Europe’s True Nature Exposed
Imagine a country where you didn’t elect your president. Imagine a country where the courts had the power not only to judge, but to make and unmake the laws of the land. Imagine a country where the ruling bodies had no real separation of powers, were largely unaccountable to the citizens, and worked together in a hazy bureaucratic process that none but those involved really understood.
Would you describe that country as a democracy? You would if you were the European Union.
For some time, a debate about the European Union’s recently agreed-upon constitution has been raging. Euroskeptics argue that the text is highly undemocratic—that power is being taken away from Europe’s sovereign states and vested in the unchecked hands of bureaucrats and politicians who are out of touch with Europe’s populace.
Long before the constitution was finished, many were warning about this—especially from Britain. British military historian and author Antony Beevor wrote, in the May 10 New York Times, “Most important, a genuinely democratic constitution, like that of the United States, defines the limits of power of the state over the individual. Yet the draft European Constitution is almost entirely aboutamassing power for a superstate. It is antidemocratic,dangerous and thoroughly out of date” (emphasis mine throughout).
Why, since the June 18 agreement, have Euroskeptics been more impassioned in their warnings about it? What’s so antidemocratic about it? Is it “dangerous”? Does it even matter, since it has yet to be ratified by all 25 EU states before becoming law—which might not even happen?
A False Democracy
If you were to take Beevor up on his challenge and contrast the EU constitution with America’s, you would be in for an interesting study. The most notable difference is size. You can go online to print both (a free reader-friendly version of the EU constitution is available at www.euabc.com). Make sure you have nearly a ream of paper handy though. The EU constitution is so colossal that if I were to mail my online printout to a friend within the U.S., it would cost me $8.50. To ship the U.S. Constitution would only be $1.25.
The EU constitution is exhaustive and exhausting—covering everything from environmental laws and budgetary standards to treatment of the disabled and even paid maternity leave. The minutiae that the Union’s constitution concerns itself with are dazzling and bizarre.
But does its sheer size make it dangerous? Again, is it undemocratic?
It’s important to explain here that this examination of any democratic deficiencies is in no way an advertisement for democracy, nor is it to imply that if only the constitution were more truly “democratic” it would be less menacing. As even our not-so-regular readers might know, we discussed democracy’s major shortcomings in our June cover story. As Winston Churchill said, democracy is “the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” That said, anything exposed as undemocratic—particularly in that it lacks the admirable virtues of democracy—should be cause for concern, especially in a state that touts itself as being democratic.
Think of the democratic airs even the most extreme autocratic governments will put on: the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Cuba, or the Republic of Zimbabwe.
The opening line of the EU constitution’s preamble reads: “Drawing inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe, from which have developed the universal values of the inviolable and inalienable rights of the human person,democracy,equality, freedom and the rule of law ….”
Sounds pretty good, right? In fact, the words democracy,democratic or democratically appear close to 30 times in the text. Keywords that usually accompany democracy, like freedom, occur over 100 times. The word free occurs 60 times, equality over 30 times, and the words right or rights over 300 times.
We would be wise to remember what British politician Adrian Hilton wrote: “In a true democracy, it is the people who decide which powers to lend to their leaders. In a false democracy, it is the leaders who decide which freedoms to lend to the people” (The Principality and Power of Europe).
The EU has never been the paragon of democracy, as was evident to those willing to see even before the constitution was born. The constitution merely confirms this track record.
You may recall the Bernard Connolly case. This British economist argued he was illegally fired from the European Commission’s monetary affairs department in 1995 for writing his book The Rotten Heart of Europe. Europe’s supreme court, the European Court of Justice (ecj), ruled in 2000 that Connolly’s critical book was not protected by free speech, that instead it was a form of blasphemy, and that his employment’s termination was legal and warranted.
We reported on the ecj’s decision in our July 2001 issue: “The opinion offered a chilling glimpse at the kind of power Europe’s politicians are intent on taking to themselves. The authority to silence criticism is simply a hallmark of fascism.”
