28 October, 2010

Budget1 European Parliament fails its Lisbon test. It submits ILLEGALLY to Council Secrecy on Citizens' money.

The European Parliament conducts its plenary Budget debate in public. It is obliged by Treaty articles, even if did not want to. Its Budget Committee is also open to the public. That is defined by the Rules of Procedure. There are many other meetings that Parliament holds, all usually in public.

Parliaments feel that they have a responsibility to have their meetings openly. It is the basis of democracy. They also feel like the local tennis club that everyone has a right to see that money is collected and handled properly. The EU should be based on the same principle.

The Lisbon Treaty FEU article 15.2 says: "The European Parliament shall meet in public". Why? Because the other party to an open debate is the public. If any meeting is open it means that the public, even if it is represented by one lonely journalist, is also present. That is healthy when it comes to public's own money.

The Council on the other hand likes to do things in secret. This is especially the case when it comes to money. Whose money? Not their own money but the public's money. Why should the public's money be a matter of secrecy? If ministers are doing nothing improper, what motive would they have to close the doors? Should not public servants -- government ministers (minister means servant) -- be open and frank about other people's, that is, their master's money?

So which attitude do you think is correct? The Parliament where the budget is discussed in public or the Council's where they do what they like in secret and tell the public what the Council are doing with the public's money?

Under the Lisbon Treaty we have a new situation. Both institutions have a say in the EU budget. If there is no agreement, the budget is discussed in what is called a Conciliation Committee.

So whose rules will succeed? Will the Parliament make the Council be more democratic? Or will the Council force the Parliament to close the doors of its committee room and cut a deal away from the eyes and ears of the public and the cameras and microphones of the press?

Are Parliament's democrats strong enough to stand up to such obvious undemocratic practice?

Today, 27 October 2010, we found out. Parliament's President Jerzy Buzek and Alain Lamassoure, chairman of the Budgets Committee, met with Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme plus a score of other officials, including those from the Commission.

The Parliament closed its doors of room 5G3. Parliament officials patrolled the corridors to see no one from the public snook in. Shame on them! Any journalist asking entrance was refused. He was told the meeting about public money was private.

The Council faced out the Parliament. And the Parliament blinked.

It is worse than that. Both the Parliament and the Council are bound by the same Treaty law. They are bound in the same sentence to be open and have open sessions on the budget.

Let me now quote article 15.2 in full: The European Parliament shall meet in public, as shall the Council when considering and voting on a draft legislative act.

If the Budget is not a legislative act and the Conciliation Committee is not involved in drafting that legislative act, what is the Treaty talking about? Money is the source of nearly all legislative acts.

At this time the public is undergoing vast programmes of austerity, cut backs and reforms. Thousands of employees are being thrown out of work. Why? because of budget mismanagement and plain fraud in high places. Massive demonstrations on the streets have rocked several European capitals. Acting in almost total oblivion of this, the Council and Parliament want massive increases in the budget. The public should be fully a partner and at least an observer of the draft legislative acts of the budget. It is its right.

Who is thumbing their noses at law of the treaty? Whose money is it any way?

21 October, 2010

Lobby2 : If enterprises controlled the EuroParliament could they initiate an economic revival? What is really needed?

If the largest industrial and financial lobby controlled the European Parliament, what would they vote as their Resolutions? Second question, if they overwhelmingly agreed on priorities, could they make it European policy? Would such priorities revive the European economy?

Let us assume it was a measure that would reform the whole financial system, create masses of new jobs, revolutionize the economy, provide the most optimum conditions for innovation and produce a booming economy that would knock Silicon Valley into a cocked hat. Would a Resolution help the EU in its present state?

Well, the European Chambers of Commerce went a long way to do that when as we previously recounted they took over the Parliament's Hemicycle on 15 October 2010. They sat in the Deputies' seats and voted using the Deputies' own voting mechanisms.

What did they vote? Let's consider just one of their Resolutions. It was voted YES by a whopping 85 per cent of the entrepreneurs present. That resolution was the creation of a new European company statute. It would be designed for help the creation of a European company as distinct from having multiple companies in all Member States, trying to establish themselves in each of the States and absorb and obey the confusing laws and tax systems. The present system is obviously a major hindrance to realizing the potential of the European Single Market.

