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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 Fassoulas

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Comments

  1. This is the most cogent and sincere analysis of last night’s appointments that I’ve seen. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  2. “Damned if they do, damned if they don’t”, the above comment drives home a fact that the inherent sensationalism of the media and the peddlers of euroscepticism will never allow them to admit, namely that Europe advances at the pace Europeans (politicians and voters alike) are prepared to accept, not slower and certainly not faster. Since the majority of us are not prepared yet for a high-profile European Union, it’s only normal that the representatives of Europe will be low-profile too, no?

  3. “…but once again their arguments are marred with hypocrisy and insincerity.”

    Many of those who agree with you, and just as many of those who disagree with you, are morally and/or intellectually inferior to you. Making that the core of your argument, however, is counter-productive.

    “What eurosceptics are really upset about is…”

    Yes, that’s a sensible division of labour. Why don’t you tell me what I’m upset about, then I’ll tell you what you’re upset about? That’ll save either of us the trouble of actually speaking for ourselves.

    “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.”

    That journey was not ‘set collectively’ by the people of the United Kingdom. We don’t care how slow, fast, careful or careless that journey is, it’s going in a direction that we don’t want to go, and taking us with it against our will. If you think I’m wrong, give us a vote.

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