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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Friday, 23 September 2011

Does the EU Have Power over our Army?

Nigel Farage has mentioned Gaddafi to van Rompuy once before.

The EU seems to possess an invisible hand in British military matters. I have written about this before - one of the very first posts on this blog, in fact - where I noted something amiss in the way that European states had all suddenly shifted their stance on Libya, after a speech by Herman van Rompuy. It is van Rompuy again who has shed some light on possible EU interference. He stated publically, in a video message to the UN General Assembly, that 'we (the EU) did it (intervene in Libya) via our member states.' In other words, the member states were not acting of their own accord, but on the instruction of the European Union.

This may be just more arrogant grandstanding by a man whose organisation is desperate to prove itself worthy of its seat. He may simply be claiming EU credit for something that was not of their doing. In the same speech, as Nile Gardiner reports, he claimed that the EU was the fatherland of democracy. I suspect that he meant Europe. But, however dubious the claim, the fact that it was made at all should raise eyebrows: the head of the European Union teling us that they were responsible for military deployment, not our elected government, lays bare the level to which democratic control of our institutions has been subordinated to the whims of unelected individuals.

The speech is important in other ways: the Presidency of the European Council now speaks on behalf of the 'Union as a whole.' There was some controversy earlier this year when the European Union announced that it sought a UN seat: permanent representation of its own, rather than relying on whichever elected national head of government held the 'rotating presidency.' And now it has finally won that right. That does not mean that national representation has been ceded - yet. But it has certainly been diluted.

Also, in regards to van Rompuy's claim that - via its member states - the EU brought down Gaddafi, here's him facing Nigel Farage in one of their increasingly irregular spats. Diplomatic tact, maybe. But he doesn't seem too keen to take Gaddafi down in that picture, does he?

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