11 August, 2020

EU must act! How Google fiddles with your search results and mine!

Are you being manipulated by Google? Are they playing tricks on you so you become their commercial and political puppet? How can you tell?
One analyst found that:
‘Google maintains nine different blacklists to suppress information worldwide. We are all aware that Google deletes or blocks access to videos on YouTube, which it owns, but few people are aware that Google blocks access to millions of websites. On January 31, 2009, Google blocked access to virtually the entire internet for 40 minutes.’
You can test whether Google and Twitter are impartial. Here’s how using a simple technique below.

Global manipulation (c) Bron


Question: When you make a search, does Google really show which articles most accurately reflect the search question? Or do some human manipulators fiddle the results?
Remember that Google and Twitter have every motive to cheat. They sell advertising. They want you to buy things.
For example the Pharmaceutical sector spends hundreds and millions of dollars lobbying the US Congress. They oppose efforts to reduce prices. Critics of their products, pills and vaccines get stifled. What are you prevented from learning about the ‘Covid-19 pandemic‘? President Trump says that Big Pharma are ‘getting away with murder‘. How do they use Google to their advantage?
And Google may want you to vote for certain parties, and discourage others. Political parties get huge contributions from industries, trade unions and NGOs. All are active on the Net. Does Google load the dice so the results you get are altered in their favour of parties?
Worse, the big Info Tech companies sell your personal data — they know your intimate secrets. They can often predict what you can do — sometimes more than you can.
That means you are manipulated.
Public frauded
Google, compared to other search engines, does not give the public what is the true result. In the run-up to the US elections, conservatives complain of a bias.
You want impartial searches? Don’t go to Google. In the run-up to the US elections in November, search for these supporters online and you will often find the results are biased in favour of critics rather than the original source.
The result? The main Info-Tech companies make citizens who want to read the original source feel like they are someone with a minority viewpoint.
Is this a gripe or a fact? A senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Psychology and Technology studied the phenomenon in detail. Dr Robert Epstein testified to the US Senate Judiciary Committee. Here’s what he said:
In 2016, biased search results generated by Google’s search algorithm likely impacted undecided voters in a way that gave at least 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton (whom I supported). I know this because I preserved more than 13,000 election-related searches conducted by a diverse group of Americans on Google, Bing, and Yahoo in the weeks leading up to the election, and Google search results – which dominate search in the U.S. and worldwide – were significantly biased in favor of Secretary Clinton in all 10 positions on the first page of search results in both blue states and red states.
Dr Epstein says that this Search Engine Manipulation Effect of the Google algorithm is used not only in USA but in other countries as well to manipulate elections.
Both the US and EU authorities should ask Dr Epstein for access to his database of searches over the last four years. They will show the dirty underworkings of western politics. If they are made public then all citizens can judge for themselves.
Dr Epstein outlined the results of his investigation:
I know the number of votes that shifted because I have conducted dozens of controlled experiments in the U.S. and other countries that measure precisely how opinions and votes shift when search results favor one candidate, cause, or company. I call this shift “SEME” – the Search Engine Manipulation Effect. My first scientific paper on SEME was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in 2015 (https://is.gd/p0li8V) (Epstein & Robertson, 2015a) and has since been accessed or downloaded from PNAS’s website more than 200,000 times. SEME has also been replicated by a research team at one of the Max Planck Institutes in Germany.
Dr Epstein calls this manipulation one of the most powerful means to control subliminally the democratic essentials of society.
SEME is one of the most powerful forms of influence ever discovered in the behavioral sciences, and it is especially dangerous because it is invisible to people – “subliminal,” in effect. It leaves people thinking they have made up their own minds, which is very much an illusion. It also leaves no paper trail for authorities to trace. Worse still, the very few people who can detect bias in search results shift even farther in the direction of the bias, so merely being able to see the bias doesn’t protect you from it. Bottom line: biased search results can easily produce shifts in the opinions and voting preference of undecided voters by 20 percent or more – up to 80 percent in some demographic groups.

