Europe’s Imperial Court Is a Threat to All Our Democracies

Unirea Europei este un proces de durată efectual în etape. O curte Imperială este unul din pașii care vor nega suveranitatea țărilor componente. Până și unul din promotorii acestui proiect pare că are regrete … târzii.

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Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph | January 14

The European Court of Justice (ecj) has declared legal supremacy over the sovereign state of Germany, and there- fore of Britain, France, Denmark and Poland as well.

The ecj’s advocate general has not only brushed aside the careful findings of the German Constitutional Court on a matter of highest importance, he has gone so far as to claim that Ger- many is obliged to submit to the final decision. “We cannot pos- sibly accept this and they know it,” said one German jurist close to the case.

The matter at hand is whether the European Central Bank broke the law with its back-stop plan for Italian and Spanish debt (omt) in 2012. The teleological ecj—always eager to further the cause of EU integration—did come up with the politically correct answer as expected. The ecb is in the clear. The opinion is a green light for quantitative easing next week, legally never in doubt.

The European Court did defer to the Verfassungsgericht [Ger- man Constitutional Court] in Karlsruhe on a few points. …

But these details are not the deeper import of the case.

The opinion is a vaulting assertion of EU primacy. If the Karl- sruhe accepts this, the implication is that Germany will no longer be a fully self-governing sovereign state.

The advocate general knows he is risking a showdown but views this fight as unavoidable. “It seems to me an all but impos- sible task to preserve this Union, as we know it today, if it is to be made subject to an absolute reservation, ill-defined and virtually at the discretion of each of the member states,” he said.

In this he is right. “This Union”—meaning the Union to which EU integrationists aspire—is currently blocked by the German court, the last safeguard of our nation states against encroach- ment. This is why the battle is historic.

“His opinion is a direct affront to the German court. It asserts that the EU court has the final say in defining and creating the

EU’s own powers, without any national check,” said Gunnar Beck, a German legal theorist at the University of London.

“This would be a fundamental transformation of the EU from a treaty organization, which depends on the democratic assent of the sovereign states, into a supranational entity.”

Germany’s judges have never accepted the ecj’s outlandish claims to primacy. Their ruling on the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 warned in thunderous terms that the court reserves the right to strike down any EU law that breaches the German Grundgesetz or Basic Law.

They went further in their verdict on the Lisbon Treaty in July 2009, shooting down imperial conceits. The EU is merely a treaty club. The historic states are the “masters of the treaties” and not the other way round.

They set limits to EU integration. Whole areas of policy “must forever remain German.” If the drift of EU affairs erodes Ger- man democracy—including the Bundestag’s fiscal sovereignty— the country must “refuse further participation in the European Union.” …

In a free speech case that I once covered—Connolly v. Com- mission (C-274/99 P)—another advocate general suggested that criticism of the EU is akin to “blasphemy” and may legitimately be suppressed. His musings on blasphemy did not reach the final judgment, but everything else did.

The European Court has this time departed a long way from the rule of the law, even by its own elastic standards. The opinion con- tradicts previous ecj case law in the 2012 Pringle case, when the court ruled that the ecb’s purchases of government bonds amount to economic policy, and implies fiscal union by the back door.

It gives the ecb almost unfettered discretion, adding for good measure that the courts should refrain from meddling in mon- etary policy. Not only is this an attempt to tie the hands of the

Trumpet Weekly |

January 16, 2015

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Verfassungsgericht when the inevitable case against QE is filed, it is also enthrones the ecb over a monetary dictatorship answer- able to nobody.

From a strictly economic view, my sympathies lie with the advocate general and the ecb’s Mario Draghi. The eurozone needs QE a l’outrance to avert a deflation trap. It also needs the omt to reassure markets that there is a lender-of-last-resort in case a crisis erupts in Greece and sets off contagion.

A War Between Two Worlds

George Friedman, Stratfor | January 13

The murders of cartoonists who made fun of Islam and of Jews shopping for their Sabbath meals by Islamists in Paris last week have galvanized the world. A galvanized world is always dangerous. Galvanized people can do careless things. …

Islam invaded Europe twice from the Mediterranean—first in Iberia, the second time in southeastern Europe, as well as nib- bling at Sicily and elsewhere. Christianity invaded Islam multiple times, the first time in the Crusades and in the battle to expel the Muslims from Iberia. Then it forced the Turks back from Central Europe. The Christians finally crossed the Mediterranean in the 19th century, taking control of large parts of North Africa. Each of these two religions wanted to dominate the other. Each seemed close to its goal. Neither was successful. What remains true is that Islam and Christianity were obsessed with each other from the first encounter. Like Rome and Egypt they traded with each other and made war on each other.

Christians and Muslims have been bitter enemies …. No sin- gle phrase can summarize the relationship between the two save perhaps this: It is rare that two religions might be so obsessed with each other and at the same time so ambivalent. This is an explosive mixture.

The current crisis has its origins in the collapse of European hegemony over North Africa after World War ii and the Euro- peans’ need for cheap labor. As a result of the way in which they ended their imperial relations, they were bound to allow the migration of Muslims into Europe, and the permeable borders of the European Union enabled them to settle where they chose.

The Muslims, for their part, did not come to join in a cultural transformation. They came for work, and money, and for the simplest reasons. The Europeans’ appetite for cheap labor and the Muslims’ appetite for work combined to generate a massive movement of populations. …

There are many charms in secularism, in particular the free- dom to believe what you will in private. But secularism also poses a public problem.

There are those whose beliefs are so different from others’ beliefs that finding common ground in the public space is impos- sible. And then there are those for whom the very distinction between private and public is either meaningless or unaccept- able. The complex contrivances of secularism have their charm, but not everyone is charmed. …

There is here a question of what we mean when we speak of

But the political destiny of Europe should not be decided in this fashion, lurching from crisis to crisis towards a sovereign union that no citizen has ever voted for. …

This is the Investiture Contest of our times, echoing the 11th-century clash between the German emperor Henry iv and the imperial papacy of Gregory vii over supremacy in Europe. …

It was Henry who conquered Rome. It was a deposed Pope Gregory who died in exile.

One comment on “Europe’s Imperial Court Is a Threat to All Our Democracies

  1. Pingback: Pași spre împliniri apocaliptice | B a r z i l a i – e n – D a n

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