31 October, 2012

Supra1: Supranational values create the 'Grand Bargain' of Europe, not party oligarchs or markets.

The former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called for a ‘Grand Bargain’ to set Europe on the right track. Part of his idea, said Mr Blair, speaking in Berlin at the Council for the Future of Europe on 29 October 2012, is the election of the President of the European Commission.
‘My feeling is that the only way, ultimately, confidence can be restored is with a fully comprehensive set of measures that convince markets and public alike that the fundamental issues have been overcome.’
The first major mistake of this analysis relates to the true foundation of European construction. It is a supranational institution.
  • It is not based on pleasing the markets.
  • Europe cannot be built on money like the euro (even if it were well-constructed and it isn’t).
  • Nor can it be built on commercial activity (even if the EU is the largest commercial power in the world, equivalent to the USA, Canada and India).
  • It cannot even be built on some ideological concept of democracy. (Ideology means part truth).
Putting the Commission into the hands of politicians by elections, organized and controlled by political parties, is completely wrong. It would exclude 98 percent of the population who are not members of political parties. It is the road to disaster. It violates the most elementary principles of Human Rights. A fairer, more just and honest idea is required.

Europe must be founded on truth and the search for truth. Truth can be arrived at by experience, examining one’s conscience and investigation. That is the only realistic basis for a sound society. Experience tells us that politicians should not be given absolute control, that their  declarations should be examined by ordinary citizens and interest groups in non-political representative bodies. Their conclusions should be published and examined conscientiously by all the public.

That is because all human beings have a tendency to corrupt and putting known corrupters in charge of anti-corruption is to corrupt the system absolutely.

Appeasing corruption is no formula for resolving the present crisis, nor for the future. AT THE MOMENT POLITICIANS ARE FAR TOO KEEN TO OBSCURE CORRUPTION RATHER THAN EXPOSE IT AND CORRECT IT.

European integration can only be founded on values like fairness, justice and honesty. Schuman called these supranational values because, in the past, empires, federations and confederations have collapsed because of violation of justice and the rule of law. Science properly founded on correct premises is a supranational value, said Schuman. Its results were true in antiquity (even if not always recognized). It is true today. As Schuman learned in his university days, justice decided in the court systems of ancient societies tended to follow similar rules to modern justice. Societies also failed when, as contemporary critics observed, corruption replaced justice or when sexual depravity became commonplace. Today lack of trust in politicians does not justify giving them more powers.

It is true that Europe needs to defend itself externally from predatory and dangerous powers that would like to exploit its disunity. That idea is not new. Schuman said that precisely in his address to the United Nations General Assembly in 1948: ‘Europe must unite to survive.’ Europeans have fought each other for thousands of years and disunity is more natural than unity.

What is important for us now is how the foundation based on supranational values can be developed. These values form the basis for European democracies. They arose from Christian basis of our civilization but also present in other successful societies too.
Should Europeans fear the future? Should they chase after the chimera of exploitative wealth?
Mr Blair says: ‘The 21st Century case for Europe is based not on war or peace but on power or irrelevance. A 21st Century with China and India that in time, as GDP and population size realign, will become vast economic and political powers.’
Where this analysis is wrong is that ALL civilizations will fail if they cannot handle the problem of corruption. This is true not only for China, India and Europe but also for Russia and other rising, populous states including the super-rich but corrupt oil powers of the Middle East. What is relevant is building on a sound foundation, not coveting immoral and unethical practices that seem to bring instant wealth. Peace, which Europe gained by the Community, can continue to bring vast improvement in technical and moral progress, when the real keys of the supranational system are  honestly applied.

Where Mr Blair makes a further fundamental mistake is to ignore the fact that a Grand Bargain has already been made. It is the politicians too often who are responsible for not holding to it. Take for instance the European Commission. Mr Blair says it should be elected. That sounds fair. But it is not what the Grand Bargain of 18 April 1951 to put an end to war made actually says.  Electing the President would throw the whole procedure into the hands of the political parties who have a near monopoly of putting up candidates. It would reinforce the party political control of the institutions. Within the main political parties a small group of party officials decides on who should be candidate. Thus the whole process puts the presidency of the Commission into the hands of party machines and a few apparatchiks who decide.