Democracy is at stake. The EU needs to act immediately. This type of manipulation is an entirely different and more dangerous dimension from the present line of EU investigation at StratCom, disinformation and advertising.
Robert Schuman and the co-signatories of the European Community system provided a system where impartial information could be presented to the public for use in their decision-making. This requires that the Consultative Committees be elected on a Europe-wide scale by European associations representing all elements of organised civil society. Whether in the European Coal and Steel Community or the European Health Community access to valid information was to be guaranteed by the Human Rights Convention of the Council of Europe.
In the Gaullist period into the 1960s the Council blocked this. Access to impartial information was feared both by ultra-nationalists and euroCommunist federalists like Spinelli, who knew it would destroy their malign ideology.
It is now more urgent than ever that European peoples and its leaders implement this measure.


Human intervention
We are a pawn in the Google version of Big Brother — unless we take precautions. That trap includes not only a biased algorithm. It includes some human being fiddling with the results for partisan purpose.
The Info Tech giants are making a financial, economic or political gain out of this.
The Info Tech giants are already the biggest companies in the world with combined $5 Trillion turnover. They are not manipulating the results for small time users. Their main customers are global giants too.
The results may be fiddled to provide an ideological bias so the public will eventually be ‘educated’ according to the manipulator.
Arabs, Jews, Oil, Russians, EU, Blackmail
How would Google and Twitter react to an article covering all the above terms, all somewhat controversial to some sections of the public? On 6 July I published an article dealing with disinformation, Fake News, covering these topics.

Palestine-Israel: Now the Blackmail is over, can Europe bring a Schuman Plan for Peace?


I also tweeted about the topic and left a link at eurdemocracy.com
On the morning after I checked public reaction by asking Google for search results of the article. On Google I used a three word search <> the most prominent in the title of the article.
Google put my article in first position on the first page on the morning after. But when I checked that evening it was nowhere to be seen on the first six pages. It had disappeared from sight! What I got was a long list of articles about how Israel is blackmailing Palestinians!
The search result was the same with or without the hyphen. Zero links.

The Alternatives search engines
I checked:
Duckduckgo,com.
It came up first on the first page. (even with the hyphen)
Bing.com
It came first on first page (with the hyphen)

Dogpile.com (which uses Google and other search engines) With the hyphen there was not even a reply. I dropped the hyphen and it came up first on first page.
Yahoo search. It said nothing of this description available please check your spelling etc. So I dropped the hyphen and the article came up on first page second article.

Google’s political dealings
Google and Yahoo both use human modified search engines algorithms to give a particular bias. This seems to involve exclusions as well as skewed results. The Google COE billionaire Eric Schmidt contributed to and worked for the Hillary Clinton campaign. He was a frequent visitor to the Obama White House and known as ‘Obama’s chief corporate ally.‘ Google and associates had at least 427 meetings‘ with the Obama White House.
Schmidt resigned from Google in 2017 when Mrs Clinton did not get elected. That failure happened in spite of what the Epstein study of search engine manipulation concluded that Google skewed search results delivering around 2.6 million extra votes among ‘undecideds’ in the Clinton Democrat direction at the election. Dr Epstein testified that to Congress and he said he was a Democrat voter.

Continuing Google Saga
At this time by the next Friday my article was confirmed on Bing and other search engines as still top of their first pages with the 3 terms.
On Google its was nowhere to be seen.
On Saturday evening 11 July, I found that my article was still rated 1st or second on the main search engines. Then, surprise surprise, I found my article suddenly appeared first on page one of Google search.
Does the weekend imply change of staff supervisors at Google?
But by Sunday it had disappeared from Google‘s first 7 pages. How do they explain this on-off censorship of what is supposedly an impartial search engine?
I was then running second on Duckduckgo and Yahoo and first on Bing.
Nothing on Google except pages about how Israel blackmails the PLO /Palestinians.

