The EU’s architects never meant it to be a democracy

The rise of a “technocracy” was always part of the plan for Europe.

by Christopher Booker
UK Telegraph
November 14, 2011

So, as headlines scream that vain bids to save the euro threaten us with “Armageddon”, the EU’s ruling elite has toppled two more elected prime ministers, to replace them with technocratic officials who can be trusted to do Brussels’s bidding.

The new Greek prime minister, Lucas Papademos, was the man who, as head of Greece’s central bank, fiddled the figures to enable Greece to get into the euro (against the rules) in the first place – before being rewarded with a senior post in the European Central Bank. He is no more democratically elected than Mario Monti, who will most likely be Italy’s new prime minister and had hurriedly to be made a “senator for life” to qualify him for the job. Monti’s main qualification is that, as a former senior EU Commissioner, he has long been a member of the Brussels elite himself.

One of the few pleasures of watching this self-inflicted shambles unfolding day by day has been to see the panjandrums of the Today programme, James Naughtie and John Humphrys, at last beginning to ask whether the EU is a democratic institution. Had they studied the history of the object of their admiration, they might long ago have realised that the “European project” was never intended to be a democratic institution.

The idea first conceived back in the 1920s by two senior officials of the League of Nations – Jean Monnet and Arthur Salter, a British civil servant – was a United States of Europe, ruled by a government of unelected technocrats like themselves. Two things were anathema to them: nation states with the power of veto (which they had seen destroy the League of Nations) and any need to consult the wishes of the people in elections.

As Richard North and I showed in our book The Great Deception, this was the idea that Monnet put at the heart of the “project” from 1950 onwards, modelling his “government of Europe” on precisely the same four institutions that made up the League of Nations – a commission, a council of ministers, a parliament and a court. Thus, step by step over decades, Monnet’s technocratic dream has come to pass.

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European Union’s Plot: One Single Treasury to Control it All

European Union chiefs are drawing up plans for a single “Treasury” to oversee tax and spending across the 17 eurozone nations.

London Telegraph
October 23, 2011

The proposal, put forward by Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council president, would be the clearest sign yet of a new “United States of Europe” — with Britain left on the sidelines.

The plan comes as European governments desperately trying to save the euro from collapse last night faced a new bombshell, with sources at the International Monetary Fund saying it would not pay for a second Greek bail-out.

It was also disclosed last night that British businesses are turning their back on Brussels regulations to give temporary workers full employment rights, with supermarket chain Tesco leading the charge.

Meanwhile, David Cameron is attempting to face down a rebellion tomorrow by Tory MPs in a vote over staging a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

Ministers expect 60 or 70 MPs to defy the party’s high command and back the call for a referendum, while some rebels claim the final toll could be up to 100 — about a third of the parliamentary party.

Downing Street has upped the stakes dramatically. Last night, No 10 sources insisted they would impose a three-line whip — effectively ordering all Tory MPs to fall in line.

Mr Cameron, who yesterday took personal charge of the effort to persuade MPs to back the Government, has come under intense pressure from Cabinet colleagues to try to defuse the revolt by offering concessions or a way out to rebels. Sources say a handful of parliamentary private secretaries — the lowest rung on the government ladder — might resign.

The single Treasury plan emerged in Brussels yesterday as Europe’s finance ministers tried to find a way out of the crisis engulfing the eurozone. A full-scale rescue plan could cost about £1.75 trillion.

British sources said Mr Van Rompuy, who is regarded as being close to the German government, suggested plans for a “finance ministry” to be based either in Frankfurt or Paris. The EU already has its own “foreign ministry”, headed by Baroness Ashton, the former British Labour minister, and based in Brussels.

A senior Coalition source told The Sunday Telegraph: “I am well aware of arguments in Brussels and elsewhere in favour of a single Treasury. You’d get any number of different versions of ‘Europe’ all running at very different speeds.”

A series of meetings are due to be held over the next few days on the eurozone crisis that will involve the leaders of EU member states.

They were overshadowed last night as senior sources at the International Monetary Fund indicated privately that it is not willing to further bail out Greece, whose economy has an outstanding debt of about £232 billion.

The IMF, with the EU and the European Central Bank, is assessing Greece’s debt crisis, and a joint report yesterday suggested lenders might have to agree losses of up to 60 per cent in a Greek default.

Any suggestion that the IMF would not be part of a new bail-out of Greece could spark panic in the markets and worsen the eurozone crisis.

Eurosceptic Tories, meanwhile, are arguing in favour of “repatriating” powers from the EU to Britain, including the Agency Workers Directive, imposed last year at an annual cost of £1.8 billion, which is putting at risk 28,000 temporary job contracts for those aged between 16 and 24. Tesco has asked one of its suppliers to take advantage of a loophole in the law which allows workers to “opt out”.

As Mr Cameron led the drive this weekend to neuter the Tory rebellion, Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, indicated his party might not field candidates at the next election against MPs who vote for a referendum.

However, there is no danger of Mr Cameron losing the non-binding vote. He can count on the “payroll vote” of more than 100 ministers, most if not all Lib Dams and nearly the entire bloc of 258 Labour MPs.

On Saturday Tory rebels were among speakers at a “People’s Pledge” pro-referendum rally in Westminster. They included David Davis, the former shadow home secretary, who called the EU a “nascent superstate”.