Beyond social contract or before Peace of Westphalia?

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In 20th century, national states begun forging of its sovereignty in order to cede it to international organizations, through which, at the beginning, they could in a better way realize their national interest. The resignation from that national sovereignty is considered as a benchmark of social, economical and political progress.

The authority of the state slowly becomes less legitimized by social contract and more and more it is subjected to association agreements between state and international organizations. Although citizens of democratic states are entitled to express its opinion on association agreements, through representatives or in direct referendum, sometimes they are deprived of such possibility.

Can we, in that case, speak of progress or the regress is taking place?

Referenda rejecting Constitutional Treaty in France and Netherlands were cannily avoided by cosmetic changes: the word constitution was removed; some laws were canceled and some added; some high-level positions were branded with other names. Despite this fine tuning, main ideas of Constitutional Treaty – now Lisbon Treaty remained the same. Lisbon Treaty changes the structure of European Union, gives legal personality to it, and thus changes the international environment. In that way states will gradually resign of its authority on behalf of the Union. The legal ability of EU to represent its members through established bodies will cause that in international relations, Union will become more important partner than any of its single members. Providing, that EU will be able to consequently fulfill international agreements and delegate downwards their rulings.

Another union treaty was rejected by another Union member – Ireland. Today France threats Ireland with marginalization. The same France, that introduced the Treaty through backdoor, because how can we call parliamentary (indirect) ratification of the Treaty that was previously rejected by direct referendum. European politicians are pushing the Irish towards the wall, giving them the choice between becoming part of empire or its periphery. Here question arises again, can we call efforts to bypass social contract, a progress?

Another expression of “progress” is humanitarian intervention in Kosovo. In order to avoid genocide NATO intervened. From other point of view, separatists Kosovar guerillas UCK got help from stronger ally. Subsequently European Union institution without delay accepted the sovereignty of new being. They were not disturbed by facts that separatist guerillas were profiting on racketing, human and drugs trafficking etc. and leadership of new state is constructed out of past ringleaders. Such state formation had often place in history, but in history that ended with peace of Westphalia. Shortly saying – how much land you were able to get thanks your swords, sabers and rapiers, you could keep, providing that emperor could confirm your authority.

Finally Union makes more and more brave steps to control citizens’ conscience. Lisbon Treaty introduces European arrest warrant that has to enable more efficient prosecution of criminals. Regrettably among all hard crimes that nobody can question as drug trafficking, murders, rapes, terrorism, child pornography, there is a place for xenophobia crime. However the xenophobia is blameworthy social phenomenon, its definition is unclear. EU itself includes in that category, crimes of insult and defamatory statements, which so far are regulated by civil code of national states but not penal code – state prosecuted.

The other question is the choice?

European states need strong institutions in order to cope with growing competition caused by globalization. Democracies always needed a power to face antidemocratic systems, and those are rising after period of decline in 90’s. But real progress would be achieved when international organization has been created in order to defend interests of its citizens on international arena and protect their freedoms in internal environment, and not vice versa. Being ineffective institution in foreign affairs, being unable to speak one voice and cope with Iran trying to possess nuclear weapon, with growing China, with energetic dependence on autocratic regimes, gradual destabilization of Maghreb and increase of terrorist activity there, EU more and more tries to realize its power attributes by tight regulation of European citizens’ life.

Debate on European Union often evokes comparisons to Holy Roman Empire. However being in a certain way the union of states, there was no freedom of its member to run its foreign affairs independently and there was no freedom of conscience. Only peace of Westphalia brought the sovereignty of states and certain freedom of conscience basing on rule cuius regio eius religio. Later, liberal ideas limited authority brining its legitimization to social contract. European Union that tries to push the law, to threat and to bypass citizens of states moves backward before the Enlightment.

European Union promoting and imposing the solely righteous worldview of multiculturalism, social relativism and political correctness, is regressing before peace of Westphalia. European beaurocracy makes irresponsible steps in order to become emperor and pope, giving away welfare and controlling consciences.

Essay by Jan Wojcik published 26 June 2008 on Europe News

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