Twitter block
When I first published my post, I also sent out a Tweet. But when I checked the link to eurdomocracy.com it did not work. So I had to change the link to another site at blogactiv.eu .
I asked my online hosting service why, when I included a link to eurdemocracy.com in a Twitter message, it did not work. It was refused. I had to delete the tweet and use the blogactiv.eu backup copy of the article as the link source.
The help desk suggested it was the usual censorship by the hi tech industry.
Here’s what they wrote:
Thank you for contacting our support department. When I insert ‘eurdemocracy.com‘ in a browser, it does redirect to destination url
https://eurdemocracy.blogspot.com/ every time, so I am not able to replicate any issues with the redirect itself.
However, this isn’t to say that private platforms such as Facebook can decide to block any website they wish to, in which there are many examples of them doing so, as well as updating their terms of service several times over the years without warning. We are not sure why Facebook would block a redirect, but they use so many unknown factors on what they allow, that we don’t have any way to know exactly what the issue is.
Solution to cartel Information control
The public deserves a better service. After all, it is the public not the big cartel companies that is paying for the service.
Dr Epstein provides one solution against information cartel control:
The solution to The Google Problem is to declare Google’s massive search index – the database the company uses to generate search results – to be a public commons, accessible by all, just as a 1956 consent decree forced AT&T to share all its patents. There is precedent in both law and in Google’s own business practices to justify taking this step.
He says that declaring Google’s index a commons will quickly give to real competition in the information market place and the means to understand what is manipulated and what is not.
A key aspect of Schuman’s design was to provide Europe with a democratic defence of the powerless against the powerful. The Community was provided with anti-cartel machinery. It should use them on the most vital sectors against Info Tech control of information.


24 July, 2020

RUSSIA: How Spies deceive other Spies and You!

The UK is about to change the main focus of its intelligence surveillance operations.
Russia.
Was Russia involved in the Brexit referendum? Did it influence the Scottish independence referendum?
How can governments know where the main threat is? Intelligence is about deception. The agencies are not only in the business of collecting information on others, foes and friends, but of deceiving enemies.
Sometimes they are so good at deception that they fool themselves. And the Public is at the end of the whole business. It gets deception information from all sides.
So should we be surprised if governments feel the main threat comes from a smaller State while ignoring a powerful foe with a population of 1.3 billion and an economy second only to America’s? And significantly Communist countries set a premium on propaganda to subvert and undermine those they consider their strongest enemies.
So shouldn’t we be a little leery of pat answers based on old prejudices?
Science not Prejudice
Who is in charge of the Intelligence agencies? It is the public in the shape of bureaucrats and politicians. If politicians cannot always be trusted, can the top spies they place in position to run the intelligence services always be trusted? Are they always honest? Politicians come and go. bureaucrats remain. If they are not honest, what can be done?
Thus Democracies often end up being run by deceived politicians trying to control the deceiving machines of the spy community.
Take the case of the recent report on Russia by the UK Parliament Intelligence and Security Committee. This has hit the headlines because Prime Minister Boris Johnson delayed the publication till after the election that brought him a large majority of seats in Parliament (although a minority of popular votes.)
