No EU Guarantees Can Change Thrust Toward Militarisation in Lisbon Treaty
Friday May 29, 2009 20:57 by Joe Higgins - Socialist Party info at joehiggins dot eu
Joe Higgins is standing for the Dublin Constituency in the Euro Elections to be held on Friday, June 5th
These Are Not Toy Soldiers
It was inevitable that the economic catastrophe caused by Fianna Fáil’s economic policies would dominate, almost exclusively, the Euro Election Campaign so far. However, it is also vital that we focus on some vital issues pertaining to the future direction of the European Union.
It is quite deplorable that the guarantees that the Government says it will have from the EU with regard to the Lisbon Treaty have not been published so that they could be debated during the current campaign.
However when it comes to the thrust toward militarisation of the EU firmly implanted in the Lisbon Treaty, no guarantees can change what are very categorical dictates to Member States.
Related Links: Joe Higgins column on how Lisbon would lead to more militarisation of the EU | Joe Higgins' Euro election Website | Socialist Party Website
The three specific issues which I wish to highlight in this regard are:
1. The extinction of the right of Member States to follow a foreign policy that differs from the EU majority.
‘The Member States shall support the Union’s external and security policy actively and unreservedly in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity and shall comply with the Union’s action in this area.’ (Par. 27)
Further all EU States’ embassies must publicly support the majority policy. ‘The diplomatic missions of Member States ... in third countries and international organisations shall cooperate and shall contribute to formulating and implementing the common approach’.
2. Consolidation and Expansion of Armaments Industry
The militarisation strategy is crystal clear. Paragraphs 49 and 50. ‘Member States shall undertake progressively to improve their military capabilities.’
‘The (European Defence) Agency in the field of defence capabilities development, research, acquisition and armaments shall....contribute to ...implementing any measures needed to strengthen the industrial and technological base of the defence sector, shall participate in defining a European capabilities and armaments policy...’ These prescriptions are very specific and no guarantee will override them.
Excluding China, 42 of the world’s 100 largest arms producing companies are European, selling tens of billions of Euro worth of arms each year. This ‘military industrial complex’, wields huge power with the EU Commission and EU governments.
3. Enhanced Cooperation: Proposal for Internal Military Alliance
Lisbon demands that the more powerful EU Member States form military alliances among themselves which can use EU resources to conduct foreign military operations. ‘Those Member States whose military capabilities fulfil higher criteria and which have more binding commitments to one another in this area with a view to the most demanding missions shall establish permanent structured cooperation within the Union framework.’
‘The Council (i.e. EU Heads of State) may entrust the execution of a task, within the Union framework, to a group of Member States in order to protect the Union’s values and serve its interests.’
Among the tasks envisaged are, ‘joint disarmament operations....military advice and assistance tasks,...tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking and post conflict stabilisation. All these tasks may contribute to the fight against terrorism, including by supporting third countries in combating terrorism in their territories.’
These provisions are crystal. It is really unfortunate that we are not able to have more time to discuss the implications of the EU Militarisation strategy during the Euro Election debates as I believe that the Irish people would strongly reject the military thrust being proposed for the future in the European Union.
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