Properly conceived it would provide a simpler accountancy structure, allow sounder finance, better employment conditions and a well-recognized European identity that anyone in the outer reaches of Africa or Asia would recognize as a just and equitable way of doing business. It would be an alternative to a mass of red tape and strangling bureaucracy.

If Europeans of every shade had an alternative option to create a new form of company law, company tax and employee relations, based on the combined and collective wisdom of all Member States (as well as best practice of countries outside the EU) wouldn't the EU be able to provide a powerful springboard for renewal on a scale never known in its history? It would allow various areas of expertise to work together. This would not only allow Europeans to create new major companies to act on a world scale. It would also allow some of the smallest companies to really make use of the vast internal market and also become global players. SMEs could globalize more easily.

In fact the Eurochambres are just re-inventing the wheel. That is a sad reflection on the wasted talent and frustrations that remain a feature for more than sixty years. They probably do not even know it. That is a sadder reflection on the state of European education. The European Commission has a responsibility by law to propagate Europe's factual history. Instead the public has been bamboozled by unfair and undemocratic governments who squelch a proper debate.

Sixty years waste that must have cost the European economy TRILLIONS of Euros! We are all the poorer. That happened because of the vanites of politicians. Today we can see that a Single Market is difficient if it does not have European companies.

Yes sixty years! The first resolution and agreement of a proper democratic parliament (not a so-called European Parliament of enterprises) was made in August 1950. This was part of a Great Debate on the future of Europe based on supranational principles. It took place in the Council of Europe. It got a whole lot further than the last debate. The Statute of a European Company was drawn up by the Legal Committee in conjunction with the Economic Committee. It was aided by experts from the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law. This preliminary Convention for both European public or private companies was drafted after a full inquiries with business circles, employers and workers' associations. They agreed and defined the statute. It was then presented to the Member State governments in the CoE’s Committee of Ministers (as the Council institution is called).

That's where it stayed. The governments did not want anything to challenge their tax base. Governments have a tendency to act irresponsibly, not in favour of the people, but their own interest. They loved their own cranky, complicated incomprehensible ancient systems. Hardly any of them were fit for the twentieth century never mind the twenty-first. The ministers then did not want a European Companies Office making comparisons between worn out national systems with a unified European system. They did not want to expose to public ridicule the chaotic tax and legal systems that had evolved over centuries.

At least that is the obvious conclusion. The governments did not give a hang that the European economy would be greatly improved. They were more keen on beggaring their neighbour than to help the European economy. They were not convinced by the European Community argument that everyone, including themselves, would gain in a Single Market. Today I hope we know better. But we haven’t put the lessons into effect.

So 60 years after the legal proposals were refined, Europeans are further back than in 1950. What should be done?

It obviously makes no sense for European enterprises to suggest a European Company in total isolation with the other sections of society that are keenly involved. That includes above all, the employees or independent workers and the consumers. Europeans have no taste to return to a fascist corporate State, a workers' paradise or be subject to cartels abusing the consumers.

That is why the Founding Fathers created the Economic and Social Committee, one of five key institutions. It has three main sections: enterprises, workers and consumers. It is exactly what is required. It is the real parliament for the economic actors -- and it has never really been used as it should have.

The main problem since the time of Mr de Gaulle is that this key institution has not been allowed to develop. He froze it. Today we should ask: How should it begin to acquire the influence that the treaties define for it? That is relatively simply. It only takes a bit of altruistic leadership. Let’s say civic courage that the ministers lacked then.

The conditions have remained the same since the time of the 1951 Treaty of Paris or the Treaty of Rome. Let us take the article in the Lisbon Treaty. It is practically identical in conception.

Article 301 TEC says ‘The Council, acting unanimously, on a proposal from the Commission, shall adopt a decision determining the Committee's composition.’ First note that it is not the Council that can dictate the composition of the EcoSoc. In fact it is the EcoSoc itself that can propose its own internal membership and then the Commission must make a Proposal.