The politicians enquiry was conducted in the years of Prime Minister May and draws on interviews of the time and published material dating even further back.
Much information has come out since then that throws the evidence into a critical light.
The Concluding Decision.
The report has led politicians to the conclusion that the intelligence services underestimated the role of Russia in the two referendums. They say that the services did not take the danger seriously. They did not investigate thoroughly or properly.
So what must be done? In the future Russia must be analysed with more care and more money.
Is this the correct conclusion? Let us turn to the key paragraphs that leads the parliamentary rapporteurs to come to this decision.
The main sources of Russian propaganda are:
  • Broadcaster RT and Sputnik,
  • Trolls and bots on the internet,
  • Hack and Leak of important documents, as exampled in the US elections,
  • Real life interference such as giving bank loans to the French National Front party.
If this is the evidence then it is pretty thin except for one point.
  • In a footnote the Report admits that only 1300 people on average watch the Russian broadcaster, RT. Hardly enough to swing a referendum of 46 million voters.
  • Trolls and bots might increase FaceBook traffic etc but what influence do these have?
  • Did the Russians actually turn the US elections to their favour by getting the American public to vote for Donald Trump? His opponent, Hillary Clinton and her husband, seemed to have intimate relations with the Russian government.
  • As for one Russian bank making a loan to a French nationalist party, it was refused loans from all Western banks. What was it to do? What loans do other parties get from foreign-owned banks or foreign millionaires such as the oil-States?
One could contrast this with China’s success in its Unrestricted Warfare policy:
  • taking over British Steel Ltd (after massive Chinese steel dumping destroyed the viability of EU’s steel sector).
  • taking over a major sector of the UK nuclear power industry as constructors.
  • implementing of Chinese Huawei connectors into the UK communications networks. This has made the new 5G upgrade seem inevitable. But this could lay the whole network susceptible to infiltration. What better potential for spying?
Thus the Chinese have a grip on UK construction and defence materials, the energy sector and communications. How can a State build battleships and canons if the steel is controlled by foreigners? How can you compete if the lights go out? Who needs spies on the ground when you can tap into their communications?
Russian hack is ‘evidence-free’
This UK conclusion also contrast with a group of US intelligence veterans who say that when certain politicians claim a Russian hack changed the US election results, it is 'evidence-free'.
So what is the key triumph of the Russians that shows their guilt and proves they are the main foe of the West? Surely having swung the US elections in favour Donald Trump. But did they? What is the evidence?
The UK report says:
42. It was only when Russia completed a ‘hack and leak’ operation against the Democratic National Committee in the US – with the stolen emails being made public a month after the EU referendum – that it appears that the Government belatedly realised the level of threat which Russia could pose in this area, given that the risk thresholds in the Kremlin had clearly shifted, describing the US ‘hack and leak’ as a “game changer”, and admitting that “prior to what we saw in the States, [Russian interference] wasn’t generally understood as a big threat to [electoral] processes”.
43. It appears that the Intelligence Community did learn lessons from the US experience, and HMG recognised the Russian threat to the UK’s democratic processes and political discourse.
Let’s examine the ‘Game Changer‘ as it is the main ground for the report’s conclusion. The report admits here that this was an allegation in a far different league than bank loans, trolls or propaganda TV with no audiences.


