A daily blog on the thrills, spills, and frequent absurdities of the world's one and only 'non-imperial empire' - as Barroso himself called it - the European Union.

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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The fires of nationalism? Picture by Johann-Nikolaus Andrea.

The Commission is determined not to let Denmark go without a fight. Having declared its democratic independence over its own border policy, sealed by a vote in a sovereign, democratic parliament, the country now faces the wrath of the EU's executive body. The chief executive, Jose Manuel Barroso, has already weighed in. He warned of swift action against any member state seen to be defying the rules; the Commission 'will not hesitate' to enforce EU law. It was a thinly-veiled threat to Denmark; change course or we will take a harder line.

In reality, though, there's not much the Commission can do. It was able to refuse Germany, France, and Italy, and their three elected heads of state and two hundred million citizens, but only as long as they accepted its authority. Denmark refused to do so, which is why its parliament now has control over its own borders and those of Germany, France, and Italy do not. Barroso seems to realise this, and a letter written to the President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, seems to hint at change.

No, this change includes no plans for the Commission to relinquish any power. But it does suggest that they may be willing to change the terms of the Schengen agreement in order to accomodate the will of elected heads of state. Rather than the ability to cross borders in the EU without documentation, even in times of crisis, the Commission has proposed the right to impose 'temporary border controls' if such a situation arises where they would be necessary. Like a wave of hundreds of thousands of economic migrants from North African countries.

The decision to impose these border controls will be made at 'European level.' This means either the Commission itself, or on the agreement of the twenty-seven heads of state on the European Council, and so control over border policy in the Schengen zone will not be returned to democratic, sovereign national government. But the Commission sees the need for change; how long can it hold back the tide, I wonder?


This is the second article uploaded today - if you view this blog daily, you may have missed the first one.

1 comment:

  1. Lets just hope that the Danes can remain firm on this. As you say, there really is nothing the EU can do - but they can be terrible bullies etc. Look what happened to the Czech president.
    I just hope that this is the beginning of the end.....