In his book, Connolly himself opined, “In Stalinist Russia, dissent was regarded as evidence of lunacy. In the present-day European Community, dissent does not yet warrant incarceration in brutal mental hospitals, but unorthodox thought is still a dissonance.” After the ecj’s judgment, he responded, “The court is acting as the sinister organ of a tyranny in the making” (Times, London, March 7, 2001). In the Sunday Telegraph, Christopher Booker wrote that “the future of free speech under this strange new system we are now living under seems seriously in doubt” (March 25, 2001).
Even the constitution’s Charter of Fundamental Rights (equivalent to America’s Bill of Rights) says that a person’s fundamental rights can have limitations placed on them if those limitations “are necessary and genuinely meet objectives of general interest recognized by the Union ….” What exactly does that mean? Who draws the line between the EU’s interests and its citizens’ rights? Can you imagine the U.S. Bill of Rights saying anything like that?
Connolly was only one of several critics and whistle-blowers brought down by the EU. There was also the Dutch auditor Paul van Buitenen, whose exposure of fraud in the European Commission in 1998 led to his dismissal (not to mention threats on his life). His disclosures were so embarrassing that the European Parliament had to sack the whole Commission. In August 2002, a senior accountant at the Commission, Marta Andreason, lost her job when she warned the EU that its accounting procedures left its nearly $112 billion budget wide open to fraudulent practices.
The latest example is that of German reporter Hans-Martin Tillack, who has written extensively on the Eurostat scandal—allegations that Commission officials diverted millions of euros from the budget. British mep (Member of European Parliament) Daniel Hannan wrote for the Spectator, “More recently, Mr. Tillack had started to investigate the broader failure of EU authorities to act on tip-offs. It was this that triggered the reaction. Last month police swooped in on his flat. He was questioned for 10 hours without a lawyer, while his laptop, files and address book were confiscated. Even his private bank statements were ransacked.” According to Hannan, ironically it is “those exposing sleaze, rather than those engaging in it, who find themselves in police custody” (May 8).
As we commented concerning the Andreason case in our November 2002 issue, “[W]here is the democratic process in all this? … Surely a less accountable, less democratic institution could not exist!”
Hannan wrote that the EU’s most worrying tendency is “its belief that its cause is self-evidently right, and that this justifies virtually any action against its critics.” He said that senior Eurocrats “react like spoiled children on the rare occasions when they are checked. But children with unnatural strength ….”
Undemocratic Power Structure
Now let’s take a look more specifically at the constitution. Contained therein is the undemocratic, dangerously unchecked nature of the EU government structure. As we’ve said, democracy is a form of government with both negative traits and salvageable virtues. Those virtues are absent from the EU administration—the main virtue being checks and balances intended to prevent abuses of power, such as those checks built into the American system.
Take the Council of Ministers, for example, comprised of ministers and heads of state from member nations. It has been called “an undemocratic institution because it is not effectively answerable either to national parliaments or to the European Parliament” (www.eurolegal.org). This Council appoints the European Commission, the only body in the EU that proposes legislation (while the Council also approves that legislation). The Commission also handles the EU’s budget and is the diplomatic representation of the Union’s ideals. This Commission is an unelected body, largely unknown to the public, and unaccountable to the public. It is moderately accountable to the European Parliament—the only body directly voted in by European citizens—which has a limited say in approving legislation.
Of these institutions of government, Parliament is the least powerful. Does it seem very democratic that it is the only directly elected body in the EU power structure?
Consider one of the most significant exercises of undemocratic power: the establishment of the euro. EU officials—commissioners, heads of state and senior ministers—wanted the euro to be established and a eurozone set up, despite lack of support from Europeans. The key leaders—particularly the Germans—pushed this through, and the public had no real way to stop this monumental change.
One of the constitution’s controversial points among Euroskeptics involves the European Council president. Right now, the EU presidency rotates every six months among the EU nations’ heads of state. The constitution creates an EU president with a more permanent term of 21/2 years—renewable once. The president will be elected, yes—but not directly by the people. He will be elected by a qualified majority of the Council.
