"OFF THE RECORD!"
EUROPEAN UNION (EU)
Draft EU ConstitutionComment 2:
Article 2 of the Draft Constitution for Europe (February 2003) says (Emphasis added):"The Union is founded on the values of respect forThe above Article may be found on the above website.human dignity, liberty, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights,values which are common to the Member States.
Its aim is a society at peace, through the practice of tolerance, justice and solidarity."
Comment on Article 2:
This does not say how such "values" are to be determined.
It does not say anything about the Christian heritage of Europe.
It does not say anything about an External Auditor.
If Ireland and, for instance, Britain have "common values", how come there are such divergent policies on human life and the family in each coutry? Will Britain be brought into line with Ireland, or will Ireland be brought into line with Britain? Will the respective peoples have any say in this matter?
18 Feb 2003
Articles 1 -16 of the Draft EU constitition were published on Thursday, 6 February 2003. The text is available from website above.
Countries have 10 days within which to lodge objections, ie, to 16 February 2003. Note that only the first 16 Articles are being released!
Connacht/Ulster MEP Dana Rosemary Scallon called on the Government and other Irish cross-party representatives to spell out what contribution they had made to the new document.
The document makes it clear that a federal Europe is intended. "Federal" means a cetral government, as distinct from a group of nation states, each having the power of veto over major decisions of the Union.
In October last, Dana Rosemary Scallon warned that the EU was headed in this direction, but all parties then denied that an EU constitution was on the agenda.
According to the Irish Independent of 8 February 2003, Mr John Bruton, former Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader, and a member of the Praesidium drafting the new Consititution, has stated that some critics of the draft had misunderstod it.
He also stated that the EU should get new powers over public health to prevent "a pandemicof flu that could kill 10,000 people in Ireland".
He seemed to be suggesting that if we didn't vote "Yes" to the new Constitution, 10,000 people would die!
18 February 2003, 6 March 2004. (Details of the proposed EU Constitution at 6 March 2004 need to be verified)
NATO without tearsWhether or not Ireland should or should not commit itself to participation in a permanent international military alliance is a matter that has long been debated. The subject will come into renewed focus following the September attack on the US. Notwithstanding such non-participation, Ireland has played its part over many years in a voluntary UN peacekeeping role, and has had its share of casualties, notably in the Congo and in the Lebanon.
Meanwhile, without having made any clear decision to do so, we seem to be drifting towards NATO membership.
According to an article by Jim Cusack (Irish Times 17 September 2001), Ireland is already moving towards full membership of the European Rapid Reaction Force, and is preparing a light-armed infantry batallion for the force. Senior officers are stated to have been in its Brussels headquarters for more than a year.
Cusack give the following further clues:1. Irish troops serve under NATO command in former Yugoslavia and in Kosovo. According to one quote, they are not seen as any different from other NATO-member soldiers.The tactic seems to be to surround the issue with relatively innocuous objectives, the accomplishment of each of which "moves the process forward". Thus, almost by osmosis, the overall objective is all but achieved. It is then possible to present the final act as a painless and minor fait accompli.
2. A massive re-equipping and building programme is under way for the Irish army. (It could be argued that some of this is merely necessary modernisation). The idea, however, is that Irish troops will be equipped along the same lines as NATO troops.
3. Irish troops will have uniforms which resemble those of NATO troops.
One can see the same strategy in operation in relation to the legalisation of abortion. "Step-by-step" was Margaret Sanger's advice.
However, it is not quite supposed to work like that. Ireland has the benefit of a written, powerful, constitution. Article 6 says that all power derives, under God, from the people, who have the right to decide "all questions of national policy, ...". No-one else in Europe has that, which is why the Irish people were alone in having, properly and democratically, to be consulted on the Nice Treaty.
Notwithstanding that occasion, respect is not always shown for the Constitution, once politicians are elected to office.
With the last two presidents of Ireland having campaigned, on different occasions, for changes to the constitution they had sworn to uphold, the question once more must be asked as to who is minding the Constitutional shop?
22 September 2001
Is Totalitarianism Dead?"Christians who survey the world political scene, and who debate how the insights and guidance of their faith should teach them to respond to it, should beware above all of rigidity. For the political scene is never static. It moves all the time..."
Article by Paul Johnson from Human Life Review
Link to Irish PATRE website (Family/Education group)
13 February 2001
THREE CARD TRICKFrom Breda O'Brien:
"Look, this is just scaremongering by troglodyte isolationists. It's not going to happen."
"It's just a draft proposal and it's not going to affect us that much."
"It's too late now. You voted for that three years ago."
(Irish Times, 23 Sept 2000)
COURTS OF HUMAN RIGHTS1. First of all, it needs to be understood that, as well as the Irish courts (under the Irish Constitution), there are two courts involved:
There is the long-standing Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg, associated with the 41-member Council of Europe. This adjudicates on the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights, to which Ireland is a signatory, but has not, for good reason, as yet incorporated into Irish law.
The European Court of Justice at Luxembourg, is a court of the European Union.
2. If the Nice Treaty is passed, the European Charter of Human Rights is likely to become part of EU law ultimately.
3. This would enable the European Court of Justice (Luxembourg), (ECJ), an EU institution, to rely on it in court cases.
4. It would also mean that, because of the superiority of EU law over national law, it would open the door to the ECJ getting control of the human rights of 350 million Europeans. It would make the ECJ superior to national Supreme courts and Constitutions, and to the Court of Human Rights (Strasbourg).
5. Human rights issues crop up everywhere. The result would mean greater control of every aspect of the public and private lives of citizens.
6. Note that the International Criminal Court (ICC):1. Is a UN body, and has nothing to do with the EU.
2. Is intended to try war and "gender"-related crimes.
20 April 2001
THE EU and HUMAN "RIGHTS":DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS TAKING PLACE IN YOUR NAME?
1. In March, 1999, the European Parliament endorsed a report (A4-0029/99) of the Committee on Women's Rights calling on all Member States to legalize abortion, ie, the killing of the unborn child.
2. In May 2000, the European Parliament endorsed a report (A5-0125/2000) of the Committee of Women's Rights, in connection with the Beijing Platform for Action, supporting the "right" to "reproductive health" (ie, abortion).
3. The EU delegation to the Beijing+5 conference (in New York in June), which included Irish representatives, pushed for some of the most radical amendments to the original Beijing document. They included ".. where it is not against the law, health systems should train and equip health service providers and take other measures to ensure that abortion is safe and accessible.1. This proposal was not put before the Dublin Castle consultation conference prior to the Beijing+5 conference. (Pro-life/family proposals had been ignored at the consultation conference in any event.)4. As reported by Dana Rosemary Scallon, the Polish delegation received a warning from the EU representatives that, if they wanted to join the EU, then Poland would have to follow the EU line on abortion and other issues.
2. Poland objected strongly to this proposal, as well as to some others.
5. As well as taking a human life, abortion has consequences for women and for society.
The European Conventon on Human Rights Act 2003 was due to come into force on 1 January 2004.
This Act permits rights (as defined by the ECHR) to be pursued in Ireland, without the necessity of going to the Strasburg Court.
The Constitution of Ireland remains superior to the Act. The Government is seeking to by-pass the Constitution, pending what is sees as the adoption of a European Constitution.
The "Constitution for Europe", if it is accepted in preference to the Constitution of Ireland, is likely to provide rich pickings for lawyers, and little consolation for voters.
6 March 2004