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Lisbon 'fine by us' says bishop

A senior Irish Catholic bishop has said Roman Catholics can vote "Yes" to the Lisbon Treaty "in good conscience".

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8260836.stm

I think that making Europe totally one nation will not only make Ireland one but will be really good for all of Europe in the long run.

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ummm

Any comments Fr Serge ?

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You'll be very sorry. The EU is one of the most repressive, secularist, and anti-democratic institutions in existence, and if Ireland votes for the Lisbon Treaty (it's actually a constitution, not particularly different from the constitution Ireland rejected), it will mean the end of Irish identity, and sooner rather than later. How a Catholic bishop could support the treaty, which is not only hostile to religion generally and Christianity in particular, but which violates the Church's principal of subsidiarity by drawing all authority to the (unelected) commission in Brussels, staggers my imagination.

And just to show I am not speaking out of my hat, I am a Senior Research Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University-SAIS Center For Transatlantic Relations, which is the designated EU Center of Excellence in the United States. I have had extensive dealings with members of the Commission, the European Parliament and various European governments over the past eight years, and have picked up a thing or two in that time.

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Ditto StuartK

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The only reason the USA is so anti the EU is the money. The states of North America can unite to form the USA and thats OK. The states of Europe unite to deal with the Americans and their trading practices and thats not OK.

The USA made it very clear to the Australian governments what was to happen in our economy, or we would be penalised in any trade with the USA. So under instruction we sold of profitable and efficient state owned enterprises, which now privatised don't deliver the services they once did.

This happened to almost every country they signed up all around the world. Basically let us buy you up cheap, or you will be excluded from the USA market.

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The only reason the USA is so anti the EU is the money.


What about the Czechs, the Poles, the Romanians, the Danes, and of course, the Irish? Are their problems with the EU due to U.S. pressure as well?

Other than that, your post reveals a startling lack of knowledge of international trade relations.

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Here, for example, is a report on Czech President Vaclav Klaus on the pitfalls of European integration.


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Czech President Václav Klaus questions ever closer European political integration in speech to the European Parliament
Institutions
- 19-02-2009 - 14:26

President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus addresses the EP in Brussels

The Lisbon Treaty would worsen the EU's democratic deficit, argued Czech President Klaus in a speech to the EP, in which he questioned the role of the EP itself. EP President Pöttering responded by describing Mr Klaus's views as "an expression of the diversity in Europe" and pointed out that "in a democracy it's the view of the majority that counts". Without the EP, Europe would be in the hands of bureaucrats, he cautioned. A wide majority of MEPs strongly welcomed Mr Pöttering's response.

President Klaus, addressing a formal sitting of the House in Brussels in his role as head of state of the country holding the EU's six-month rotating presidency, chose to speak on what he called "issues of extraordinary importance for the further development of the European integration project".

The Czech Republic, he said, knew full well that when it joined the EU "it was not a utopian construction, put together without authentic human interests, visions, views and ideas". He added "for us there was and there is no alternative to European Union membership". "We have therefore been really hurt by the repeated and growing attacks we have been facing; attacks based on the unfounded assumption that the Czechs are searching for some other integration project than the one they became members of five years ago. This is not true".

The key tasks of European integration, said the Czech president, were "to remove unnecessary - and for human freedom and prosperity counterproductive - barriers to the free movement of people, goods, services, ideas…" and "a joint care of public goods at continental level".

Decision-making in Brussels not always best, says Czech President

However, he then questioned whether decision-making in Brussels was always the best way to achieve these goals, and asked MEPs "are you really convinced that every time you take a vote, you are deciding something that must be decided here in this Chamber and not closer to the citizens, i.e. inside the individual European states?".

Developing his theme, Mr Klaus explained that while there was no alternative to EU membership, "the methods and forms of European integration do, on the contrary, have quite a number of possible and legitimate variants". Moreover, "claiming that the status quo, the present institutional form of the EU, is forever uncriticisable dogma, is a mistake", as is the assumption that "there is only one possible and correct future for European integration, which is 'ever-closer Union'".

Any given institutional arrangement should be seen merely as a means to the ends of "human freedom and an economic system that brings prosperity", with a market economy being the key tool for achieving this.

No real opposition in the European Parliament, says Klaus

The Czech President argued that "the present decision-making system in the European Union is different from a classic parliamentary democracy, tried and tested by history. In a normal parliamentary system, part of the MPs support the government and part support the opposition. In the European Parliament this arrangement has been missing. Here only one single option is being promoted and those who dare think about a different option are labelled enemies of European integration."

In addition, he continued, there is "a great distance (not only in a geographical sense) between citizens and Union representatives, which is much greater than inside the Member countries. This distance is often described as the democratic deficit, the loss of democratic accountability" and in Mr Klaus' view, "the proposals to change the current state of affairs - included in the rejected European Constitution or in the not very different Lisbon Treaty - would make this defect even worse".