What should be the composition? Should it be composed of a rag bag of personalities friendly to the NATIONAL political masters in in the Council, as Mr de Gaulle wanted? Or should they really be representatives of EUROPEAN enterprise, labour and consumers? Obviously they have to have European expertise with a connection to a network of national experts in all States.

Compare that with de Gaulle's system. It makes no sense for the democratic legitimacy of the Committee to continue the farce of having the politicians pick as its members their buddies as prizes for party loyalty. No member should be there for party political loyalty. They should be there to represent organized civil society on a EUROPEAN scale.

The Commission has the right of initiative. The Commission has simply to ask the EcoSoc to begin the exploration about how they can have and adequate European representation to give adequate advice and counsel -- after all that is the purpose of the institution. The first step would be to collect the names and addresses of all European associations in the three categories and determine criteria for acceptance as representative and well-run organizations.

The Founding Fathers wanted to chase the lobbyists out of the Parliament. They wanted to chase Lobbyists out of the corridors and clubs that ministers frequent. They did not want lobbyists pestering the Commission. It should not present unbalanced and unfair proposals. They wanted to be sure that cartels did not continue to try to grab political control and fleece the consumers.

That is why they said no single company should be heard as a lobbyist. The only valid group that can be heard in a democracy is a well founded democratic association or trade union or consumer organization. That is true whether it is the European chemical workers' union or the European shoe manufacturers association. The EcoSoc has full treaty rights to engage in the most technical debate they need by creating its own sub-committees for the purpose. Then an open debate can be conducted so there are no hidden lobbies. All debates are open. A record is kept. Everyone has an in-depth view of the challenge, the problems and the advantages.

The legal and political power is languishing in disuse. When the Commission is about to deal with a problem or after it has made a proposal, the EcoSoc has the legal duty to debate amendments. All legislative proposals of a certain type MUST be sent to the EcoSoc. That is the treaty law. That means companies in their professional associations can have a far more powerful influence than vague resolutions. The Treaties give organized civil society in this tripartite form as much power as Parliament to influence the legislation that governs them. That is only fair.

If for example one industry wants to introduce a new product which they say is helpful, then the workers who help manufacture it should have adequate information about the process, transport and other aspects and the Consumers should have adequate information about all aspects of its preparation, manufacture and use and disposal.

The Founding Fathers, contrary to the bright sparks who dreamed up the Lisbon Treaty, had rather intelligent proposals and created the means for them to be fully implemented.

It is up to the present generation to have the courage to do so.

14 October, 2010

Lobby1 : Businesses take over the EuroParliament. It is OFFICIALLY debased as a House for Hire!

Quite often in the last years, going through the European Parliament is like entering a bazaar. In the spacious hallways you are faced with many companies, NGOs and interest groups each with their stalls. Quite often they hold major exhibitions. They show off what each group considers useful propaganda films. Enthusiastic 'sales assistants' press leaflets into the hands of MEPs hurrying to vote. Journalists and others are waylaid. Free gifts are pressed on the unwary walkers in the corridors of power.

This lobbying is not confined to European entities. This week there was an exhibition in the entrance hall by a major North American power. I have nothing against the Canadians. I rather like them in general. But would Ottawa open up the hallowed halls of its Parliament to an EU exhibition pubicising its anti-seal-killing policy? Yet the European Parliament has made its ample space available for distributing material on Canadian Arctic policy.

The Canadians are also more careful about corrupt parliamentarians using a revolving door with lobbyists. The Canadians have brought in rules that forbid any former MP from becoming a lobbyist for FIVE years after leaving parliament.

All this is rather paradoxical, when the European Parliament is holding a series of meetings and discussions on the Lobby Register, now called the Transparency Register. My, oh my. Under questioning from concerned groups it is clear that the register system is totally inadequate to deal with Lobby activities.

The Canadians apart, what other parliament in the European Union would tolerate such open lobbying inside the House? Is there any parliament of the 27 States that is run like this Brussels bazaar?

On 14 October 2010 the shameful and disreputable state of lobbying in parliament was affixed like a brand on its forehead.

