Barroso: ‘the EU is an Empire’
(Hat-tip to EU Referendum for the graphic)
Sometimes I like to compare it to compare the EU as a creation to the organisation of empires. We have the dimension of Empire but there is a great difference. Empires were usually made with force with a centre imposing diktat, a will on the others. Now what we have is the first non-Imperial empire. We have 27 countries that fully decided to work together and to pool their sovereignty. I believe it is a great construction and we should be proud of it. At least, we in the Commission are proud of it.
Cranmer has believed this for some time. Much has been written on the eschatological need for a 'Last Days' empire (not that Cranmer necessarily agrees with any of it), and also on the parallels between the EU and former European empires, especially those of Charlemagne and the Hapsburgs. And noting that Reich translates straightforwardly as ‘empire’, it is conceivable that President Barroso is talking of the Sacrum Romanum Imperium Nationis Germanicae, but simply doesn’t know it. But this is not the first time he has used the word. In previous speeches he has referred to ‘an empire of law’, and he has also previously referred to ‘a new and better European political order’ which must be used ‘to create a new and better global order’.
But it is the phrase ‘non-Imperial empire’ which Cranmer finds interesting. In saying that empires were usually made with force with a centre imposing diktat, Presdent Barroso seemingly ignores that the European empire is being created by this precise mechanism, albeit through smoke and mirrors. It may be an empire made without armed force, but it is certainly not being constructed with popular consent. Choosing to ignore the results of free, democratic referenda manifestly amounts to forcible imposition.
Mark Francois MP, the Conservative's shadow Europe minister, responded: ‘The British public will be surprised to hear that we are now part of an EU empire… anyone who thinks that we have been exaggerating in calling for a referendum on a revived constitution only has to look at what Mr Barroso has said to realise the scale of what is now being contemplated.’
It is not unreasonable to suggest that, in the absence of a referendum on this ‘Reform Treaty’, that dissent may ensue. We are already being told that it is a fait accompli, that there are no more negotiations to be had, and that member states should not request them. If this Napoleonic proclamation is not a diktat, what is?