Thursday, October 26, 2006

European Commission threatens Sweden

EU monetary affairs commissar Joaquin Almunia has said that Brussels could in theory take Sweden to Europe's top court for not joining the euro despite meeting all the economic criteria although he said that such action "is not necessary or desirable" for now. "This is why, although it is theoretically possible in the future to initiate infringement procedures against states which are not preparing themselves, at the moment we are not considering this necessary, not even desirable," he said. Sweden, which entered the EU in 1995, is legally obliged to enter the Eurozone, an obligation enshrined in its EU accession treaty as in the case of ten member states that joined the union in 2004 as it had not negotiated an opt-out from the single currency. According to German centre-right MEP, Bernd Posselt who raised the issue in a special Q&A session with the monetary commissioner, Sweden's attitude sets a bad example for other countries gearing up to join the euro.
"They have ratified the accession treaty so how come they can organise a referendum and refer to it for not fulfilling the rules in this treaty?" Posselt commented "This is a union of laws and rules. And member states can't just pick up one rule that they don't like and just ignore it. If they said - we need five or ten years to prepare, it is ok with me - but just to be quiet about the issue and do nothing is unacceptable." But the Swedes said No in a referendum on entering the Eurozone. Their position is clear. Why should a democratically expressed view be abolished at the behest of the EC or the EP?


Serf said...

Why should a democratically expressed view be abolished at the behest of the EC or the EP?

Because its tradition. Thats what the EU is for.

istanbultory said...

Indeed, indeed. The EU institutions barely bother to conceal their aims. And yet our leaders choose blindness as a response.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if all those Iraqis fleeing their homeland and making for Sweden know about this ?

Colin said...

EU regulations and laws are probably unconstitutional in most member states. To my knowledge, there aren't many national constitutions permitting an elected national government to abandon the sovereignity of their country by signing treaties with other countries, i.e. the EU treaties. If this premise is correct, EU demands violating national souvereignity - such as the threats of the EU commission against Sweden - are unlawful.

Take for example the case of the European Arrest Warrant Act. The European Arrest Warrant Act is void. In its judgment of 18 July 2005, the Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court declared the European Arrest Warrant Act (Europäisches Haftbefehlsgesetz) void. According to the Court, the Act encroaches upon the freedom from extradition (Article 16.2 of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz – GG)"

I am wondering why the citizens of European countries have not tried to challenge the EU treaties by legal actions because of its illegality in regard to national constitutions.

istanbultory said...

Sweden is in a bad way. If I was an Iraqi, I would choose another destination. ı will be posting on Swden and its problems within the next couple of days.
Colin, I agree. It is disturbing that so few citizens have been willing to challenge the legal status of the EU.I think the essential problem lies though in the fact that once a stste has formally acceded to the EU, it is obliged to accept the supremacy of community law above its own. Once you are in the EU system, you are effectively suffocated by it. All protest is thus futile...

Ellee said...

Do you have any connection with Sweden at all? I notice you have flagged them up quite a bit. Or are you just an Abba fan?

istanbultory said...

Ellee, not the remotest connection. But I love the crime novels by Swedish writer, Henning Mankell. Contrary to what many might fondly imagine, Sweden is plagued with a multitude of problems. It's a country worth keeping an eye-on.

Colin said...


I am eager to read your analysis of the Swedish model.

Maybe you are interested in the view of the Swedish blogger Per Bylund. In his recent article, he wrote, "The political state of Sweden is very interesting; it is
more of a farce than anything else. What happened to the "noble" lie of prudent politics? The essay, called Sweden, Banana Republic, is available here:

istanbultory said...

Colin, Thanks for the link. I appreciate it. there's a lot to say about Sweden...and very little of it is good. I'm already working on the posting.

Ellee said...

It sounds like Colin has found an excellent Swedish blogger for you to gain even more insight. Colin has mentioned several interesting points too, but you are right to say we are bound by the EU laws and treaties.

There are now recalled calls to revive the EU Constitution, it was never intended to encompass so many countries, but it will be an impossibility to get all countries to vote and agree on all the essential issues.

istanbultory said...