This is an oligarchic system and has great dangers. It does not oppose antidemocratic attitudes of fellow politicians. The European Council would reinforce its undemocratic meetings of all and everything in secret. The ultra-secret Eurozone group would cook up lawless schemes to bilk the public of trillions of euros. No democratic control is possible. The Commission becomes fully complicit in any corruption. The independence of the Commission from governments, and from political parties and from any commercial, industrial or other interest group, is fundamental to the Community system.

The word ‘supranational’ appears twice in Europe’s founding treaty and in subsequent treaties like the European Political Community and Defence Community.

This proposal of Mr Blair is directly opposite to what the original Grand Bargain entailed. So what was the Grand Bargain of 18 April 1951?  It provided a way to end war between Member States. It created FIVE mutually independent institutions to safeguard this bargain and to build the future. By separately analyzing and then cross-checking the proposal of an impartial Commission (alone able to propose legislation), the most democratically fair bargain could be struck to provide the basis for European laws, taxes and budgets.

1. The European Commission must be (a) INDEPENDENT and (b) represent Europe not national interests or in fact not be tied to any interest group at all. The Commission must be impartial. Therefore the selection of the future Commissioners must be made by a process that would avoid political corruption or the election of those representing special interests.

2. The Commission should be in permanent dialogue with a consultative body representing Organized Civil Society. These Consultative Committees should be elected equally from three lists of European professional organizations representing workers, consumers and entrepreneurs. There should also be elections for the Committee of Regions and the Euratom Committees. These Consultative Committees have full powers in the preparation and supervision of all European legislation.

3. The Council of Ministers should be held in OPEN sessions. There should be no taxation without full and appropriate debate both inside the Council and also in the national parliaments.

4. The European Parliament should be elected according to a single statute for all the territory of the European Union. There should no longer be 27 national elections where the government parties bias the rules in favour of their own political parties. (Under the Lisbon Treaty the Parliament gave up its prime weapon for democracy — the ability to sack the Commission.)

5. The Court of Justice should be composed of impartial judges who are open to all tribunals and courts for their ruling on the interpretation of European law.

The most solemn part of the Great Bargain of 18 April 1951 was that no European measure should be brought in WITHOUT THE WHOLE-HEARTED AGREEMENT OF THE EUROPEAN PEOPLES. It is called the Great Charter of Europe, its Declaration of Interdependence.

This is not what has happened in Europe recently where we have seen treaties brought in by secretive cabals of politicians, meeting in the dead of night in European Councils. These treaties are not OPEN nor are they agreed freely by the people. They are as legitimate as the measures brought in by the Politburos of the so-called ‘People’s Democracies’ of the Soviet era. Worse, the politicians went ahead even though, in the few referendums that the politicians permitted, the public of several nations pronounced decisively against them. Then the politicians changed the system so that no further referendums would be permitted, especially in the founder States who knew exactly what abuses had been committed by de Gaulle and others!

The Great Charter said that the Community was the TRUE FOUNDATION of an organized Europe. It was declared as the first instance of a supranational organization in the world. It was a Community of peoples (not political groups). It set as prime condition that the people must be ‘FREE TO CHOOSE’. The first measure of renewing the Grand Bargain is to republish this Great Charter. It is the first Statute of European Law.
Mr Blair said: ‘I bear the scars of participation in the Amsterdam Treaty, the Nice Treaty, the – Laeken process culminating in the Lisbon Treaty and the 2005 EU budget negotiation, when the UK held the Presidency –  the most difficult negotiation I participated in, (even including the Northern Ireland peace agreement.) Many of those here today bear similar scars!
The politicians are likely to get many more scars until they learn their lessons about the real foundations of European democracy.

12 October, 2012

Euratom2: Alfred Nobel, the Peace Prize and Robert Schuman

The awarding today of the Nobel Prize for Peace is a great recognition of the most prominent peace-making system the world has seen. Europe has experienced the longest period of peace in its more than 2000 years of history.

