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the first post World War Two West German chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, pressed for the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) established by the Treaty of Paris in 1951. This along with the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Energy Community (EURATOM) established in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome were merged under a single European Commission that included a European Parliament in 1967. It is evident that German unification was tied to increased European integration at the time of the unification of Germany. On November 10, 1989, after the night the Berlin Wall fell, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl in a speech stated, “This is about unity, about justice and freedom. Long live a free German fatherland, long live a free and united Europe.” (1) That speech was very quickly followed by a speech by West German Chancellor Kohl to the German Bundestag, on November 28, 1989 outlining a Ten Point Plan to overcome the division of Germany and Europe. The sixth point in the ten point plan stated: “The development of German internal relationships remains embedded in the overall European process and in East-West relationships. The future architecture of Germany must be fitted into the future architecture of Europe as a whole. The seventh point stated: “The European Community's power of attraction and influence is and remains a constant factor in overall European development. We wish to strengthen it further. The European Community is now being called on to approach the reform-oriented States of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe with openness and flexibility. We see the process of regaining German unity as a European matter. It must therefore also be seen in combination with European integration. In this sense, the European Community must keep itself open for a democratic GDR and for other democratic States of Central and South-Fastern Europe. The Community must not end at the Elbe, but must maintain openness eastward too . . .” (2) With this, Chancellor Kohl was tying the unification of Germany, which was solely a German matter, that had nothing to do with the rest of Europe, but a matter to be decided by Germans themselves, with increased integration of Europe. The German government was also tying increased European integration to the east, inclusive of the former communist eastern European nations, to the unification of Germany. Again, the status of the Eastern European nations had nothing to do with whether or not Germany was unified and should not have been an issue that was connected to German unification. What has been being used for increasing European integration is the European Union. The German government, has been the primary pusher and backer of increased power, control and
authority in the European Union that has served to increasingly usurp the sovereignty and authority of the European nations as sovereign independent nations and national governments. Kohl and the German government were principal architects of the Maastricht Treaty that was passed in the EU in 1993, that ceded a broad range of governmental rights, powers and authority to the institution of the EU from the individual European nations who were members of the EU. All along the way, for both the citizenry of Europe, including the citizenry of Germany itself, the increasing integration of Europe has violated the democratic principles and governments that were established in the nations and governments. In the case of the Maastricht Treaty, in 1993, Germany’s highest court heard charges that the Maastricht Treaty, by transferring powers to Brussels, contravened principles in Germany’s constitution under which “all state authority emanates from the people.” The court later allowed the Maastricht Treaty, rejecting the argument that Maastricht infringed the principles of sovereignty or democracy, but it warned that an “overponderance of tasks and responsibilities at the European level would weaken democracy at the state level.” In fact the Maastricht Treaty and the later Lisbon Treaty signed in 2007 and entered into force in 2009, served to do just that. That democratic principles were being infringed upon was also evident in public referendums in Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Ireland which all in initial votes majority vetoed the increased power, authority and sovereignty granted the European Union in the Maastricht and Lisbon Treaties. Most of the other nations, including Germany, did not allow their populations to vote on the measures. German Chancellor Kohl, at the time of the German court ruling allowing for the German signing of the Maastricht Treaty told the Bundestag, that “Germany is our fatherland, Europe is our future.” (3) There is the question of why the powers of the European Union are being increased at all. In fact there is evidence that the citizens of the various European countries don’t want increased powers and controls in the European Union to the detriment of their national governments. The public referendums held in European nations over granting increased power and control to the European Union to the detriment of the sovereignty of individual nations resulted in no votes in a number of countries where referendums were held; including in Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Ireland. In the case of the Maastricht Treaty, in an initial public vote held on June 2, 1992, the Danish electorate voted against the approval of the Maastricht Treaty. The terms of the Maastricht Treaty were changed to have some “opt out” options for Denmark deliberately just to ensure that Danish voters approved the treaty. On May 18, 1993, Danish voters approved the Maastricht Treaty with the opt out options, but it brought into question the issue of by what right the Danish government had to put the treaty to a revote for the Danish people and why the no vote on the intent of the treaty, greater European integration, was not respected by the Danish government and other European nations. In the case of later public referendums, some of the nations were allowed to vote on was whether or not the EU constitution as written and being presented for verification was
acceptable. They were not allowed to vote on the larger question of whether or not they wanted the European Union to be granted more power and control as was implied in the specific constitution. For both France and the Netherlands, the people voted against further increased powers and control in the European Union by voting against the European Union constitution. In 2005, first French and then Dutch voters voted against the ratification of the European Union constitution, which granted more control and power to the European Union. Disturbingly, not long after the no vote on the constitution in France and the Netherlands, a German government spokesman, Bela Anda, stated that Chancellor Schroeder and French President Chirac who were holding meetings in Berlin, “were in agreement that the constitutional process must continue so that the view of each country are respected. "We cannot drop the idea of Europe because there are difficulties," he added, the Associated Press news agency reported. (4) Chancellor Schroeder speaking in Luxembourg where he met with Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, also stated that “The constitution must be put to all 25 states, he said, adding: "Every form of over-reaction at this stage is wrong.” (5) The reality was that at this point, the Dutch and French electorate had already voted that they were against the constitution, which made the constitution a moot point for the nations of France and the Netherlands irregardless of the views of other countries. The reality was as well that the German government was assuming a position in support of the European Union constitution that was quite likely not the wishes of the German people, who with the rest of Europe, have consistently expressed reservations about increased power and control in the European Union. Earlier in 2004, Chancellor Schroeder in Britain, in regard to Germany’s allowance of a referendum on the constitution issue, said, “In Germany, the constitution forbids the referendum and we will respect the referendum.” (6) Nor was the German government willing to change it’s constitution to hold a referendum, something that could have been done with a two thirds majority vote in both houses of the German parliament. That this position appeared to be the position of the German government, rather than just Chancellor Schroeder was evident by later German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s comments that she did not want the constitution changed saying there was “no time to rewrite the text,” even though it was clear by the French and Dutch vote, that they did not want the constitution. In working to keep the European Union treaty alive, even given the no votes in France and the Netherlands, indicative of a lack of support for increasing the powers of the European Union, Merkel also stated, “In my opinion, we should not abandon the complete treaty for an EU constitution.” (7)
Although the EU constitution had been voted down in France and the Netherlands, the votes of the citizens were disregarded with the later EU Lisbon Treaty. As noted by former French President, Giscard D’Estaing; although the French and Dutch had voted against the adoption of the EU constitution, the later Lisbon Treaty included what was in the constitution bill. In an open letter to Le Monde and a few other European newspapers, d’Estaing said, “Looking at the content, the result is that the institutional
proposals of the constitutional treaty … are found complete in the Lisbon Treaty, only in a different order and inserted in former treaties.” He also wrote that, "Above all, it is to avoid having referendum thanks to the fact that the articles are spread out and constitutional vocabulary has been removed". (8)
The German government pushing for increased European integration has also recently been seen to indicate a European future where Germany is increasingly displaying indications that it’s goal for the future of Europe is a Europe dominated by Germany.
Cited Notes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5428130,00.html http://www.tufts.edu/~bmartin/10pt.html http://articles.latimes.com/1992-09-26/news/mn-881_1_maastricht-ratification http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4610555.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/4602035.stm http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-310363/Schroeder-No-EU-referendumGermany.html#ixzz1fOruT59K 7. www.ftd.de 8. EU Observer.com written by Helena Spongenberg 10-29-2007 - http://euobserver.com/18/25052
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