"We need a European Constitution. The European Constitution is not the 'final touch' of the European structure; it must become its foundation. The European Constitution should prescribe that. we are building a Federation of nation-States. The first part should be based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights proclaimed at the European summit at Nice. If we transform the EU into a Federation of Nation-States, we will enhance the democratic legitimacy. We should not prescribe what the EU should never be allowed to do. I believe that the Parliament and the Council of Ministers should be developed into a genuine bicameral parliament."
~Dr Johannes Rau, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, European Parliament, 4 April 2001 ~

Ahem, what happened to the single market and free competition?

We have been told ad nauseam that one of the great advantages of the European Union is that it creates a large area for free competition and, in particular, it made air travel convenient and cheap. This is what lies at the bottom of the Commission’s constant demands that individual member states should tear up their agreements with third parties and submit to Commission negotiations and decisions. This rosy picture has already been tarnished somewhat by the Ryanair case and the ongoing saga of “illegal” subsidies to flagship airlines. Now comes the interesting development of Alitalia and its competitors. More »
15-08-04 | 12:11 |

Does he really mean what I think he means?

Press censorship should be on the agenda. So writes – or appears to write – Mr Charles Grant, former Economist journalist, biographer of Jacques Delors and currently a director of the Europhile think-tank, the Centre for European Reform (CER). His view can be found in the current CER Bulletin (Issue 37), under the innocent title of “the peculiarities of the British”, in which he offers ideas as to why the British are so different from other European countries in disliking the EU. Grant has four explanations. Three can be dispensed with fairly quickly: history, and especially Britain’s relatively glorious role in World War Two; geography, which placed Britain on the edge of Europe and open to the oceans; and economics ­ the UK has out-performed much of the continent over the past ten years. More »
12-08-04 | 16:14 |

What is the point of the European Union? The case to leave

Lord Pearson of Rannoch, Patron of the Bruges Group (http://www.brugesgroup.com), argues that it has become an Article of Faith (or Guilt?) in Westminster, and in our political media, that the British people are frightened of leaving the European Union. So no major political party dares even to think of doing so. This film shows some of the (overwhelming) case to leave. Click on the link below to watch the film, “What is the point of the European Union? The case to leave”, online: http://www.brugesgroup.com/… More »
11-08-04 | 14:13 | 1 comment

More Norwegians opposed to joining the EU

For the first time since August 2002, a clear majority of Norwegians have declared their opposition towards membership of the European Union. A poll conducted by Sentio-Norstat on behalf of three Norwegian newspapers (Dagen, Nationen and Klassekampen), showed that 45 percent of people in Norway are opposed to EU membership, while only 42.2 percent are in favour. 12.7 percent did not take a stand. More »
11-08-04 | 11:19 | 1 comment

The EU gives more aid to Third World countries than anyone else…

It is one of the boasts of the European Union that its credentials as a caring political entity are impeccable as it disperses more in aid than any other country or organization. When one adds the extra sums that individual member states hand over on top of the substantial EU aid budget, the amounts become mind-bogglingly substantial. Yet, there is no improvement in the state of those Third World countries – or not as much as the sums dispersed might warrant – and the EU is constantly accused of not being generous enough. Maybe there is something wrong with the thinking, as many of our recent blogs (on the WTO non-deal, the sugar regime and the Palestinian Authority) indicate. More »
10-08-04 | 16:08 |

No place for Fascists in European Union: suspend Sweden now!

The imprisonment of a Christian preacher in Sweden for offending homosexuals reveals Sweden as a sinister police state eager to deny freedoms of speech and worship, says the Libertarian Alliance (http://www.libertarian.co.uk), the radical free market and civil liberties think tank and pressure group. It calls on The European Commission to suspend Swedish Membership of the European Union pending a full human rights investigation. More »
10-08-04 | 09:49 | 1 comment

Eurosceptics Rising

A pig farmer from Poland and a politically incorrect talk-show host in Britain have grasped what’s clearly been lost on Europe’s ruling elite: that average folks are in no mood for another centralized government telling them how long their ladders should be or whether they should buy asparagus by the pound or the kilo. They’ve got more than enough of that at home, thank you very much. What was billed as the largest transnational election ever — roughly 155 million voters from 25 countries — backfired on the one-big-happy-European-family crowd last weekend. More »
06-08-04 | 10:47 |

Blair: If Britain Votes No to Europe, We'll Just Have Another Referendum Until They Vote Yes

Tony Blair came close to acknowledging on Wednesday that a Labour government would hold a second referendum on the new European constitution if there were a victory for the No camp in a plebiscite next year. More »
05-08-04 | 14:12 |

On the shame of protectionism

In his book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations Adam Smith, founder of economic liberalism, is focussing on the importance of free trade. The point is that, if every country concentrates on production of commodities and services in which it is specialised, everybody will benefit from it. In his masterpiece On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, the British economist David Ricardo supports this point of view and demonstrates that protectionism is not only hurting the other countries but also the economy and the citizens of the country that is imposing it. In the beginning of the nineteenth century Ricardo resisted against the ‘corn laws’ in England which protected the interests of the large landowners. The consequences were extreme high prices on bread, especially for workers. More »
05-08-04 | 11:22 |

Pity poor Señhor Barroso

The man who has been grudgingly (though predictably) accepted by the European Parliament as the President of the Commission, also ran in the tortuous nomination process. (Presumably the highly moral and sophisticated Europeans will continue to point the finger at the “laughable” and “ridiculous” American process of choosing a President. All in the open. It’s, like, so last century.) More »
29-07-04 | 16:11 |