SENZA CENSURA n.11
Italy, June 2003
EUROPEAN POWER AND EUROPE AS POWER
On 5th november 1956 English and French paratroopers occupied Said Port and they advanced to "free" the Suez Canal. Some days before, Israel had occupied the Sinai, and air and sea froces of France and England had broken the aerial and naval Egyptian defence. The so called Suez crisis, started on 26th july 1956 when the Egyptian President Nasser announced the nationalization of the Suez Company (the Universal Company), was going to fonish.
The Company's property assured to France and England the control and management of the 70% of oil production in the Gulf.
But, paradoxically, the military forcing of old European colonial powers excluded them for ten years from the control of Middle East, finally stopping their "colonial" influence and favouring instead "new" powers of the so called bi-polar steadiness. During those days, the U.N.O. ( which was the new born "global institution" of winner powers after the 2nd world inter-imperialist war) imposed to old colonial troops a humiliating withdraw.
On the end of this fact it has had importance the failure of the first project for an imperialist European pole, with an economic ground (the CECA, 1951) and a military one, the European Community of Defence-rejected by the French national Assembly on 30th august 1954).
Because of the decreased economic power of the main colonial countries of the previous century, the whole European countrieslived in a condition of "sharecroppers" inside some balances of power established by the new continental powers (USA and URSS). But in Europe the political and military inadequacy of these countries caused a hard, long and contradictory process of economic and political resettlement of the " cradle of imperialism" as Lenin called it.
A contradictory process conditioned by relationships among world powers, determined by international developments of the class struggle. While G.B. was establishing a "special relationship" with the USA, France was retiring its adhesion to the NATO, to have an autonomous nuclear potential, and it was establishing a steady relationship with the future economic mover of the new European power: Germany. For this reason, we can consider the birth of the EEC (1957) and the EFTA on G.B.'s initiative (1959), as aspects of the same process. Beyond different political lines inside the attempt of a new "only political" constitution of an imperialist European pole, the development of the class struggle and the capitalistic production the world over have determined the path of this process: this explains the false concept of political supremacy.
During the 60s economic boom, communities centralized their executive organs (1965) and, 18 months before the foreseen date, they realized the coming into force of the customs union among the "six" countries of the Community (1st july 1968).
The emerging crisis influenced the decision to enlarge the Community and to aim to the monetary union: the Aja Conference (1-2 december 1969) fixed the aims then realized by the institution of the "european monetary snake" (1972) and by the entry of U.K., Ireland and Denmark (1st january 1973).
Both on the "social" aspect of the class struggle in the European metropoly and the "trade" aspect of the so called energetic crisis and the dollar which cannot be changed, the extension and sharpening of the crisis seems to act towards directions which seem to be contradictory, into the building process of the European imperialist pole. On one side it is increasing the inter-national characteristic of its institutions (formalization of the European Council in 1975: periodical meetings of its heads of state and prime ministers) and it is instituted the European Monetary System (1978); on the other side they look for European masses' agreement (with the first election of the European Parliament with direct universal suffrage in june 1979) and they go on with the enlargement of the Community to other countries-in perticular Spain and Portugal-in way to give the Community a continental dimension.
In this period, there is a grest intervention and support by "global" financial institutions (in particular the IMF and the World Bank) to realize "structural settlement plans" among class relationships into metropolies and "dependent" countries.
The European Community, becoming the main trade power in the world, can speed up its economic and political integration. Both about "global" and European "inter-national" relationships. It's enough to consider numbers of the English foreigner trade: in 70s its trade exchange was done with the other Community's countries for the 31%, and the 18% with the USA; at the beginning of the 90s, the exchange with EEC countries had increased around the 54% and with the USA it was reduced to the 13%, while, in the same period, American investments in England were reduced as those with EEC countries.
By these preconditions (a relative social reconciliation, an almost continental extension and trade power) it speeds up the process which, planned by the Commission White Book in 1985, will bring to the drawing up of the Schengen treaty (1985), the coming into effect of the Unique Act of 1986 (1st July 1987) and the foundation of the European Union (Maastricht Treaty, 1992).
They emerge two fundamental and specular requirements ( by a political point of view) , in the management of communitarian institutions and single E.U.' s countries: the institution of an "European judicial space" (with the whole of "anti-terrorism" agreements, the institution of the first squad of Europol and European Bench) and the so called process of bringing executive national state power (which has brought to the institutional strengthening of every single state's executive, and for the first time it has brought up the question of giving in shares of national sovereignty to communitarian institutions).
A process conditioned by "internal" factors (the German unification and E.U.' s enlargement) and, above all, by the new liberalist phase of the world trade and by an increased process of alignment among imperialism hierarchies ( from the URSS fall to the first Gulf war and Balkans conflicts).