It is also ironic. The Nobel Prize Committee recognized the six decades of peace that should be celebrated this year as the European institutions began their work in 1952.

But WHY did none of the European institutions themselves celebrated the 60 years and the 60th Anniversary!!

The European Commission did not celebrate the sixty years of its entering in function in August 1952.

The Council did not recognize or celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of its first session after the signature of the Europe’s first treaty coming into force. Nor did it celebrate the signature of the European Community Treaty of 18 April 1951!

The European Parliament did not celebrate the first session of the democratic Assembly of the European Community under the presidency of Paul-Henri Spaak.

Secondly, Why has the EU not fully developed the EURATOM Community — the means to create a powerful non-proliferation instrument that would prevent nuclear bomb technology turning the world into flames. Robert Schuman whose Proposal created the European Community the core of the present EU, said in 1949 that he was inspired by some aspect of the Nobel Dynamite trust to make sure that such powerful materials should not be misused. Explosive materials such as dynamite owed its existence to coal tar chemistry. These explosives were far more powerful than gunpowder used up to the beginning of the First World War.

Schuman's first Community, the European Coal and Steel Community created Europe's FIRST SINGLE MARKET in coal and steel products. This made the secret production of weapons of war 'not only unthinkable but materially impossible'. He provided the most democratic means to run the Community, but this requires that the politicians properly apply the treaties. For example the politicians still need to agree on having fair elections.

Let us hope that the European institutions will now begin to examine their past histories and reverse the disastrous political decisions that reject Community principles.

10 October, 2012

Euro10: The Commission to skivvy for an above-the-law, non-EU, 'tax haven' company?

Grave defects in THREE current treaties and agreements will affect your money and Democratic structures across Europe — for the worse. The European Council is trying to force through unethical and undemocratic treaty proposals. It aims to create the European Finance and Stability Facility/Mechanism (EFSF), the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), and the Fiscal Compact (TSCG). They will radically change your life and all Europeans. It is giving short shrift to democratic debate either in national parliaments, the European Parliament and trying to stifle public debate.

It took ten years to force through the irresponsible Lisbon/Constitutional Treaty against the expressed will of the people, asserted in referendums and public opinion. Now it is trying to do the same in one year with three treaties that are not even properly subject to the European institutions — and the European Court of Justice. Each treaty pushed through against public opinion and court battles produces ever decreasing political legitimacy and plummeting public trust.

It is highly dangerous. Why? Because the treaties abandon common values of Democracy of Member States. They subvert supranational principles about how to create a sound money in a Community composed of many and varied economies of 27 States, each with their own history.

ONLY a Community system with proper elections and independent institutions can safeguard a Community currency. Wishful thinking of politicians telling each other not to be too greedy and corrupt will not work. It will end in a deeper crisis.

Will politicians succeed in destroying sound money by their shenanigans behind closed doors? Will the Commission be turned into a toothless secretariat? Should politicians ‘task‘ it for their own dubious purposes? Or should it be INDEPENDENT?

Would you agree that government ministers,
  • some of whom have been accused or shown to be guilty of fiddling the books,
  • fraudulently breaking European law,
  • undermining the currency,
  • being involved in political corruption,
  • or knowingly colluding with those who do so in secrecy
should HAVE LEGAL IMMUNITY FROM COURT ACTION? Should all their staff be:
immune from legal proceedings with respect to acts performed by them in their official capacity and shall enjoy inviolability in respect of their official papers and documents.
Politicians have created a fraudulent EURO that ignores the Community democratic rules. Their aim was to hide national fraud behind a European cloak — without democratic control or proper elections.  If they were again involved multibillion euro fiddles, why should they be above all Courts of Law? Does anyone have a guarantee that politicians will always be moral and never make any mistake? Democratic control and the Law are there because politicians can be immoral and often make mistakes.

