Demand a Referendum on EU Lisbon Treaty
by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
This presentation appears in the March 7, 2008 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Moderator Claudio Celani introduced Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the chairwoman of the German political party Civil Rights Solidarity Movement (BüSo). She spoke on the European Union's Lisbon Treaty, and the need to uphold national constitutions.
Celani: Why do we have to save the constitution, Helga?
Zepp-LaRouche: I think that Europe is confronted with a much bigger danger than the average person knows. In November, French President Nicolas Sarkozy had a closed meeting in Strasbourg with some French European Parliamentarians, and said, according to the British press, that if there were a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, in every country where such a referendum would take place, it would be lost. So, on Dec. 13, the heads of state had the summit in Lisbon and signed the so-called reform treaty, the Lisbon Treaty. And there can be no doubt that the strategy was to say, "Let's ratify it as quickly as possible, through the parliaments, without public debate—neither in the media nor in the parliaments—of any significance, because if such a debate would take place, it would not go through."
So in Germany, the new text was not published, and if people wanted to find out what was agreed upon, they would have to take the old text of the European constitution, which was vetoed in France and in Holland in 2005 [and therefore did not take effect anywhere in the EU], and then look at the changes separately, alongside it, and then inject "Article 5, point 9, subsection 2—the word changes from A to B," and then inject that some 400 times. You can be sure that maybe two parliamentarians and maybe one journalist did that, but the majority, for sure, did not. Because the text is so impenetrable in the first place, that nobody can understand it, who is not a skilled state jurist.
Only after a law student in Leipzig undertook the labor to inject these changes and then publish it on some websites of one parliamentarian, was the government of Germany forced to take the unofficial version and circulate it, because they would have made a bruta figura if they had not done it. [laughter]
In the meantime, some extremely honorable law professors have written expert analyses, which I want you all to urgently look at, because they reveal what is really going on, and I'm quoting in particular Prof. Karl Albrecht Schachtschneider, who was one of the four professors who filed a lawsuit against the Maastricht Treaty and the introduction of the euro; Prof. Hans Klecatsky from Austria, who is one of the founders of the Austrian Constitution; and other professors, like Professor Hollander, and many others. I have studied the new text, from the standpoint of the expert analyses which they wrote, and I will give you a short summary of what I found.
The most important is, that it would change the relation of the European states, from an alliance of states into a single federal state, which from that point on, once it's ratified, would be ruled as an oligarchy, without the participation of the national parliaments. For example, the so-called General Clause means that the European Council and the European Commission would have to decide policies in all areas, except foreign policy and security policy. The European Parliament would be heard, but have no say, and the national parliaments have no say whatsoever. So parliamentarians, rather than fulfilling 80% of the Brussels guidelines, would fill 100% of the guidelines.
The Road to World War III
Then you have the so-called Solidarity Clause, which really is a bombshell, because it means that if there is the need to fight against terrorist actions in any country—and the notion "terrorist action" is not defined, it's a very vague notion—each country, even if it disagrees, has to participate in military action, in wars of aggression, in peace missions in third countries—so, out of area of the European Union—and it basically means there is no more veto right for those countries that do not agree. So, without public debate, or debate in national parliaments, the European Union is being transformed also into a defense alliance with the explicit obligation for rearmament and out-of-area interventions.
Now, if you look at the fact, that of the 27 European Union countries, 22 are also in NATO, where the Solidarity Clause naturally exists also, you have an intertwining of NATO and the European Union, in an almost 90% fashion, and that, if you think about the implication of that, then you understand why Russia and China have, for a while, equated NATO's eastward expansion with the European Union's eastward expansion. The Russians, I know from many discussions, look at NATO's policy of encirclement of Russia as the potential road to World War III.
Now the way this European Union transformation is sold to the Europeans, is to say, "Oh, Europe must be strong, we must unite against the aggressive American unilateralism with Bush and Cheney in the whole world, so we must have a strong Europe." But this is one of the many lies which are spread, because if you look at this interfacing of NATO and the European Union, then you actually see the danger.
If you have a Bloomberg fascist government in the United States and a Lisbon dictatorship in Europe, I have the distinct fear that we are on a road to World War III. And how quickly this can go, you not only see in the demand of U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates for more troop engagement in Afghanistan in the south; you see it in the quick action of the European Union in moving on the independence of Kosovo, long before the independence of Kosovo was declared, and where you had complete disagreement among European Union members, but the European Union bureaucracy anyway deployed 1,800 soldiers and police, and therefore, they said, "We don't care what the opinion of the members is all about." The recognition of the independence of Kosovo opens a Pandora's Box: Because now you have the Basques, you have the Turks in [Cyprus], you have Ossetia, Akhazia, Taiwan—this opens a box which is very dangerous, and as one Russian statement said, it threatens to bring down the entire Peace of Westphalia order in the world.
One last point: Professor Schachtschneider pointed out that it also reintroduces the death penalty in Europe, which I think is very important, in light of the fact that, especially Italy was trying to abandon the death penalty through the United Nations, forever. And this is not in the treaty, but in a footnote, because with the European Union reform treaty, we accept also the European Union Charter, which says that there is no death penalty, and then it has a footnote, which says, "except in the case of war, riots, upheaval"—then the death penalty is possible. Schachtschneider points to the fact that this is an outrage, because they put it in a footnote of a footnote, and you have to read it, like really like a super-expert to find out!
So, I think we need to have a public debate about that. I think that this is such a grave change of the constitutions of Europe, that there must be a debate and referendum! I do not say I'm for or against, but I think it's so grave, there needs to be openness and then the people have the right to vote, do they want this or not? I want to ask you all to join me in mobilizing the European populations for such a debate and such a vote.