Warming to his theme, the president maintained "Since there is no European demos - and no European nation - this defect cannot be solved by strengthening the role of the European Parliament either". (Note: At this point a number of MEPs walked out of the Chamber)

Mr Klaus believed that "attempts to speed up and deepen integration" could "endanger all the positive things achieved in Europe in the last half a century" and he urged that the situation must not be allowed "where the citizens of Member countries would live their lives with a resigned feeling that the EU is not their own, that it is developing differently than they would wish, that they are only forced to accept it".

Priority to the market economy

Turning to economic aspects, he argued that "the present economic system of the EU is a system of a suppressed market, a system of a permanently strengthening centrally controlled economy" and called instead for "liberalisation and deregulation of the European economy".

Free debate the best way to solve disagreement

Concluding the Czech President told the House "I say all of this because I do feel a strong responsibility for the democratic and prosperous future of Europe", adding "the most important task is to make sure that free discussion about these problems is not silenced as an attack on the very idea of European integration".

EP President responds

In his introduction, Parliament's President Hans-Gert Pöttering had described the Czech nation as being historically "the beating heart of European thinking". He highlighted the approval of the Lisbon Treaty, by a large majority, in the Lower House of the Czech Parliament earlier this week and he also praised Mr Klaus as an "advocate of a free, effective market economy".

After Mr Klaus had delivered his speech, Mr Pöttering responded by saying that Mr Klaus was only able to speak in this way because "we live in European democracy where everyone can express his or her own opinion. In a "Parliament of the past" you wouldn't have been able to give this speech". He thanked the Czech president for his visit, describing it as "an expression of the diversity in Europe" but pointed out that "in a democracy it's the view of the majority that counts".


The full text of Klaus' speech can be found here.

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One World Government here we come.

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Originally Posted by Our Lady's slave
ummm

Any comments Fr Serge ?


From the title, I'd thought that it was about *Irish* full unification.

And my views on *that* subject probably make Fr. Serge's look downright moderate!

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Alas. It is indeed an imperfect world.
Membership in both the EU and NATO has had rather beneficial results for Lithuania, the land of my ancestors.

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Membership in both the EU and NATO has had rather beneficial results for Lithuania, the land of my ancestors.


In Eastern European countries, NATO membership has been seen as the essential guarantee of their security against Russian irredentism. It is important to recognize, however, that to them--and this is very much the reality--NATO means the United States, and if Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty is ever invoked by one of them, they are actually calling upon the United States to defend them against Russian aggression. None of the Eastern European military or government officials with whom I have spoken over the last four or five years has any faith whatsoever in the ability of Brussels to provide collective security.

The Obama Administration's failure to support its Eastern European allies, its reneging on plans to deploy missile defenses in Poland, and its desire to "reset" relations in Russia at the expense of Eastern European autonomy, is beginning to undermine their faith in the United States and NATO, too.

With regard to the EU generally, support for the "European" project generally comes from a transnational business and government elite, very much analogous to the the French-speaking transnational aristocracy of the 18th century. These people have the same background, the same education, and share the same socio-political beliefs, which are very different from those of the ordinary people of the countries from which they come. They are "post-nationalist" and believe in the technocratic state. Ordinary citizens are not.

I have yet to meet an ordinary European, even in France or Germany, who is not, at best, deeply ambivalent about the European Union. While many--especially in the poorer states--are deeply grateful for EU development money and agricultural subsidies, they resist the strings that come with it and the constant meddling and interference of the Commission. Eastern Europeans especially echo the sentiments of Vaclav Klaus that they did not finally get free of hard totalitarian bonds of the Warsaw Pact just to trade them in for the soft authoritarianism of the European Commission.

The economic crisis of 2008 did much to shake the confidence of even the most Eurocentric Europeans as the problems of a "one size fits all" financial policy hit home and the members states reverted to an "every man for himself" outlook on economic policy. Eastern Europe was particularly hard hit and disillusioned by the failure of EU support.

As the anti-democratic aspects of the Union's political project become more apparent, support for European federation decreases, though most Europeans are willing to allow the EU to revert to its original concept of an integrated economic and financial market--albeit one that is far less smothering in its regulatory regime (must there be a European law regulating the curvature of bananas?).

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Father Serge's first comment is that I am amazed that a bishop has had the nerve to say what he did on a secular matter. If I had given my opinion in the public press, I would have been sternly reminded that the clergy are supposed to keep their mouths shut about politics. Is the bishop not a cleric?

My second comment is that the EU is a sort of "secular Empire", and Ireland has no reason to expect anything good from such an arrangement.

Finally (for the moment), Ireland needs to maintain national unity; to regain a broad use of our language and a much broader appreciation of our own culture - and, for that matter, control over our own economy. The EU offers us none of the above.

Fr. Serge

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My second comment is that the EU is a sort of "secular Empire"


One that has all the bad elements of empire and none of the good ones.

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Better for Ireland to align itself with Russia than the 10 headed Beast of the EU, lest one of the last Christian countries of Europe gets swallowed by the Leviathan of secular humanism, the Gospel of the EU.

Alexandr

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Better for Ireland to align itself with Russia.


Well, watch out for the day that Russia gives passports to all the Eastern Europeans working in Ireland and then demands the right to station a "peacekeeping force" on Irish soil to protect the interests of the "ethnic Russian minority".

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