Do you think the public should have a say before this legal immunity of the political class is applied? Should the legal framework be decided by those who have previously been found guilty of wasting billions of taxpayers’ money? Should LAW be INDEPENDENT of Government, especially those who control the budget?

The concept of a supranational and democratic Community demands that the Commission must be independent and composed of universally accepted fair-minded individuals. Their task is to PROPOSE to politicians measures that will be to the benefit of all Europeans. When politicians and government ministers want the Commission to be their secretariat acting at their dictates, the idea of Community is turned upside down. It is hegemonic rule by a Council Politburo. In the past the Commissions were almost entirely non-political. The European Commission was created so that politicians could not turn Europe into a zone of corruption and warfare. Corrupting the Commission and making all members colluding fellow politicians is to place the fox in charge of the chicken-house and all the EU budget too.

What do YOUR lawyers, paid for from your taxes, the Council’s own  lawyers, say about these bizarre and extraordinary proposals?

The Council refused my request to see the Legal Opinion of their Legal Service on the following non-Community innovations: the EFSF (European Finance and Stability Facility), the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) and the Fiscal Compact (the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union), TSCG and similar matters. I appealed, reminding the Council that it was both URGENT and of major financial importance, and needed for democratic debate.

After the longest delay possible according to the Freedom of Information Regulation 1049/2001, the Council again refused. I therefore introduced a complaint to the European Ombudsman (0862 /2012).  The Council again refused to supply documents paid for by the tax-payer and vital for a democratic debate on what exactly is happening on the Euro crisis. The so-called rescue mechanisms cost multiple times the annual budget of the EU. The crises involve politician-generated frauds and Treaty-busting overspends. Now the politicians expect the public to have politician-generated solutions, legally secure as a sieve. They will waste oodles of money for generations to come.
The following is my reply to the Ombudsman, awaiting his decision.

Council’s Refusal to supply Legal Opinions on the EFSF, ESM and Fiscal Compact.
Please refer to my earlier correspondence with the Council.
The Council has chosen only to reply about the Fiscal Compact, the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the EMU.

My reply is in three parts:
(A) The lack of sensitivity and sense of proportion of the Council/European Council to democracy in monetary matters, given its huge financial and democratic importance;
(B) Legal position – the refusal to show a Legal Opinion is in violation to the treaty articles and European court judgements. The Council position is untenable and hypocritical because parts of the legal Opinion have already been published by some Parliaments. Publication is normal and required in any civilized democracy. Legal opinions must be published for democratic debate.
(C) I also ask the Ombudsman to investigate if other Legal Opinions exist for the ESFS Agreement and ESM treaty, by hiding them in other contexts. The ESM treaty for example gives legal immunity from Court action to the staff of the ESM and tax-free status for staff. This is a highly controversial matter given the number of governmental frauds exposed during the euro crises. The ESFS Agreement results in a private company in Luxembourg, ‘tasking’ the European Commission, a tax-paid, EU civil service in the public sector, ‘to perform certain duties and functions as contemplated by the terms of the Agreement’ (Preamble 3). Is the Commission a public or a private body?  The Agreement is contracted according to English law and may be dealt with by Luxembourg Courts, although the position of the Commission to act or complain remains dubious as it is considered a skivvy of the Company and only Member States are mentioned in legal action (Art 16). Has the Commission become the private secretariat of a Luxembourg company?

