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50 years of misrule

26 March 2007

On 25 March 1957 the process of European political integration began with the signing of the infamous Treaty of Rome. Initially signed by the leaders of France, West Germany, Italy, Belguim, Netherlands and Luxembourg, it established what was then termed the European Economic Community (subsequently amended by the Treaty of Maastricht to the European Community).

Another treaty was signed the same day establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom): both treaties in conjunction with the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, which expired in 2002, have become known as the Treaties of Rome.

The original Treaty was amended by all the subsequent treaties; the Treaty of Nice sought to consolidate all treaties into one document but the EC Treaty as amended remains a single section within this, with its own article numbering.

Though the entry into force of the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993 was a further step in the direction of European integration, most decisions of the institutions of the Union are still taken on the legal basis of EC Treaty, which remains the main source of community legislation.

The key provision, which has spawned every centralising move in Europe since, of the Treaty of Rome, is found in its preamble that signatory States were "determined to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe". In this way, the member States specifically affirmed the political objective of a progressive political integration.

The primary means was through economic integration. In fact, the brand new institution was a customs union. As a consequence, the EEC was colloquially known as "Common Market". The same strategy of the attainment of ultimate political integration through economic fusion can be seen locally today in the agenda of the British and Irish Governments and Sinn Fein for an all-island economy. The new strategy sought to adopt a process of integration that gradually incorporated diverse economic sectors and that established supranational institutions with increasingly political competences. The EEC from its birth was based on a series of institutions: the European Commission, the European Assembly, later known as European Parliament, and the Court of Justice, whose competences were enlarged and modified in the diverse agreements and treaties that supplemented the Treaty of Rome. 

To sum up, a process was put in motion in which progressive economic integration was paving the way to the long term objective, the political union. The stalled Constitution is but the latest piece of the jigsaw.

Of course, an inevitable consequence of "ever closer union" is ever reducing national powers. Hence the haemorrhaging of national powers to Brussels under every succeeding treaty, so that today up to 70% of our laws originate from the EU, proposed exclusively by the unelected Commission.

Speaking of the 50th anniversary, which has been much hyped by euro-fanatics, Jim Allister said, "It may be right to note the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, but not as something to celebrate, but as something to lament. It has become an ever-tightening stranglehold on our nation, its freedom of action, choice and democracy, so that today we are enslaved to Brussels and its diktats."

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