'Businesses take over the European Parliament' was actually the title of a meeting of some 800 businessmen and women. They literally took over the Brussels Hemicycle, the main debating chamber. I was more than a little surprised to see such a brazen poster in the Parliament. It shows a shocking thick-skinned attitude to constant news items about corruption in today's politics.

Did they do all this surreptitiously? Not at all. The meeting was addressed by the Presidents of the main party political power-brokers: those of Parliament, the European Council, and half a dozen assorted European Commissioners. The Belgian Prime Minister came too. That proves one thing. Europe's political cartel is all in cahoots.

So all the European politicians are in agreement that business lobbyists should joined hand and foot to the parliamentary process. And have the same House. This concept used to be called the Corporate State. The fascist dictator Mussolini was a proponent of that contorted idea. He said that what was good for the big corporations must be good for all Italians. The Communist Russians, on the other hand, thought that what was good for the workers was good for all the world and would lead to paradise.

Both were wrong. They made a prostitute out of parliament. Parliament requires independence from interest groups. Democracies do not have a Hire House. It is the slippery road to a governmental whore house.

The meeting was nominally organised by Eurochambres -- that is European chambers of commerce. But in the debate the delegates spoke of their own companies. The entrepreneurs included property dealers and bankers. This is its second shameful appearance of the EuroBusiness Parliament in the Brussels Parliament. It is no accident.

With the full PR spin that businesses can muster, they called it: The European Parliament of Enterprises! Yes, really. They seem oblivious of the arrogance and impudence of it. They wrote that with a Euro-style logo on the session papers. They know about money.

The euro-entrepreneurs sat in the parliamentarians' numbered seats. Each of them stuck their own electronic voting cards in an MEP's voting slot. And they voted for their own resolutions. Fittingly they had sessions on such topics as conditions, resources and markets. They watched as they saw the results on the screens that the MEP's use in plenary sessions. What sauce! What audacity! Who gave them the means to make their own electronic voting cards?

Do the voters or the general public want the Parliament to be taken over by businesses? Do voters approve of such a take-over while parliament is still at work? That day a number of Committee meetings were in session.

What sort of message does this House for Hire give to other governments around the world?

Enter the United States Secretary of State. That day, with business interests actually sitting in the deputies' seats, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the Parliament to talk to its president and parliamentary group leaders. What were her impressions? I wonder. She has already visited some tinpot parliaments abroad.

With all their powerful lobbyists, would the Americans let their Congress be a convention centre for their business meetings? Could barons of industry enter the moment the senators left? Could the oil lobby take over and run a session in the Senate for all to see on public TV? That would be a bit rich.

How did European parliamentarianism sink so low? The answer is simple. In their hearts, European MEPs aren't proud of what they call democracy. With their ever-increasing salaries, perks and privileges, the don't care a hoot if the public thinks such deals stink. They have a bad conscience at what they see around their ministers get up to. The Council gets away with worse, behind closed doors. Secrecy and lack of accountability devalue the whole environment. The MEPs have never fulfilled their primary obligation to have a Europe-wide election as written in the treaties over fifty years ago. Power lies with political party machines, not the people. European democracy was designed to give a voice to organized civil society, not only political parties.

What about governmental systems that are supposed to be run by political parties? Would such business meetings take place in the House of Commons in Westminster, London? Would the chairman of the Confederation of British Industry bang his gavel while sitting in Mr Speaker's chair?

That would be a dramatic sell-out of the centuries-long traditions of the House that likes to call itself the Mother of Parliaments. It made its own noble rules including shutting out the monarchy from its premises. They told kings and queens they had no business in the Chamber. That also goes for any outside interest. The whole Chamber is cleared if one member yells out 'I spy strangers' at any intruder. No businessmen use the MPs' seats. That has remained so in unwritten law for the best part of four hundred years. Many hard and difficult centuries of struggle preceded it.

Even when the Lords are about to summon the Commons MPs to the House of Lords to hear Queen Elizabeth II in crown and robes deliver the Throne Speech at the State opening of Parliament, the Commons rebuff any intrusion. They deliberately shut the doors on the nose of the royal messenger known as Black Rod. He has to strike three times on the great doors with his staff and request their presence in 'the other place'. That is why the independence of parliament and defence of democracy is a common feature in Commonwealth countries.

