Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Euro Notes: EU Lisbon Treaty -- No "Superpower" Created

Here is an analysis/editorial about the EU's Lisbon Treaty. The title is somewhat pugnacious and a little too sensationalist: "Lisbon Treaty Will Not Create a European Superpower."

A "superpower"? An actual "superpower"? Well, of course not. Nobody I know has ever said this. I for one have never even thought this. There's no real muscular, robust hegemony of any type that I can see that treaty creating -- not economic, definitely not military, not even really political. If the treaty creates anything vaguely superpower-like, it's more EUrophilic bureaucracy-in-23-official-languages, complete with the inevitable silliness. The only "superpower" is the awesomely effective power of eye-rolling nonsense -- like that cartoon hero, Captain Euro, whom I once called "hysterical cartoon propaganda." (I stand by my critique; go on, click here and see for yourself.)

But in a real way, the idea of creating some European "superpower" is not the point, and to highlight this as the point misses the actual point.

The adoption of the revamped treaty won't instantaneously create anything, other than a tidal wave of nerdy analysis and over-analysis. What's the real point? As I see it, the entire process (and I've seen it largely from the British side) is more important as an illustration of the mindset of EUrocrat trans-national political elites.

The author of the linked analysis inadvertently (?) nods at the real issue when he says this:
Having learned from previous disasters -- notably the rejection of the proposed EU constitution in 2005 by Dutch and French voters -- EU leaders have made clear they will not submit the text to national referendum, except in Ireland where the country's constitution requires it. They argue that the Lisbon treaty would simply amend existing EU treaties rather than, as with the failed EU constitution, replace them by transferring some national sovereignty to the EU.
This is precisely my point.

The leaders have decided that they want this particular thing (my dislike of the thing's predecessor is on record), and by golly, they will have it -- no matter what the "unwashed masses" of the actual voting public might want/say/vote. It's top-down government. Besides, this is also the purest distillation of self-involved, paternalistic, elitist oligarchy, and it is deeply, profoundly, and quite possibly irremediably undemocratic in its very soul. Does it regard the voting public as citizens or subjects?

My point isn't about the efficacy or effect of the treaty. It's about the principle of the thing.

As for the Lisbon Treaty, here is its official website. By the way, one sentence in the blurb caught my eye in particular: "The Treaty of Lisbon will reinforce democracy in the EU and its capacity to promote the interests of its citizens on a day-to-day basis." On a day-to-day basis? How many more ludicrous acts of bureaucratic micro-management and regulation can we look forward to seeing? Nanny tyranny?

No comments: