Last week we reported that in a move which the FT dubbed would "arguably represent the biggest transfer of sovereignty since the creation of the single currency" Brussels was about to propose the creation of a standing European border force that could take control of the bloc’s external frontiers — even if a government objected.
Not unexpectedly, the plan went far beyond a Franco-German request to give Frontex more powers and staff. The request was made a few weeks after the Paris attacks, when frustration surfaced over Greece’s inability to better manage the flow of migrants as it emerged that at least two of the Paris attackers were registered as Syrian refugees on a Greek island. Why? Because Europe saw a real crisis opportunity and decided to jump on it.
As a result of this dramatic takeover of the most sacrosanct aspect of state sovereignty, a few unelected EU bureaucrats would effectively have veto rights over decisions how individuals states would police their borders: "Although member states would be consulted, they would not have the power to veto a deployment unilaterally."
Furthermore, the new agency would be able to deport people who do not have the right to remain in Europe, essentially voiding the protections that come with nationality at least among EU member states, as well as several that are currently outside of it.
The take home was simple: "goodbye sovereignty... all in the name of halting the endless onslaught of Syrian refugees, which ironically was unleashed in the first place just so Europe could get its supplies of natural gas from Qatar instead of Russia."
We wondered if Europe would quietly go along with this unprecedented sovereignty land grab by Brussels and Berlin, in the process admitting that the political structure of Europe has been forever changed and that Germany is effectively the new hegemon of the formerly independent states. And while the final outcome is almost preordained, because what Germany wants Germany will eventually get, the process will be noisier than expected.
According to the WSJ, the proposal to police the bloc’s external borders "is facing growing opposition ahead of an EU leaders’ summit this week on the continent’s migration crisis."
The first objecting state was, not surprisingly considering its history vis-a-vis German territorial and sovereign ambitions, Poland:
Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said Monday that while his country welcomed the strengthening of EU’s existing border agency, Frontex, the commission’s plan went too far.
“Strengthening Frontex, creating a kind of border guard would by all means be needed, beneficial,” he said on his way into a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels. “But the way the commission proposed it—for it to be a structure independent from nation states—is astounding.”
He added: “There’d be an undemocratic structure reporting to no one knows who.”
Well, that's the point!
The WSJ adds that Mr. Waszczykowski’s remarks were echoed by Hungary’s foreign minister Peter Szijjarto, who said that border controls were part and parcel of national sovereignty. “I would not support a diktat-based takeover of border controls,” Mr. Szijjarto said.
He also pointed out that the entire proposed pool of border guards wouldn’t suffice to guard just Hungary’s southern border. Indicatively, the commission’s proposal calls for at least 1,500 border guards that EU governments would have to put at the disposal of the new agency, to deploy within days should a crisis situation arise.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras welcomed the proposal on Friday "but said that it would work only if his country retained the ultimate authority to police the borders. He also repeated the government’s opposition to joint sea patrols with Turkey—a long-standing request by his European peers."
Considering Greek banks still exist only at the mercy of the ECB, which means de facto, Europe, it is unclear just what leverage he has to demand conditions.
Others, however, did not have too much problems with ceding sovereignty to Brussels:
Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Laj?ák, whose prime minister has gone so far as to ask that Greece to be kicked out of the Schengen accord, voiced cautious support for the plan Monday. “If one member state is unable to cope with its responsibilities, others should be able to come and assist,” he said. “We need a mechanism for that, the protection of the Schengen border is a shared responsibility.”
The defenders of the plan were ready: "diplomats from countries favorable to the project - including France, Germany and the Netherlands—said the commission’s plan was so ambitious for tactical reasons. “They put the bar so high because they know it will get watered down anyway,” one diplomat said."
So watered down from a demand for full abdication of sovereignty? Perhaps the compromise plan will reflect that. But what happens when the "Syrian refugee crisis" is not contained as a result of a "watered down" plan, or - as many expect will happen - there is another deadly terrorist act in Europe pushing the crisis level to new highs and emboldening Brussels to demand even more aggressive measures and even more steps that see individual state sovereignty disappear at the expense of a collective controlled by a handful of political (and financial ) oligarchs and plutocrats.
Once again we urge readers to keep a very close eye on this unprecedented attempt to dissolve Europe's borders because if it succeeds the implications would be far greater for the European project than a mere temporary or permanent Grexit.
Finally, we conclude as we always do when describing Brussels' unprecedented political power grab, with a simple forecast made by AIG in 2008, explaining "What Europe Wants."
To use global issues as excuses to extend its power:
- environmental issues: increase control over member countries; advance idea of global governance
- terrorism: use excuse for greater control over police and judicial issues; increase extent of surveillance
- global financial crisis: kill two birds (free market; Anglo-Saxon economies) with one stone (Europe-wide regulator; attempts at global financial governance)
- EMU: create a crisis to force introduction of “European economic government”
Unless the people of "Europe" finally stand up and reject the monster that has been spawned in Brussels, Europe will get all that it demands.