The Black Rod tradition dates 'only' from 1642 when parliamentary independence was already well understood as necessary. King Charles I tried to have his men enter Parliament. They were shut out. When a few years later Charles went too far again, Parliament tried him in Court in its great hall and decided to chop off his head for treason.

Would the British public stomach the sight of banksters lolling on the red leather benches of the House of Lords? Could property speculators take over the Woolsack, the seat of the Lord Chancellor?

In spite of the recent scandals about expenses, British MPs would be ashamed to hire out the Westminster Parliament to sectoral interest groups. Many still feel they should represent all the people. They would not let the Houses be taken over by the traders, bankers, trade unionists, industrialists or consumer groups either.

The business of government and parliaments should be separate from the business of interests groups. It should also be seen to be separate. And reinforced by law as required.

However, Europarliamentarians feel that standards that brave leaders have over a couple of thousand years fought for with blood, reasoning and fervent appeals for justice may be all right for an off-shore island. Maybe also for some other national parliaments of EU States. But not for them. They feel they are above such common European values. When it comes to the main European levers of economic, financial and democratic control of the Parliament of the world's largest trading power, the EU, different rules apply. NO STANDARDS ARE NECESSARY.

The European Parliamentarians, apparently, feel no shame at this wanton display. Parliament is a House for hire. They seem to have lost any concept about having FIVE independent democratic institutions. The MEPs have lost their way. They should show the businesspeople where they should go. Unfortunately they do not seem to know.

03 October, 2010

20th Anniversary of German Reunification. It was announced 63 years ago. Can today’s Statesmen plan long-term democracy?

In 1989 leaders of the European Community were shocked and worried about what they considered the dangerous consequences of the fall of the Berlin Wall. German unity --the 1990 reunification of West Germany, the Federal Republic with East Germany, the DDR, the so-called Democratic Republic of Germany was inevitable. It would create the biggest Member State in the European Community. Germany would become far bigger and far more powerful than France. British leaders were also worried that Germany would now control Europe, not vice versa.

The DDR was one of the satellite 'People's Democracies' of the Communist Soviet Union. Schuman called these counterfeit democracies. A handful of Communist leaders held power and defined policy in a secret Council of Ministers in East Berlin. They defined international policy with similar Communist ministers in Soviet satellites in conjunction with the Big Brother comrades in Moscow. Their great instruments of international propaganda, their publications, radio and television, published subtle, craftily forged LIES.

For the shocked European leaders the USSR seemed to be a permanent fixture in all their lifetime. Its continuation was hardly in doubt, even if the Cold War was in thaw. But now they had a big problem in the centre of Europe.

For many non-German leaders, German reunification was a nightmare. This was the result of a couple of decades of Gaullist anti-Community propaganda, his false reading of history and his attempted destruction of Schuman's work and memory. Some of these Western leaders tried to block German re-unification. Others were worried about a Fourth German Reich. Germany had been at the origin of three wars in a century: the Franco-Prussian war and two World Wars.

The leaders wildly proposed a confederation of western European states or a vague 'federation of nation States' whatever that is. It amounted to stronger intergovernmental powers for the leaders themselves. That was a bit stupid. It was equivalent of creating a great European 'people's democracy' where the people also had no power. Only the leaders had.

The only way to create real security is in a powerful democratic system, not a technocratic one. All sections of society should have their voice under a system of democratic law. That can prevent the rise of militarism or the rise of abusive cartels, whether industrial, ideological or financial. It is precisely what the supranational Community system of democracy is designed to do.

The second principle is important too. Only a democratic institution under democratic law can correct the mistakes of democratic leaders. Otherwise this guardian will inevitably head to become a new form of autocracy, oligarchy and instrument of subjugation of the people.

That is why Schuman and the Founding Fathers insisted that the European Commission should be both elected and composed of fully independent persons. The treaties say they should be without ties to political parties, or other interest groups. They are legally forbidden from receiving the instructions from governments. The Council is responsible for creating a fair electoral system open to ALL Europe's citizens. It has signally failed to do so. The process of election according to the spirit and letter of the original treaties should be started IMMEDIATELY.

