is not caused by the EU--it is just an excellent means. Mencken long ago called elections "advance auction sales of stolen goods"; the EU formalises that description while charging fees for the disservice. Given the constant voting for policies that would require exit, any democratic legitimacy is minimal.

    3.) I have always argued against Germany's settlement following Unconditional Surrender in 1945 being a restoration of sovereignty. Today's lingering Bundestablishment, with its neglect of the German people, serves as a great example. A sovereign government may surrender unconditionally, but then cannot reclaim sovereignty, nor even the sovereignty of the act itself--as long as the Higher Power looms with similar intentions.

    My country's placement in a flux of open-ended Unconditional Surrender, whereby all state institutions are bound by EU supremacy, shows at best a territorial-administrative unit that votes but is not sovereign. You would have it that the rulership of the EU party, having carefully brought the country in, and having been granted by the EU inordinate legal perks helping it stay in power, would choose to leave if it wants to. Alas, when treason prospers, as the saying goes, none dare call it treason--certainly not the chief beneficiaries.

    Sovereign states who can make treaties can break them at will. And they should if they serve no national interest or have no ultimately favourable national outcomes or overriding diplomatic ramifications--bearing in mind that sometimes goodwill and a long history of trust-relationships is often diplomatically valuable for its own sake. Given the EU's so-called values, the latter scenario is certainly an irrelevancy.

    All the leaving discussion is highly academic given the on-ground realities, but since you bring it up: the Constitution mentions a post-accession transfer of power, but never any claw-back of the supremacy clause. As the EUR tune goes: "irreversible". As with my country leaving, it remains elective to the European Union whether it wants to relinquish anything, or respond to any potential rebellion by Romanian state structures from their legal obligations.

    Your claim that Romania can freely secede, as if there were no strings attached, is strange. The entire "European project" is forged by carefully attaching as many strings as unreasonably unnecessary, and making offers others cannot refuse--gunboat diplomacy, in other words. First, EU dependencies and its encirclement remain a foremost threat to national security to be eliminated; secondly, even if resisted, the political moves required to sensibly evict the EU and its agents will prompt R2P-inclined Member States to label the country part of some contrived Axis of Evil quicker than you can say Ahmadinejad.

    Putting on a gormless act will not provide a hiding space from the above.

  16. The Brussels-controlled bit is a straw man, of course. That insolence was caused by and through the EU. Brussels is more of a political thoroughfare for imposing the unwanted and otherwise difficult; however, one that my country's leadership is fine with receiving orders and stolen money from rather than actively participating in.

    I maintain that the European Union operates without legal basis. It set up a Foreign Service without any sound treaty. It implemented an under-way Constitution which had been rejected; then implemented a Lisbon Treaty to consolidate existing Treaties to incorporate parts of the rejected Constitution. The European Union is an extra-legal construct which works on Executive Privilege overriding all legal constraints.

    What basically happened is that Legislatures across the continent have been forced to delegate their authority to Executives which have transferred and pooled sovereignties from purported popular ownership into an Accountability-Free Area filling a vacuum in international law, the EU's very own Politburo. However, it takes a more 'extreme' legal form due to its similarity to erstwhile Secret Political Police structures. Its very raison d'être is the ability to by-pass its subject states' and even its own on-paper prescribed means and preventive measures, since the necessary means for proper performance are at times not chosen freely but dictated by the enemy. All rules can be bent, all deadlines are elastic, etc.

    I do not dignify the EU by associating it with any solid ideology other than visceral hatred against European peoples. It behoves Europeans to think of the EU as not pertaining to an ideology to be debated on abstract merits, but to associate it with a very specific set or class of people, albeit coming and going, who make-believe it's about much else than their insanity, hatred, and the stolen pelf they mete out to themselves and friends. It's all quite . . . personal.

    That said, because I guess you implied it when asking when I'd consider my country's joining legitimate, I am not nearly parochial enough as to dismiss the idea of cooperative economic planning as a regional bloc, and even giving up some sovereignty to go along with it if need be. (You may have noted my lack of Colonel Blimp routines or the more Irish-like "Ourselves, Alone" mantra.) It is highly delusional to imagine that my tiddler country, or any other single fellow European country for that matter, will be able to paddle its own canoe through a world stage dominated by antagonistic power blocs readying themselves for the inevitable conflict over resources and vital space, economic and otherwise.

    It would be a shame if the EU's proven track record of undermining every European people's welfare across the board, closing the world in on us rather than securing our future, and its blunder in helping create the very structures that will be opposing us will prevent a proper Festung Europa. (Given the recent performance at the Olympics, I'd rather do without the Insela***n just like in the original version.) I fully expect something as vile and stupid as the European Union to surprise us with a revenge from its grave after we kill it.

    I would view EU-like structures as legitimate if set up for the sole purpose of eliminating in the womb anything that looks like the current EU and its "values" throughout Europe, just like the EU does to any opposing faction.

    (I promise no more insults, so no need to limit other commenters because of me--unless you dislike your evasive performance so far and wish to call it quits. My questions re the EU's plans for my country, as channeled through self-styled one European citizen, remain. I asked about willingness to reply to such, and you stayed quiet though. Didn't think you'd budge further, so I went for it.)