Post-French elections in June 2007, the Constitution in "new,improved" treaty form will be back. Thus, only Ireland will be obliged to submit a new text to a referendum....and it will pass in Ireland.

Colin said...


May I congratulate and thank you for taking up the fight against the disempowerment of the people by the EU.

Yesterday, I again read the small book of one of my most cherished intellectuals. Here is what he said. Try if you can discover his name and the year of publication. He is a famous Briton.

"In that article I ventured to predict some results of political changes then proposed. Reduced to its simplest expression, the thesis maintained as that, unless due precautions were taken, increase of freedom in form would be followed by decrease of freedom in fact. Nothing has occurred to alter the belief I then expressed. The drift of legislation since that time has been of the kind anticipated. Dictatorial measures, rapidly multiplied, have tended continually to narrow the liberties of individuals; and have done this in double way. Regulations have been added in yearly-growing numbers, restraining the citizen in directions where his actions were previously unchecked, and compelling actions which previously he might perform or not as he liked; and at the same time heavier public burdens, chiefly local, have further restricted his freedom, by lessening that portion of his earnings which he can spend as he pleases, and augmenting the portion taken from him to be spent as public agents please.

The causes of these foretold effects, then in operation, continue in operation -- are, indeed, likely to be strengthened; and finding that the conclusions drawn respecting these causes and effects have proved true, I have been prompted to set forth and emphasize kindred conclusions respecting the future, and do what little may be done towards awakening attention to threatened evils...

Yet the decay thus caused becomes manifest where the policy is pushed to an extreme. Any one who studies, in the writings of MM. Taine and de Tocqueville, the state of things which preceded the French Revolution, will see that the tremendous catastrophe came about from so excessive a regulation of men's actions in all their details, and such an enormous drafting away of the products of their actions to maintain the regulating organization, that life was fast becoming impracticable. The empirical utilitarianism of that day, like the empirical utilitarianism of our day, differed from rational utilitarianism in this, that in each successive case it contemplated only the effects of particular interferences on the actions of particular classes of men, and ignored the effects produced by a multiplicity of such interferences on the lives of men at large. And if we ask what then made, and what now makes, this error possible, we find it to be the political superstition that governmental power is subject to no restraints."

You are right, it's from The Man versus the State by Herbert Spencer 1884. The entire text is here. Another interesting quote from his chapter "The coming slavery": "The belief, not only of the socialists but also of those so-called Liberals who are diligently preparing the way for them, is that by due skill an ill-working humanity may be framed into well-working institutions. It is a delusion. The defective natures of citizens will show themselves in the bad acting of whatever social structure they are arranged into. There is no political alchemy by which you can get golden conduct out of leaden instincts."

What might Spencer's leaden instincts be?

Frederic Bastiat offers an explanation: "Man recoils from trouble - from suffering; and yet he is condemned by nature to the suffering of privation, if he does not take the trouble to work. He has to choose, then, between these two evils. What means can he adopt to avoid both? There remains now, and there will remain, only one way, which is, to enjoy the labor of others. Such a course of conduct prevents the trouble and the satisfaction from preserving their natural proportion, and causes all the trouble to become the lot of one set of persons, and all the satisfaction that of another. This is the origin of slavery and of plunder, whatever its form may be - whether that of wars, imposition, violence, restrictions, frauds, &c. - monstrous abuses, but consistent with the thought which has given them birth. Oppression should be detested and resisted - it can hardly be called absurd."

Serf said...

I used to read Johan Norberg a lot. He always has a different take on Sweden.

CityUnslicker said...

Given the EU wants to bring back the constitution by stealth they will not stir up trouble by doing this.

However it does demonstrate their detachment from reality. Rathe like when they critise the anglo-saxon model etc.

Colin said...


"they critise the anglo-saxon model etc."

Excellent observation !

Voyager said...

How can you threaten the Swedes? .........they are likely to hire a psychologist to investigate why they are not embracing you for your kind words...........and to wonder why they have driven you to threaten is not called The Stockholm Syndrome for nothing

Anonymous said...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe thinks
communism is SUPER

even though it never works
because we are not robots

absurd thought -
God of the Universe feels
communism is fair

fools can't or won't think it through
idiots just keep scheming

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