Nationalist and self-serving politicians have tried to block and chloroform the five key Community institutions -- except for the secretive Council of Ministers, where a cartel of politicians want to seize power and hold all power. They seem to want to ape the secret councils of East Germany or the other satellite States. That is dangerous.

The Soviet and East German experience shows that a dictatorship of the people -- a political cartel -- through such a council is doomed to fail. Any system that is based entirely on materialism, such as dialectical materialism or State atheism, has the roots of its own destruction excavating its weak foundations. Marxism is a self-blinded god. Its godless vision, void of a moral code, has failed. It spawned the many corrupting people's dictators with their greedy hands and its nomenklatura, its privileged class.

A lasting Community can only be based on eternal supranational values like justice and truth. Any healthy society must be open to peaceful criticism and reform. Its concept of Community is a far more satisfactory way to deal with the problems of rich and poor than effete Marxism.

In the DDR the politicians built a wall to stop people leaving. It was knocked down by the people. They tried to control religious opinion and expression -- and failed. The State tried to ban a spiritual interpretation of history. Church leaders and their congregations helped put atheistic materialism in the dustbin of history. The Soviet Union repressed the Jews. They were often the most critical and sharpest refuseniks. The Soviet Union refused to let them leave. When the USSR collapsed they left in droves.

The 'people's leaders' tried to control freedom of expression and stop all non-State publications of individual authors, like the samizdad. They failed there too.

Modern democracy owes its origin to the Judeo-Christian revelation, said Schuman. Christianity has a long record of deposing of empires -- including the binning of the once powerful and pervasive gods of the Roman Empire. Mars is binned with Marx. Both are responsible for the blood of millions of victims.

Political ideology is NOT an innocent game. It tortured brave people, bereaved families, miseducated children. It would fill a sea with the blood of its errors.

In the twenty years since the Berlin Wall fell, have politicians learned anything about the supranational European Community? The Community was actually designed as the guarantee that Germany would not be able to go to war against its neighbours EVER again. That is what the founding fathers said.

Have the leaders then or today ever asked why Europeans are now experiencing the longest period of peace in Europe's history? Is it an accident? Or do they think it happened against all odds simply due to the colour of their eyes?

Robert Schuman and others gave the highest profile speeches about it forty years previous to the events of 1989-90. Why were these speeches not republished by the European institutions? Why were they not republished by the French, German and other Governments? Were the institutions asleep?

Let's look at the speeches given by Robert Schuman in 1948 and 1949 to the United Nations General Assembly.

On 28 September 1948 -- three short years after the massive destruction and hate of World War 2, Schuman told the UN General Assembly that the unification of Germany was inevitable and he, as Foreign Minister of France, was going to make sure that the unification of Europe was also inevitable because this was the guarantee that all could live in peace:
‘A renewed Germany will have to insert itself inside the democracy of Europe. The dismemberment of this old continent, so often and cruelly torn by war, is a relic of times past. ... Now, however, our times are those of large economic units and great political alliances. Europe must unite to survive. France intends to work on this energetically with all its heart and soul. A European public opinion is already being created. Already concrete efforts are taking shape that are marking the first steps on a new road..
He continued.
'We are, of course, only at the start of what is a great work. … Let us hope, God willing, that those who are presently hesitating will not take too long to be convinced about it. An economic union implies political cooperation. The ideas of a federation and a confederation are being discussed. We are happy to see such concepts being taken up, and studied in numerous international meetings in which personalities most representative of European public opinion are participating. Now is the time for such ideas to be analysed and supported by the governments themselves. In agreement with the Belgian Government, the French Government has proposed to follow up suggestions to call a representative assembly of European public opinion with a view to prepare a project for organising Europe. This assembly will have to weigh all the difficulties and propose reasonable solutions which take into account of the need of a wise and progressive development’
The next year on 23 September 1949, after he had laid the foundations of the Council of Europe, an institution that would guarantee Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms for all Europeans, Schuman reported to the UN General Assembly on progress in Germany and Europe:
‘The first President of the new Federal Republic has just been elected and the first Chancellor designated. The destiny of Germany is again conferred on the Germans themselves. Facts will show if they are in a position to face up to their responsibilities that are restored to them and to prepare their future in an orderly manner and in freedom. The rhythm of developments that follow will depend on the results of this experiment. Our hope is that Germany will commit itself on a road that will allow it to find again its place in the community of free nations, commencing with that European Community of which the Council of Europe is a herald.’
Europe's peace would be based on a supranational democratic European Community, not a classical federation or a confederation. This was the year before the Schuman Declaration. This speech besides clarifying how Schuman was to guarantee a permanent European peace, also exposes the mistake or vain boast in Jean Monnet. In his Mémoires Monnet says that he invented the term, European Community, on 21 June 1950. Schuman used the term in many major speeches before Monnet ever uttered it. He also explained what it meant.