Although the E.U. had started the new millennium with a new powerful instrument for the "global" balance of power (the Euro), it was again clear the existing gap between the European power and the institutional structuring of Europe as power. So, the Laeken European Council (14-15/12/2001) closed with this statement about U.E.'s future: "Following what has been decided during the Nice summit, the European Assembly has adopted a new Declaration on E.U.'s future in which it hopes for a "more simple, stronger Union in pursuing its essential aims, and more present in the world".
" In order to pave the way for the next Intergovernmental Conference as broadly and openly as possible, the European Council has decided to convene a Convention composed of the main parties involved in the debate on the future of the Union. In the light of the foregoing, it will be the task of that Convention to consider the key issues arising for the Union's future development and try to identify the various possible responses.
The European Council has appointed Mr V. Giscard d'Estaing as Chairman of the Convention and Mr G. Amato and Mr J.L. Dehaene as Vice-Chairmen".
" The Convention will be composed of 15 representatives of the Heads of State or Government of the Member States (one from each Member State), 30 members of national parliaments (two from each Member State), 16 members of the European Parliament and two Commission representatives. The accession candidate countries will be fully involved in the Convention's proceedings. They will be represented in the same way as the current Member States (one government representative and two national parliament members) and will be able to take part in the proceedings without, however, being able to prevent any consensus which may emerge among the Member States.The Praesidium of the Convention will be composed of the Convention Chairman and Vice-Chairmen and nine members drawn from the Convention (the representatives of all the governments holding the Council Presidency during the Convention, two national parliament representatives, two European Parliament representatives and two Commission representatives). The Convention will hold its inaugural meeting on 1 March 2002, when it will appoint its Praesidium and adopt its rules of procedure. Proceedings will be completed after a year, that is to say in time for the Chairman of the Convention to present its outcome to the European Council".
"It will draw up a final document which may comprise either different options, indicating the degree of support which they received, or recommendations if consensus is achieved.
The final document will provide a starting point for discussions in the Intergovernmental Conference, which will take the ultimate decisions".
It is known that the Convention's work is closing during these days and the foreseen steps for the approval of the final text of the European Constitution, are the Salonicco European Council on 20 June 2003 ( during which they are going to submit the final document of the convention, and which is going to be participated by ten new European members: Cyprus, Estonia, Leetonia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia) and the inter- parliamentary Conference (CIG) in Rome on 15 October 2003; the CIG is a competent organ in approving the Draft of European Constitution and which work is going to last three months.
So, they think they will approve the final text within the Spring 2004 and before the elections of the new European Parliament.
Inside the intentions of the European imperialist bourgeoisie, and though the realization of Maastricht principles ( economic integration, common foreign and security policy, European "judicial power") the first institutional structure of Europe should become concrete.
But this path is necessarily conditioned by both internal and external "factors".
About internal factors and the giving up of national sovereignty shares, it had to emerge the question of power balances between national states/governments and Union institutions/governments. The most recent public discussion about the realization of the Convention project underline above all this aspect of building Europe as power. The problem seems to be the design a double-head Union (which formalizes with two "presidential" positions- the European Assembly President and the E.U. Commission President- the power sharing between national governments and the Union government about "Market and sword" in the future political action of E.U.); or a one-head union (which formalizes with the meeting in a single position between the European Assembly President and the Commission President, Union's interests than those of national governments).
Nevertheless, all the discussion about balancing of national institutional powers and Union ones, on the contrary can be linked to external ties met by the E.U.
By this point of view, the recent second Gulf war and the following occupation of Iraq by the "superpower" USA, could favour and accelerate the constitution of the European power (maybe looking for the "old" project of Europe with a federal nucleus and a co-federal area, in front of the resistance carried on by some national governments to leave forever the principle of unanimity on founding matters of "Union's sovereignty". The whole of this will be defined by the inter-parliamentary Conference, but at the moment it is necessary to create debate and "agreement". Meanwhile, with less public clamour, it has been recently signed the agreement between seven Union countries (France, Germany, England, Spain, Belgium, Luxemburg and Turkey) and Airbus for 180 military airplanes "A400M" (they have been invested 20 thousand millions of Euro); he has been appointed the President of E.U 's military Command (UEMC), the general Rolando Mosca Moschini, who is going to take position for three years in April 2004 (so we can presume that the Union has yet fixed when the second pillar of the NATO has to come into force).
On May, during the meeting of Foreign Ministers and E.U.' s Defence, it has been asked to remove expenses for military investments from the "Steadiness Pact".
The "European Charter" needs the same time of the constitution of the Entity for European Safety and Defence to be drawn up.
Fifty years since the "Suez forcing", the "Gulf forcing" can help it to come back together into the tragic middle-east show.