EU "celebrates" 50 years of failure and red tape - comment by Derek Bennett, editor of Euro Realist

Generally, the EU’s fiftieth birthday celebrations were a fairly muted affair in the UK. Even the pro- EU biased BBC put their report of the celebratory shindigs in Berlin towards the back end of the news on Sunday 25th March. The reason is the success of the anti-EU campaign in the UK which has made the EU very unpopular indeed. Although the EU is also proving none too popular in the rest of the EU, there were celebrations held in some countries, but the main focus was on Berlin. Germany is currently holding the EU Presidency and Angela Merkel, the German leader, has been pushing for the revival of the EU constitution -although it is no longer supposed to be called a constitution. To help her with this project, which was thrown out by the French and the Dutch, a declaration was signed as part of the birthday party celebration to confirm that the member states’ have a goal to work to with the prospect of a new treaty signed before the 2009 European Parliamentary elections. It is ironic that the event that the celebrations were about, the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, was a sham as it has been revealed that the then heads of the original six nations signed a blank document. The original Treaty of Rome which was signed had a title page and space for signature only. Embarrassingly, the Italian state printers failed to meet the deadline and the 1,144 page document was not present on the day. According to Luxembourg lawyer, Pierre Pescator who helped to write the original treaty, they signed a bundle of blank pages. At the time the original Common Market leaders rushed to get the document finished in nine months, as they wanted the deal to be done before General de Gaulle returned to power in France. They knew de Gaulle would put French interests first. As Prince Charles was giving his full support for the traditional British boozer at the beginning of March, when supporting the ‘Pub is the Hub’ campaign, the EU was making one of its all too frequent assaults on a British symbol seen in pubs the length and breadth of the land. The EU has got it in for our traditional crown mark which has always assured drinkers that they have a full measure. The EU wants the crown to be replaced by its meaningless CE mark, and despite protests from the pub trade and brewers, Tony Blair looks set to comply with the EU to scrap another British symbol. Since returning to Great Britain Tony Blair has remained rather quiet on his weekend away. He did, after all, sign the declaration which proposes more powers to the EU, such as a permanent EU President who will speak for the whole of the EU, full-time foreign and defence ministers, a reformed European parliament which will have the power to draw up its own laws and the power for the EU to set its own budgets, which will allow the EU to instruct Britain how much it must pay to the EU. By signing the pact Tony Blair has tied the hands of his successor, which may be Gordon Brown, when he leaves office in a few months time. As the new Prime Minister, Mr Brown may find his hands so tied by the EU that as PM of this country the dour Scotsman could find himself the first PM in British history to fill a non-job - he will have little power or influence, as Blair has set in place the process for what little sovereignty the UK has left to be given away to the EU. Despite the celebrations, parties and EU razzmatazz in Berlin, the EU itself is losing popularity amongst the people. Only 46 per cent of the people of Europe have a positive view of the EU, whilst more than a third of people believe their country has not seen any benefits of EU membership. And in Britain, only one person in three have anything positive to say about the EU. In fact, as Christopher Booker pointed out in the Sunday Telegraph on the day of the fiftieth anniversary, the EU has failed and has nothing better to show than fifty years of “foul-ups”. He pointed out that the EU’s ambitious Galileo space programme is facing a crisis and may fail, and that the EU is mired in bureaucracy. In reality, the EU is a project that is fifty years past its date. It is dead but its body is still twitching.


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And when Jesus had come into Peter's house, He saw his wife's mother lying sick with a fever. (Peter was married and had a mother-in-law. He was not the 'first pope' and he was not celibate.)
Matthew 8:14

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