A. Importance of the issue.
1. Practically unlimited amounts of money is involved. Public liability to irresponsible politicians’ action is at stake. A group of countries but not the whole Community of 27 Member States is proposing to implement monetary innovations that represent a budget of FIVE or more times the entire EU budget without proper discussion or control through the EFSF and ESM with dubious control through the Fiscal Compact. The proposed solution lacks adequate democratic supervision. It involves ministers setting themselves up in a private company in a location that many of them previously denounced as a tax haven and subject to utmost secrecy about banking transactions.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 31 July 2012
France and Italy favour giving the ESM “virtually unlimited firepower” via ECB liquiditySüddeutsche reports that a number of eurozone member states, including France and Italy, as well as leading members of the ECB Governing Council, favour granting the eurozone’s permanent bailout fund, the ESM, a banking licence – which would give the fund “virtually unlimited firepower” beyond its projected 700 billion euro via an open credit line at the ECB. Handelsblatt cites the ECB’s former Chief Economist Jürgen Stark as saying that “an ESM with a banking licence would be a clear violation of European law.”
2. Anti-democratic procedures and obscurity adopted by governmental leaders. The subject was discussed at what was a mixed meeting of EU heads of Government and States plus a Eurozone meeting of these leaders (which does not have legal status in the treaties.)
In this case it is not clear who is in charge. Is it the European Council, the Council of Ministers or a grouping of government ministers of the Eurozone? The latter, the ‘Eurogroup’ is an informal group according to the treaties. It is not a decision-making body.
3. Legal obscurity. Only the full Council is regarded as an institutional body for legal decision-making. Thus any decisions taken by the Eurogroup are legally dubious.
4. The euro is in crisis, we have been told, for the last several years. Now politicians say it is urgent and the new arrangements must be done rush, rush, rush. All this while the legal status is highly dubious. This tactic is unworthy of democracies and more common of tin-pot dictatorships trying to fool the public.
5. The European institutions and European national governments have a responsibility to act fairly, lay their cards on the table and take the public into their confidence as the leaders are supposed to be representatives of the public. Legal Opinions are owned by the taxpayers.
6. The EU leadership is presently in a critical low of public confidence, mainly because of lack of accountability of the EU budget, lack of proper accounting procedures where the EU budget has failed to be signed off.  TRUST in the EU leadership has fallen to the lowest level EVER, 31%. http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/eb/eb77/eb77_first_en.pdf
The European Union and Communities and intergovernmental conferences have institutions that are there for democratic discussion once information is supplied. The draft treaties have to be discussed for safeguards in national parliaments and other democratic fora before ratification.
7. The politicians – whether of the Council or the Eurogroup – have shown great reluctance to present relevant information to the public. I asked Council press officers on 30 January for the Legal Opinions. They did not have them to give me. Instead I was forced to ask via the website, which is more suited to historical archives than news journalism.
8. The response of the council is mechanistical lacking any sort of sense of urgency, proportion or public responsibility. It involves obfuscation and denial rather than democratic accountability, given the enormous sums of money and political implications involved.
9. Political leaders refuse to open a debate on this multi-billion matter. MEP Francis Wurtz said recentlyIt is not because votes in the Council are supposed to be public, or that debates in Parliament are obviously public, that democracy is safe. Everything possible is being done, not through negligence but as part of a strategic design, to avoid feeding understandable information to the man in the street and to avoid a debate on public ideas, in other words genuine grass-roots democracy. You just have to look around you! Speaking on TF1 on 9 September, François Hollande discussed the crisis and the budget, but he did not say a word about the treaty.

B. Legal position

a. Turco Case. European Court of Justice 1049/01 PRESS RELEASE No 43/08 , dated 1 July 2008
Judgment of the Court of Justice in Joined Cases C-39/05 and C-52/05 Sweden and Turco v Council and Others
The transparency of the legislative process and the strengthening of the democratic rights of European citizens are capable of constituting an overriding public interest which justifies the disclosure of legal advice.
Mr Maurizio Turco said later: Democracy and the Rule of Law are based on publicity of the laws and of the decision-making process, hereby including all acts (proposals, amendments, discussions, votes, legal opinions, reports, etc) that are examined and contribute to the determination of a decision having effects on citizens. The EU, as well as Italy, has to guarantee these fundamental principles that allow for citizens to get closer to institutions and to participate in public life, following the principle that it is necessary to have the possibility “to know in order to deliberate“.

