[OPE-L] The European non-imperial empire?

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Mon Jul 16 2007 - 18:15:45 EDT

STRASBOURG, France (EUX.TV) -- Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, together with Vice-President Margot Wallstrom on Tuesday presented the European Commission's proposal on the upcoming conference that will shape the text of the new EU reform treaty. No surprise there. The proposal will be discussed in the full plenary session of the European Parliament on Wednesday morning, together with the new Portuguese presidency of the EU. It looks like Barroso is going to get a warm, if not hot welcome from the parliament. At Tuesday's press conference in Strasbourg, the Commission President was asked what the European Union would be after the new reform treaty has been negotiated and agreed. His answer: Europe is an empire, a non-imperial one, must be said. http://www.eux.tv/Article.aspx?articleId=11237

Mr Barroso's comments came as he announced the European Commission's wholehearted support for the new EU reform treaty.  http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article2056576.ece

The exact text of what he said differs slightly according to different sources, but appears to have been the following:

"We are a very special construction unique in the history of mankind. Sometimes I like to compare the EU as a creation to the organisation of empires. We have the dimension of Empire but there is a great difference. Empires were usually made with force with a centre imposing diktat, a will on the others. Now what we have is the first non-Imperial empire. We have 27 countries that fully decided to work together and to pool their sovereignty. I believe it is a great construction and we should be proud of it. At least, we in the Commission are proud of it." http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/2244

In an attempt to limit the damage, Mr Barroso's spokesman said: "No one needs to have imperial nightmares tonight. President Barroso, at his press conference on the new EU Reform Treaty, referred to a quote by the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk to emphasise that the EU is anything but a superstate. "EU member states came together peacefully, democratically and voluntarily - the president would not want it any other way." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/07/11/weu111.xml


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