FBI hierarchy fired under Trump

It was clear from the US election campaign and later events of 2017 involving the US intelligence service that corruption ran deep in the State system. Three and a half years on, we find that almost the entire intelligence superstructure has been fired.
Spying on the President
A notable exception was Admiral Rogers head of the NSA, the National Surveillance Agency. On 17 November 2016, he revealed to President-elect Trump that his staff’s communications were under illegal surveillance by both the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and the FBI (the Federal Bureau of Investigation). This is not only highly illegal but treasonous as it undermined the newly elected president.
So who is in the right, the top FBI agents or the president? The FBI mandate is to investigate US-based criminal personalities. The CIA is the external agency for intelligence. But the CIA works with friendly intelligence agencies such as the British and Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand services in the Five Eyes collaboration. These other agencies can, if the CIA requests it, tap into US citizens in the USA. Hence the CIA has track on whomsoever it wishes.
Corruption and Big Money
Where does the corruption come in? Money and power. The US spends as much on Defence and intelligence as most of the rest of the world combined. A candidate who promises to clean up the Swamp is suspect and to be eliminated.
An early manifestation of the efforts of the intelligence community to oust President Trump was the ‘Dirty Dossier‘. This, according to FBI chief Comey, alleged that Trump had been caught with prostitutes and framed by the Russians when in Moscow.
This utterly untenable tale was soon proved false. Who had fabricated this fraudulent file? Who paid for it and spread it abroad?
It was a former British spy now open for hire as an independent adviser. His name: Christopher Steele. He was found to be paid by the lawyers who worked for the Democrat National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton.
Steele’s rewriting of unsubstantiated material in the dossier were so outrageous that even the supposed subsource of the information is suing him for deformation. Steele’s defence: The material should not have been divulged as it was secret.
What else do we know about Steele? He was known as virulently anti-Trump. And he is one of the contributors to the UK Parliament’s report on Russia! Mr Christopher Steele, director of Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, is listed as one of the five ‘external expert witnesses.’
In the US his Dirty Dossier was mischievously introduced as grounds, countersigned by FBI chiefs, to further surveille president Trump and his colleagues. Hundreds of documents have now been released showing how this fake document was used time after time in the FISA court to sustain a criminal and treasonous activity against the president. (FISA is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that requires a court to agree to any surveillance.)
The intelligence chiefs knew the key dossier was fraudulent!
It was also used to initiate the Mueller enquiry. Over several years of investigation and multiple millions of dollars, it could not find any case for Trump being involved in illegal activity with the Russians. Some 2800 subpoenas were issued by Mueller, 500 witnesses called and 500 search warrants were executed.
The Democrats then turned to an attempted impeachment based on supposed mishandling of anti-corruption matters in Ukraine. That too failed. Why the Ukraine? A cover-up is the most obvious motive as Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden has now been declared to be a criminal suspect in what the Ukrainian president Zelensky declared may involve treason there.
So what about the key factor in the UK parliamentary report that is the real ‘game changer‘ for intelligence work to refocus on Russia? The allegation is that Russian hackers were able to penetrate the computers at the DNC and download files of Democrat leaders. These Russian hackers then allegedly passed them on to WikiLeaks who published them.
WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange denied the information came from a State actor, that is, Russia. He hinted broadly that he received the data from a disillusioned Bernie Sanders supporter and DNC employee. He was later assassinated in unusual circumstances.
UK report’s main evidence
This ‘cyber hacking‘ is the key to how UK may spend its intelligence budget, so what have later investigations shown?

