November 20, 2009
The hypocritical reaction of all those that are instinctively critical of anything that has to do with the EU baffles me beyond belief. Nigel Farage and those that share his views on European integration have, in the last 12 hours, been attacking with venom the appointment of Mr van Rompuy and Baroness Ashton as President of the European Council and High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy respectively. They accuse them of all kind of things, but once again their arguments are marred with hypocrisy and insincerity.
Last night’s appointments aim to do exactly what the Treaty of Lisbon intends to achieve. Make decision making in the EU more efficient and effective. The two posts created, and those appointed to fill these posts, are not there to make policy and take away power from the Member States as the eurosceptics professed since the Lisbon Treaty was signed. The posts, and their holders, are meant to articulate and communicate the common position of the 27 Member States, as agreed in the Council by the elected Heads of State and Government of those very 27 Member States. The President and the High Representative (and the EU by extension) will not rob the UK and other Member States of their sovereign rights. Instead they will enhance the ability of the common will of the Union to be expressed on the international stage. Decisions are still up to the elected representatives of the people.
This is the spirit of the treaty and last night’s decisions confirm that fact with all the clarity possible. What eurosceptics are really upset about is that yesterday’s events took the sting away from their false allegations. The Lisbon Treaty does not create a superstate. It creates the structures that will allow Member States to achieve their common interests more effectively. The Lisbon Treaty does not create an EU President. It creates a President of the European Council, he is the chairman of the 27 elected representatives of national governments and that is why he was elected by them. Would Nigel Farage rather have him elected directly from the people? Does he really advocate that kind of federalism?
The process of European integration is a slow, careful journey down a route that has been set collectively by all those that believe that European nations working together can achieve their individual objectives more effectively. EU treaties aim to put in place the institutional and decision-making structures necessary to allow Member States to achieve those objectives.
We finally have the two individuals that will deliver what the Lisbon Treaty intended, a more coherent and efficiently communicated message that reflects effectively the EU’s position on all those issues that affect its Member States. We should let them do their job.
Petros FassoulasAuthor : European Movement UK