b. In’t Veld Case. European Court of Justice Sophie in’t Veld vs the Council
It was the General Court’s judgement in Case T-529/09 to annul the Council’s October 2009 decision insofar as it refuses access to the undisclosed parts of the requested document (11897/09) other than those that concern the specific content of the envisaged agreement or the negotiating directives and considers overall that both the Liberal MEP and the Council were “partially unsuccessful” in their endeavour. The parties will have to settle between themselves what can be disclosed.
Ms in’t Veld – who earlier this year drafted a report for the parliament’s civil liberties committee calling on MEPs to reject the EU/US agreement on the data transfer of flight passengers – described the ruling as “a step forward for transparency in Europe” which establishes a precedent that “negotiations on international agreements are not automatically exempt from EU transparency rules.”
Other ECJ judgement reinforce this requirement for the Council to share Legal Opinions. Publishing opinions is not only a treaty obligation, it is an obligation for democratic debate (TFEU #288) and elsewhere already cited in my correspondence with the Council.

c. Part of the Legal Opinion has already been published!
It is ridiculous and hypocritical to refuse access to any part of the Legal Opinion of the Fiscal Compact (TSCG). I have not been able to check what has been published in all 27 Member States but the following relates to the UK. The UK House of Parliament Library (UKHPL) Research Paper 12/14 of 27 March 2012 prints a number of extracts.
Council Legal Service Opinion
On 26 January 2012 the Council Legal Service issued an Opinion on the compatibility with EU law of draft Article 8 and related preamble recitals, based on the fourth treaty draft. The Legal Service answered four questions:
1. Can the procedure foreseen be described as a dispute settlement mechanism between Member States?
A Member State considering that another Member State had not complied with mutually accepted treaty obligations “is enough to be regarded as a genuine dispute between them” if one takes action against the other. The initiators are Member States, not the Commission, and the Member States could be in breach of their obligations under international law if Court not seized. “There is no convincing reason not to regard Article 8 as a clause that aims at settling disputes between Contracting Parties, which are Member States of the European Union”.
UKHPL research paper adds
N.B. Paul Craig disagreed with the Legal Service view that the Commission was not directly involved in bringing an action before the Court. A negative report from the Commission would trigger a mandatory obligation on one/more Contracting Parties to bring the recalcitrant state to the Court: “The reality is therefore that the Commission is still ‘bringing’ the action”.
2. Can the clause be regarded as a “special agreement”?
Member States can establish in advance “a mechanism that may be made use of, in predetermined conditions, if a dispute happens” but only if the “speciality” criterion is fulfilled. Article 8 fulfils this criterion because it refers specifically to violation of Article 3(2). The Court is limited to reviewing the transposition only of the balanced budget rule, to be accomplished according to a defined legal framework and precise timetable. Therefore, Article 8 conforms to Article 273 TFEU because it “merely anticipates possible incidents of which the nature, the limits and the time of occurrence are known with a relatively high degree of precision at the time of its conclusion”.
3. Do the issues to be brought to the Court relate to the subject matter of the Treaties?
The provisions Contracting Parties adopt must give legal effect to rules that apply within the framework of the “revised Stability and Growth Pact” (Council Reg. 1466/97, as amended by Reg. 1175/2011). This is in line with implementing EU policies, e.g. to strengthen EMU and “conceptually and practically inseparable” from EMU as established by the EU Treaties. “Therefore, although as such the control of the adequacy of national measures transposing rules established outside the Union is not an EU law issue, the assessments required would necessarily involve consideration of problems of EU law and must for this reason be regarded as ‘related to the subject matter of the Treaties’”.
4. Does the Court have jurisdiction to impose “sanctions” on Member States following an agreement between them to have recourse to Article 273 TFEU?
Article 273 TFEU does not exclude the capacity of the Court to impose penalties, but the capacity must be explicit in the dispute settlement clause as it cannot be presumed, as must the procedures, since they differ from Article 260 TFEU. Imposing financial penalties does not alter the nature of the Court’s responsibilities because Article 260 TFEU empowers it to impose sanctions. Article 8(2) therefore does not introduce “an element alien to its existing practice”. Although the violations here are not of EU law, they are closely related to EU law (see note 3 above). Also, it is the Member State(s), not the Commission, which asks the Court to impose penalties, which “does not significantly affect the conditions in which the case will be treated by the Court nor the exercise of its powers”. Article 8 “broadly anticipates the framework that will apply to the norm” when the substance of the new treaty is incorporated into EU law within five years of entry into force, “while being entirely compatible with the legal basis of Article 273 TFEU” before that time.
The Research Paper adds the following:
Craig did not think the Legal Service opinion was the end of the story, as the questions of principle and legality remained unanswered:
The issue of principle presented above nonetheless remains relevant, even if the consent to the use of the EU institutions by non-signatories to an agreement such as the SCG was unequivocal and even if there was no external pressure. This is because the issue of principle in paragraphs 1-6 above is not dependent on whether particular Member States at particular times are willing to allow it to be circumvented.
For Craig the proposition that institutional powers granted under the EU Treaties or EU law could simply be “cut and pasted” into a different, non-EU treaty was “not legally or politically tenable” and “The fact that an EU institution has power pursuant to the Lisbon Treaty or EU legislation to do certain things, cannot per se legitimate use of an analogous power pursuant to a different Treaty”.

