'GOVERNANCE - CHARTER FOR CONTROL FREAKS'
The regional debate is not about local powers or democracy. Our research shows that is part of a far greater programme - of governance (control at all levels, including the beginnings of world government). We should really call it regional federalism
In its White Paper7 European Governance - the European Commission recognises how unpopular the EU is, and advises on the need for "generating a sense of belonging to Europe".
Noises about the EU listening to the 'concerns of citizens' or 'respecting national constitutions' ring hollow, especially after the EU wishes to ride roughshod over the Irish 'No' to the Treaty of Nice; also banning British measurements from use in 2010.
Although promising local consultations on policy-making, the small print gives a warning that consultation is not to replace decision-making by its institutions. Its real aim seems to be identifying "projects that mobilise public support". Why it needs an image boost soon becomes apparent.
We are to believe that 'regions and cities' carrying out EU policy feel under-used in dealing with the public. So from 2002, the Commission wants to see 'three way contracts' involving national and local government for ensuring EU policies are carried out. The goal is a control-freak charter - 'better and faster regulation', laws 'easier to apply and enforce', 'more compliance', 'uniform application of rules'. The Commission wants to set up new regulatory agencies to assist it in enforcement.
Removing national vetoes would remove the chance of opting out, and rest assured that an evolving EU must not lead to any "weakening or dilution of existing policies".
Internationally, the EU must "speak with a single voice", as 'citizens' apparently have expectations for a powerful EU on a world stage. Of course "successful international action" reinforces European identity, and the EU must ensure that it has "adequate resources" (finance? military?) for its tasks. There seems no limit to this megalomania. Watch out for the term 'constitutional reform' at the EU Summit in December.