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Democrat - January-February 2010 - Editorial (No.116)

You are now a citizen of
the EU superstate


On 1 December 2009 you became a citizen of the EU super-state. All of us in Britain will be ruled by a centralised Euro-federalist government in Brussels. Already four out of five laws emanate from Brussels rubber stamped by the elected government in Westminster.

EU legislation is decided behind closed doors by unaccountable and unelected Commissioners, all done in conjunction with the various Councils of Ministers from the 27 Member States. They are now the Euro-federalist government who are responsible for and to the EU and no longer primarily to their national governments.

The Lisbon Treaty, or more properly the EU Constitution, has ditched the inter-governmental arrangements in force since the Common Market was set up in 1957 and has turned the EU into a super-state. This qualitative change has been brought about by stealth over half a century and without changing the name European Union. Totally absent was any democratic procedure, agreement or consultation over the Lisbon Treaty with 500 million people across the 27 nation-states within the EU bar one, Ireland.

The electorates of France and the Netherlands threw out the EU Constitution and then Ireland rejected the deliberately scrambled Lisbon Treaty. This rejection was unacceptable to the political elites so Ireland was according to Irish and EU law illegally made to vote again. Money without limit was poured in to the Yes! camp to set up unrelated arguments which were crafted to frighten and mislead the electorate. With the misinformation and saturated one sided media put before them they understandably voted for the Lisbon Treaty and sacrificed what national independence and democracy they still held and had literally fought for over the centuries. No other member state was given the opportunity to discuss fully and voice opposition to the Lisbon Treaty. All three major political parties in Britain fell into line and reneged on promises to hold a referendum on Lisbon. The EU Constitution has been imposed from the top downwards and does not have any support from the peoples across the EU. It is a serious blow to democracy and the right to self-determination of nation-states. In historical terms it undoes both the American and French revolutions.

All EU institutions have been strengthened by the Treaty to consolidate this centralised government and the neo-liberal free market initiated by the Thatcher Government.

An unelected EU President and de facto EU Foreign Secretary, deliberately misnamed High Representative, are part of this EU government.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg is the supreme court of the EU which overrides the courts and Parliament in Britain. That includes the recently formed Supreme Court in Parliament Square. The ECJ has made rulings on four important cases which affect the labour and trade union movements and all those who work. 

The Viking, Laval, Ruffert and Luxembourg cases have sought to turn the clock back to the 19th Century by undermining trade union rights. This includes collective bargaining, using the free movement of labour around the EU to the detriment of wages, conditions and welfare protection. These impinge on the right to strike and other fundamental trade union and workers' rights in what has been aptly coined the "race to the bottom".

The EU Constitution has specified that capitalism shall be the economic system of the Union. This is contrary to every other constitution across the world and specifically blocks the right to legislate for socialist measures let alone a socialist economic system.

Big capital is no longer prepared to tolerate national democracy or be inhibited by the powers of the nation-state. The only institution in existence able to curb the ever growing transnational corporations and banks, and movement of big capital are the governments of nation-states. Just because we have elected governments who do not exercise that power but instead hang on to the coat tails of big capital does not negate such powers. However, what does remove the powers of nation-states is the formation of the EU superstate where the real government, the Euro-federalist government, cannot be kicked out and policies and legislation is put in place.

We are all now both subjects in the monarchy of the United Kingdom and citizens of the EU super-state. We have responsibilities and duties to obey the laws and pay heed to all the EU institutions in addition to institutions in Britain. If we wish to resist this new arrangement then first we have to understand the qualitative change that has taken place without notice. Above all we have to understand this remains part of the class struggle between labour and big capital and that well tested and hard won rights have to be defended and used.

Quite clearly and as soon as practical this huge reactionary backward step which undermines all forms of democracy has to be opposed. This will have to be done by building a resistance movement against the EU in which the left play a leading role.