The UKHPL research paper adds:
Arrangements for legal procedures under Article 8 TSCG
At the signing ceremony on 2 March, signatories agreed an annex to be attached to the minutes of the signing ceremony on the arrangements for bringing a matter to the Court of Justice under Article 8(1) TSCG. The Annex clarifies that an application to the Court will be made by the Trio of Presidencies as set out in Annex I to Council Decision 2009/908/EU of 1 December 2009 (assuming there are no criteria which would exclude any of these three States, in which case the applicants will be the former Trio of Presidencies), in close cooperation with all Contracting Parties. Technical and logistical support and costs will be provided by the Contracting Parties linked to the case in question. Sub-section 6 provides that, on the basis of the Commission’s assessment that a State Party has failed to comply with the Court’s judgment, “the Contracting Parties bound by Articles 3 and 8 of the Treaty state their intention to make full use of the procedure established by Article 8(2) to bring the case before the Court of Justice, building upon the arrangements agreed for the implementation of Article 8(1) of the Treaty”.

My Conclusions
  1. I initially asked for Legal Opinions on the ESFS Agreement between Euro Member States and EFSF Société Anonyme of Luxembourg, the ESM treaty and the Fiscal Compact. I am surprised that the Council says that it has found only ONE Legal Opinion related to the Fiscal Compact and nothing for the EFSF, the ESM treaties. This contradicts what I was told. I would ask the Ombudsman to investigate the matter to see if the Council or some of the Member States, acting separately from the Council as an institution, have indeed asked any Legal Services of any description to provide Legal Opinions and are hiding these by a form of words. For example the ESFS is not a fully Community or EU framework. Yet it takes the Commission (EU civil service) as its servant, says that English law applies and that Luxembourg Courts may be used for disputes (Art 16). The issues are serious. The ESM treaty gives complete legal immunity to its staff in their actions (articles 32,35) and is able to set its own tax rates (arts 5, 35). This is more than disturbing given the nature of the Euro crises. Government frauds, statistical fixing and other matters, which would be prosecuted as crimes in private companies, have been uncovered.  Government action must be under control of democratic supervision and the law.
  2. The Fiscal Compact involves a great deal of taxpayers’ money and its use, and should involve multiple democratic controls. For this reason any Legal Opinion must be made public. So should any other legal opinion relating to pseudo-European bodies or companies.
  3. The Fiscal Compact Legal Opinion has at least in part been published by the UK House of Parliament Library and may have been published in part or in full by other democratic institutions. The refusal of the Council to publish it is contrary to ECJ judgements and normal democratic practice. Furthermore instead of publishing the document/s right away it has used the prolongations to refuse in the most uncooperative, undemocratic way possible.
  4. The information requested is urgent and necessary as it is apparent that the governments refused to follow the Community-based guidelines to create a Single Currency given in the Werner Report. They have sought to use European institutions to hide fiscal and monetary irresponsibility in their own governmental systems as is apparent from the crises in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, France and also Germany etc. The timely production of this information is necessary for a wider debate on the future of the Euro.