William Binney

One man should know. That is Wlliam Binney the former technical director at the NSA, the top surveillance agency in the world. He broke with NSA as a whistleblower, because it was taking and storing all data of Americans contrary to its statute. This is the spy-on-everyone, Stasi version of intelligence. Besides his career, his integrity cost him dear.
He examined the metadata of the supposed downloaded files. It was not hacked, he concluded. It was downloaded locally. The internet would not support the speed stamps that the data recorded. The files could not have been downloaded and transmitted over the internet, and certainly not across the Atlantic. The speed of the download was so fast it could only have been accomplished by attaching a drive into the DNC computer itself. It was an inside job.
This view was confirmed by a group of former Intelligence community experts who wrote a memo to President Donald Trump, emphasizing that the data was taken locally.
They wrote:
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?
Executive Summary
Forensic studies of “Russian hacking” into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computer. After examining metadata from the “Guccifer 2.0” July 5, 2016 intrusion into the DNC server, independent cyber investigators have concluded that an insider copied DNC data onto an external storage device.
Something smelt foul. The intelligence community in charge refused to make any scientific evidence to back up their political assertions. They said that no evidence had been adduced that Russians were involved. Any attempt to analyse the evidence was resisted!
Why the FBI neglected to perform any independent forensics on the original “Guccifer 2.0” material remains a mystery – as does the lack of any sign that the “hand-picked analysts” from the FBI, CIA, and NSA, who wrote the “Intelligence Community Assessment” dated January 6, 2017, gave any attention to forensics.

They concluded:
From the information available, we conclude that the same inside-DNC, copy/leak process was used at two different times, by two different entities, for two distinctly different purposes:
-(1) an inside leak to WikiLeaks before Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016, that he had DNC documents and planned to publish them (which he did on July 22) – the presumed objective being to expose strong DNC bias toward the Clinton candidacy; and
-(2) a separate leak on July 5, 2016, to pre-emptively taint anything WikiLeaks might later publish by “showing” it came from a “Russian hack.”
The second leak by ‘Guccifer 2.0’ was alleged to be a Russian or he may have been dressed up to be one using the CIA tool box. CIA Director Brennon was sacked by President Trump and his security clearance removed.
Thus it is highly unlikely that any Russians were involved at all. The FBI management refused to make a direct investigation of the DNC computers. They were never confiscated and examined by forensically. Instead, they contented themselves to have a contracted company, Crowdstrike, who worked for the DNC issue a report that was never finalised.
Secretary of State Pompeo has discussed this conclusion with Binney, as far back as 24 October 2017 when Pompeo was the new CIA Director. Is the UK parliamentary committee on Intelligence not familiar with this? Is the EU?
Given the importance of the issue it is appalling that the key ‘game changer’ issue has not been properly investigated in open Court.
The European Commission seems also to hold to the, as yet uncertain and probably untenable, idea that Russians cyber-hacked the DNC computer across the Atlantic internet. On June 2019 the Security Union Commissioner Julian King still repeated the Russian hack story as if it were a fact.
Are the UK, the EU and millions in the USA and across the world being fooled by what is easily testable Fake News?

