No apparently does mean Yes

This weekend saw the signing of the Berlin Declaration in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 'birth' (or hatching) of the EU. As was predicted earlier, the declaration was signed by jst three people: Merkel, Barrosso and Pöttering. Brussels Journal (among others) has the full text. Stop the Islamisation Of Europe has some pointed questions with regard to the text:
“We will also defend our freedom and civil rights against their enemies.”
How? By eradicating our rights to freedom of speech and that of the press? By allowing only selected groups to demonstrate while denying others?

“Racism and xenophobia must never again be given their chance.”
Then why have they not addressed the racism that exists in the muslim community? The belief that they are superior to us? The belief that all other than muslims are secondary? That Islam is the only way?
Until they do that, they are not representing us.

“The European Union will continue to promote democracy”.
How? By admitting the enemies of democracy into our midst?

Finally: The opening statement…
“Europe was for centuries an idea, a hope for freedom and understanding. This hope has been fulfilled.”
And having achieved that, we are now allowing it to be destroyed from within by forces from without.
EU Referendum is wondering about the Merkel-Barrosso-Pöttering threesome that did the actual signing:
How do these people have the nerve to present themselves as speaking for us, any of us? How can this woman, a leader of a different country, possibly speak for me?
And here, in the swampy north west corner of the EU? As we reported earlier, last week saw a debate on the letter our new cabinet sent to parliament on the subject of what a new EU treaty (not a constitution) should look like. In it our indefatigable PM, Jan-Peter Balkenende, swore to negotiate a treaty which would limit the powers of the EU, securing sovereignty of member states and granting national parliament more power to reign in the meddlesomeness of EU commission, council and parliament.

And thus we read in Trouw (NL) today: Netherlands will have to swallow the old EU Constitution.
The EU has neither the time nor the inclination to write an all new Constitution. Prime minister Balkenende accepts this with one minor reservation.
[...]
Only time will tell, he quoted Merkel. "The deadline is 2009 and I think we need to break the deadlock. But it all depends on the contents"
[...]
What is most important for the Dutch cabinet is that the new treaty does not give the impression of a constitution. If it does the Council of State might conclude yet again a difficult procedure for ratification is necessary, including dissolution of parliament or a referendum.
Apparently Merkel told JP that the old treaty was ratified by 27 prime ministers and foreign ministers and thus will be the basis of any 'new' treaty (same as the old, really). What this means was elaborated by Solana on the Sunday television show Buitenhof: If we don't call it a constitution, it isn't one and therefore a referendum is not needed. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, just call it a peacock and ignore the lack of elaborate tail feathers, that kind of logic.

So, as it turns out, that whole letter to parliament last week was merely a thinly disguised attempt at placating the natives that want to hold on to their country a little while longer. The elite have decided that all will be delivered into the hands of the EU and that is that. Much like the rest of the Dutch political elite, it seems that our PM is little more then a functionary, playing the tune his masters in the EU Commission tell him to play. I never thought I'd have to say this, but here it is: PM Jan-Peter Balkenende is an embarrasment. Thumping his chest at home but shriveling up at the first withering look from the 'colleagues' at the suggestions he makes.

Is there anybody in the Netherlands that has the courage to say: If that's the case you all can shove it? If you're going to be like that we don't want any part of it. Please, get lost.

Whenever the EU is discussed the euro-philes descend into a lovesick litany of what the Netherlands would be like without the EU. But really, would it be such a disaster? The Netherlands is the gateway to Europe, we have Schiphol and Rotterdam Harbor. The only real competitor to Rotterdam is Antwerp Harbor. To be able to reach Antwerp traffic will have to go through Dutch waters. The Netherlands is the logistical hub of the Eurozone and beyond. Germany and the European "Hinterland" depend on the Netherlands for their imports and exports. It is not like we have no bargaining chips to negotiate a settlement (or multiple bilateral agreements) once we decide to leave the EU.

Why that would not be such a bad idea has been detailed by for instance Fjordman on a number of occasions. But as of last week we also have the benefit of the inside view: Derk-Jan Eppink. Brussels Journal devoted a post to his new book on the inner workings of the EU, entitled "European Mandarins". In the post Eppink also compares the EU the the Soviet Union and finds more then just coincidental similarities:
  • The Soviet Union wanted to harmonize as much as possible within a single political framework. This is also the mission of the European Union.
  • The Soviet Union was administered by a political elite. So is the European Union.
  • The Soviet Union saw itself as a utopian state. The European federalists have much the same views.
  • The Soviet Union had a single bureaucratic center, like the one in the European Union.
  • The Soviet Union was dominated by a powerful secretary general. So are the European institutions.
  • The Soviet Union had party ideologists. The European Union has legal counselors.
  • The Soviet Union wanted to create a viable society through a series of official procedures. So does the European Union.
  • The Soviet Union had apparatchiks, the European Union has mandarins.
  • The Soviet Union had a five year plan. The European Union has a work program.
  • The Soviet Union saw socialist integration as an irreversible process. The European Union sees integration as a means for an "ever closer Union".
  • The Soviet Union claimed to act on behalf of a mythical worker. The European Union has its mythical citizen.
  • The Soviet Union wanted to surpass the United States. The European Union has been trying to do the same thing for many years.
This is not a system we should be giving ourselves, our country and our freedom. This is a system we should be fighting tooth and nail. It is time for the European citizenry to ditch the Berlin Declaration and any other freedom and sovereignty limiting declaration, statement or treaty once and for all. And time to ratify and adopt the Fjordman Declaration:
We demand that our national governments should immediately and without delay pull their countries out of the European Union, which should be dismantled entirely.
Only then will be be able to safeguard our own future. Our politicians, after all, will not. That they've proven by their actions.

[INSTANT UPDATE] Read also EU Referendums take on the statements of the Pope regarding the Berlin Declaration. Coming from opposite sides (to some extent, anyways) Helen Szamuely finds a lot to agree with.

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