Thus the European Community was the key that would ensure lasting peace, not only for Germany but for her neighbours. Schuman gave speeches in Germany about the reunification of Germany. He gave them in German so there would be no misunderstanding.

But let us quote another witness, Robert Buron, who records in a diary what Schuman said to him on 10 July 1953. Schuman described the options: Germany might make a secret deal with the Soviet Union or it could develop a real democracy inside a democratic European Community. Only the latter would safeguard the peace.

'Sooner or later, wished for or not, the reunification of Germany will happen. It may be in a climate of détente between East and West that would help the development. It may occur in a rapprochement of Germany alone with the Soviet Union, after elections favourable to socialists for example. The balance of the world will then be thrown into question.'

Schuman told him that the existence of the European Community had already caused the Soviets to stop and think about a less aggressive policy than world revolution. In Schuman's opinion, he recorded, 'the pursuit of a European policy is one of the causes for the decision of the new Russian rulers to move towards détente.'

Schuman was no longer in office as minister and, he said, Europe required a well informed governmental spokesman to speak out about the European Community. He would give 'a frank explanation between French and Russians about the policy of European integration.' Gaullists, nationalists and the large Communist party made this as difficult as possible. After WW2 Gaullists thought the only way to control Germany was the permanent removal of the Ruhr and annexation of the French zone so that the Rhine was the border. Then when the Community had been set in motion with its design to make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible, the Gaullists had no faith in this idea. They pooh-poohed it. They wanted their own Realpolitik. That meant, when de Gaulle seized power in 1958, that de Gaulle and France would always dominate Germany as much as possible. People called it a Franco-German axis.

It was not what the supranational Community is about. The Community involves the democracy of nation States as much as organized civil society and the people. It also involves a well-conceived concept of the rule of law, not the power politics that de Gaulle thought was the only way. Power politics have failed Europe over the last several millenniums because the conqueror of one day becomes the oppressor. The conquered foe of one day becomes the victim then the liberator of the next. And so on.

The Community started the thaw of the Cold War when Germany chose democratic and religious freedom. It joined the Council of Europe which legally guaranteed the human rights against another Hitler stamping on them with his jackboots. Today we need not only someone to speak to the Russians but to our own European citizens about the real meaning for them of a supranational, democratic Community. The Commission no longer seems to be acting like the independent guardian of the treaties or telling the truth about its origin and purpose.

We should be thankful that the Founding Fathers including men of long-term vision. Schuman said: 'If I believe profoundly in détente and in peace, I believe equally deeply that the strategy that we have traced is only realizable in practice if Western Germany remains solidly anchored to our European construction.

'It is necessary to progress at the same time with European integration, the improvement of East West relations and German unification. Everything lies in the art of progressing simultaneously.'

Schuman and others foretold that the Soviet Union would collapse before the end of the century. He told many people that this was a certainty. Adenauer, with whom he spoke on many occasions, said the same thing. The CIA and the other intelligence services were not listening. They did not make the same analysis as Schuman. They were shocked when the USSR collapsed on schedule. Other politicians at the time were not listening. They buried Europe's founding document, its Magna Carta of democracy.

None of today's politicians seem to be listening either. They still haven't published it. Nor have they understood or applied Schuman's definition of Democracy. Instead they imposed a Constitutional /Lisbon Treaty that the peoples of the Nation States had rejected in referendums.

Welcome to the People's Democracies of Europe! Wait for the fall of the next political cartel!