22 July, 2020

EHC2 Schuman's European Health Community would have brought Europe-wide benefits

How should politicians unify Europe for the health of all its citizens? How can Europeans best gain the maximum of benefits with a minimum of disadvantages? Schuman‘s presentation of the European Health Community demolishes several myths about the European Community design and also its origin.
OEEC Headquarters at Chateau de la Muette in Paris established during Schuman’s first Government in April 1948.
The first striking feature of the EHC explodes the myth that all efforts must be centred on the same Member States. The first Community of Coal and Steel had six member States: France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Italy. Later Communities, Euratom and the Economic Community, with treaties signed in Rome in 1957 also had the same six countries as members.
Hard core Europe is wrong
Must a Community be based on these States only? The ‘hard core Europe‘ idea is wrong. The Community is provably based on values not geography. It reinforces those values in a positive way, wherever they are found.
The EHC shows that this idea of restricted membership was not part of Schuman’s thinking. It derives from later politicians who misunderstood or purposely wanted to change the design and founding concept. Their mistakes have proved costly. So it is important to study the original principles that brought Europe peace and prosperity.
The EHC also shows that it was even further from Jean Monnet’s ideas, vague though they were. (Documents that Jean Monnet Foundation subsequently released show that Monnet had little to do with the political and legal scheme behind the supranational Community idea. His office and relationship to the Prime Minister’s office allowed Schuman to bypass hostile interministerial committees. Other accounts of the Schuman Declaration co-authors, like Schuman’s legal adviser, Paul Reuter, show the same thing.)
Europe in its diverse needs and challenges
On 12 September Foreign Minister Schuman and Health Minister Paul Ribeyre presented the plans to the French Cabinet. The Cabinet agreed. But the decision was not to present it to the Six alone but to the much larger OEEC, Organisation of European Economic Cooperation.
The OEEC was the body set up in 1948 following the US Marshall Plan. The French Government invited all its Member States to join in this common European effort of well-being. Besides the Six, it included Austria, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Turkey. Ireland was the only State to decline.
Thus the invited countries included:
  • One country that was still partially occupied by the Soviet Union (Austria),
  • One country extracting itself slowly out of dictatorship (Portugal),
  • Several countries that later joined the Economic Community including UK,
  • Neutral countries like Switzerland and Sweden,
  • Two States at the opposite extremities of Europe (Iceland and Turkey).
Geographical Spread
By making the Community open to countries like Turkey and Iceland, Schuman, Ribeyre and the whole French Government were saying that all European countries were potential members. That should not be surprising. But it is to modern ears.
Schuman’s original proposal for the European Coal and Steel Community was open to all European countries without exception. That included Russia.
Schuman was asked at the press conference on 9 May 1950 whether Russia could join. He answered: Yes, of course (Mais oui!).
Why did Russia not join? Simply because the European Community was based on the human rights provisions of the Council of Europe. Human Rights were the foundation for healthy rule of law. But Russia then part of the Communist system of the Soviet Union, did not allow freedom of thought or freedom of religion. It refused to join the Council of Europe.
The announcement of the Schuman Government on 20 July 1948 proposed that Europe should be built on a free Assembly and a Customs Union. The Assembly saw life as the world’s first international parliament in the Council of Europe. It was aided by a Committee of Ministers, representing the States. They decided conjointly that in order to establish a lasting European Union, all States must agree to the Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
The European Coal and Steel Community started with a Single Market of the main resources. This made a move to a Customs Union inevitable. At the time of the Schuman Declaration, Germany was not a member of the Council of Europe. In fact the Adenauer Cabinet were discussing whether they should join and many of the German politicians were against it. Adenauer saw the human rights guarantees as the most important decision that Germany could make as they would make a resurgence of Nazism impossible and they would block a Communist take-over of a Germany re-united with the Soviet occupied ‘German Democratic Republic’ DDR in the east. The Proposal made the Cabinet’s acceptance of membership to the Council of Europe possible. Human rights and a Community of resources with its own institutions were intimately linked together.
The Austrian anomaly
Austria occupied by UK, USA, France, USSR 1945-55
The European Health Community proposal proves that Schuman considered that the Community system is not an exclusive operation for the founding Six States. Nor must all future European integration be concentrated between Member States which had already joined the first Community or the EEC.
If human rights in the Council of Europe was vital for assuring the rule of law inside the Community, what lies behind the Austrian case? Austria did not join the Council of Europe until April 1956.
Did Schuman relax this guarantee on human rights for Austria?
No. Diplomatic papers of the time show that Schuman was leading the way in order to get Soviet troops to leave the country. He wanted Austria to have a chance to redeem itself as a normal country. After all Hitler had come from Austria and the Austrians had warmly welcomed the union or Anschluss with Nazi Germany.
The choice was to postpone the rehabilitation of Austria or to welcome it into a European Community that would help it get back on its feet again. Even though Austria was not yet a Member State of the Council of Europe, the potential of entering the Health Community would have boosted that possibility. That was already the case with its membership of the OEEC.
By making the offer for all States of the OEEC to join the Community, Schuman showed the positive aspects and benefits of a Community solution. Even though politicians did not persevere with the Health Community idea, the offer of membership to Austria underpinned its potential to have guarantees on human rights via the Community institutions. Portugal did not join the Council of Europe until 1976 but was not threatened by the USSR.
This shows the pragmatism of Schuman’s politics. The supranational institutions of the Health Community would have acted as an accelerator in the process of regaining human rights and ending dictatorship.