Another new Council position appointed in the constitution is that of foreign minister—one man to represent the foreign policy of the EU. He too will be elected by a qualified majority of the Council, subject to agreement by the Commission president.
As mep Hannan points out in the June 26 Spectator, “[A] skillfully drafted constitution would include checks and balances to prevent the EU extending its own powers. Wise founding fathers know how to anticipate the power-hunger of politicians.” The EU constitution does no such thing.
Surrendering National Sovereignty
What many argue, in Britain especially, is that the EU constitution takes too much power away from the states. The EU’s constitution, laws and courts trump national constitutions, laws and courts. This sounds like it would be a given—for how else could a union of nations really function as a union if nations could pick and choose which fundamental laws they wanted to abide by and which they didn’t?
But, as Hannan notes, the EU constitution could have confined its powers to cross-border matters and left national issues up to the states. As it is, the EU has control over a host of what could be considered national issues: agriculture, immigration, health care and many others “which are not truly necessary for the functioning of the single market” (ibid.).
Another comparison to the U.S. is in order. The founders’ main idea was to keep the U.S. federal government small and bestow much of the power to the states—such as control over certain taxes, education, and whether to retain the death penalty. The EU is far from being a “federal” government, as Hannan explains. “In federations, there is a clear demarcation between central and state authority. Under the proposed constitution, by contrast, the EU can itself extend its jurisdiction without reference back to the nations. … [T]his is the constitution, not of a federal state, but of a unitary one” (ibid.).
What we see from the constitution is a supranational government—a state in its own right. The EU has a flag, an anthem (Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” with slight alterations to the pagan text to exemplify the uniting of nations once divided), its own sovereign currency and Europe Day (May 9—the day in 1950 when French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman put forth his vision of a united Europe). Soon it may have a binding constitution.
This has been the agenda of EU visionaries for years—though they have never been up front about it. They always sold it to the people as a harmless economic community. British politicians foisted it off on an unsuspecting public that is just now awakening to reality. They downplayed any political implications, especially any loss of national sovereignty. But the constitution, now available for all to see, shows what EU framers have had in mind for years. Its creators knew that the only way Europe—divided and at war for centuries—could regain strength was if nations surrendered sovereignty to a great superstate, an economic, political and military union of nations that spoke with one voice on the world stage.
These grand, and notably hidden, ideals are exposed now more than ever!
If you have never read the Trumpet before, you may wonder why we are spending so much energy pointing out these deficiencies in the EU constitution. After all, the constitution may not be signed by all 25 nations when the leaders meet in Rome this fall—nor ratified by all 25 nations through either parliamentary vote or national referenda before the deadline at the end of 2006.
Whether this happens or not, the constitution’s contents expose the real nature of this Union—and loudly confirm what the Bible has prophesied for millennia!
The Bible predicts that a union of 10 nations, or groups of nations, will unite to form the most dreadful superpower this world has seen yet (Revelation 13:1). This political “beast” is merely a revival of the Holy Roman Empire—a cause that united Europe on several occasions over past centuries.
The final resurrection of this historic union is building right now—under the guise of the European Union. It will definitely not be a democracy! It will be ruled by one tyrannical leader, who will hijack the Union through flattery, manipulation and fraud! (see Daniel 11:21-24; Habakkuk 1:6-11). Ten kings, or 10 rulers, will give their power to this conglomerate (Revelation 17:12)—in other words, it will be a small handful of leaders at the top making the decisions, not rule by the people! The people of Europe will be brought under the strong iron fist of this dark empire.
And what does this matter to you? The Bible shows how this tyrannical regime will set off the worst time of suffering ever on our planet. In fact, God will use this empire as a tool to correct and punish the increasingly godless nations of America, Britain and others comprising the modern descendants of Israel.
What you are seeing in Europe today is prophecy being fulfilled! The veracity of the Bible is being proven through the actions of those steering the EU.
For more on the future of Europe and these Earth-shaking prophecies, please request a free copy of our booklets Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast? and Germany and the Holy Roman Empire. Then you can watch as these dramatic events in Europe unfold, heed the warnings of God, and be spared from the dark times ahead!