With all the advantages of arresting epidemics and solving health problems across Europe, and also reinforcing human rights, why did the European Health Community fail to gain the persistent support of politicians?

21 July, 2020

EHC1 Schuman's European Health Community would have saved Europe from Covid-19 Calamity

On 12 December 1952, before representatives of European States, French Foreign Minster Robert Schuman opened a conference on the proposed creation of a European Health Community.
If politicians had listened, Schuman’s Plan for a European Health Community would have solved today’s Covid-19 problems and much more besides.
How?

Robert Schuman, with Health Minister Paul Ribeyre on his right, opens the conference on the European Health Community.
This European Health Community would have given Europeans today a streamlined machine to deal with a broad range of problems.
It was not exclusively for the Europe of the Six. Those invited included Austria and Turkey to Portugal, UK and Iceland in the West.
Today’s Tumult
Today’s virus tumult has already cost untold billions in damage to the economy. It will cost untold billions more.
European top leaders met in an extraordinary five-day European Council in mid-June 2020 to work out a multi-trillion euro plan to rescue the European economy from mortal collapse. The world’s largest trading unit is in danger of falling down as the centre of its historic age of prosperity it had enjoyed since 1950. That’s when the first European Community set Europeans on a path to three-quarters of a century of peace and prosperity.
Today Europe is left with a ramshackle, uneven way for tackling the COVID-19 crisis. The Health Community, in contrast, aimed to provide a democratic and scientific way to reach consensus. It also had safeguards against global politics that today we see wrecking the western economy.
Would it have saved lives?
Yes.
Would the economy have avoided such a costly lockdown?
Yes.
Would it have replaced today’s secretive Councils that extract trillions of extra taxes without taxpayer representation?
Yes. It would have put all financial fiddling under the spotlight of open democratic control.
It would have also tackled the future problems that only some politicians will face Europe in the coming years when most people are closing their eyes.
The Community Thread
The European Community was a revolutionary idea of genius. Instead of war, it brought peace and prosperity. Instead of hatred, it brought trust among nations and cooperation between former foes.
Five short years after WW2, on 9 May 1950, the French Government had proposed a European Coal and Steel Community, ECSC.
What had the Health Community in common with Europe’s first Community?
A lot, it would seem.
Why did Schuman, the Father of Europe, consider that this further Community was required? What have medicine and pills in common with coal, steel, canons and battleships?
Schuman was not motivated by utopian ideas of a Federation of Europe (he denounced it as unrealistic) or by American theories of ‘functionalism‘. He was not interested in adding further bureaucracy, rather the reverse. He was not interested in creating a huge European budget. In contrast to many leaders today, he wished to reduce taxes and make individuals freer and more prosperous.
He worked for one goal.
Stopping War
Stopping the outbreak of a further war in Europe was the key concept behind the ECSC. It succeeded. By 2020 none of the Community’s Member States had had attacked another for three-quarters of a century. No period in Western European history has witnessed such an event.
How did it stop war? Schuman government in July 1948 proposed the formula: a democratic European Assembly — that saw light in Council of Europe and a customs union. The Assembly was instrumental in setting up Europe’s first Court of Justice, the Court that responded to governments’ abuse of power. All States who joined the Council of Europe had to sign up to the Convention of the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Citizens could take their grievances to the Court, not only to get redress but to stop governments slipping down the slope of autocratic powers against the citizens, like the Nazis and the Fascists.
Armed with this shield to defend democracy, Europeans then benefited from the Coal and Steel Community that outlawed industrial cartels. In the lead up to two world wars industrial cartels had manipulated governments by stoking an arms race. The great national champions of Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia had been working together with a common design to make the national governments procure more arms, build more ships and exploit their patents for profit.
The European Coal and Steel Community combined with the Council of Europe created three major advances for all Europeans. They
  • reinforced Democracy,
  • outlawed war between themselves,
  • strengthened their common defence against aggressors.
The later European Communities, Euratom and the Economic Community did the same things.
  • Euratom outlawed Atomic war between European States,
  • The EEC or Common Market outlawed Trade War.
The Council of Europe ensured that citizens’ rights, such as freedom of thought, assembly and religion were respected. And the freedom to criticise their leaders.
That stalwart defence of democratic values and human rights is now clear to all who wish to study European history. But what was behind the European Health Community that Schuman proposed in 1952?
Its Purpose and Compass
French detractors called the Coal and Steel Community Schuman’s ‘Pool‘ as if the only function was to share the resources of coal and steel. The European Health Community was therefore dubbed ‘the White Pool‘ to contrast it with the black pool of coal.
Was the proposed Health Community merely going to share or pool white bandages, garments and pills?
Far more!
If that had been the motive then there was no need for the elaborate draft treaty that had been prepared. It tells the whole story. Disease is as devastating as war. Health is the way to prosperity.
Schuman’s supranational idea of a European Community was focused on two goals:
Primarily his motive was to create a means to stop war. Schuman wrote:
‘We must remove any motive for a war {between Europeans Member States} suppressing it so no one has the temptation to undertake one.’
Secondarily, the peace-enhancing Community would seek out all means to create benefits for all by drawing on a single market, shared contributions and strategic outcomes.
Paul Ribeyre, the Minister for Health who worked on the project with Schuman, declared that the health of citizens was the first consideration of the State, to which all other values must be subordinated. The first duty of the Statesman was to assure the health of citizens because the foundation of the State depended on it.
But there is far more.
The agreement in the Cabinet of the French Government on 24 September 1952 was merely a first step to broadening the domain of better health to a wider geographical boundary. It extended far beyond France, far beyond the Europe of the Six of the black pool of coal and steel.
On 16 September M. Ribeyre presented his plans to the French Cabinet who gave him approval to take it to members of the OEEC, Organisation of European Economic Cooperation. This was the body set up following the US Marshall Plan, now called the OECD, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Ribeyre invited Member States to join in this common effort of well-being. Besides the Six, it included Austria, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Turkey. Ireland was the only State to decline.
The broad compass of States indicated the extent and importance of the plan.