The actual mission of the European Union (2) – undermining the rule of law

11 05 2005

continuation, the beginning

When ‘making Europe’, the EU missionaries destroy the rule of law in EU member-states. To please them, the government of Lithuania violates the Constitution, adopts harmful laws, and fakes official macroeconomic data.

The mission of ‘making Europe’

The once extremely efficient European Communities have been sacrificed for the hazy vision of the EU that seeks to govern a politically unified Europe. Its main driving force is the newly emerged class of ‘European’ bureaucrats. Well-off and influential, having abandoned their homelands, most of them have developed a strong feeling of being ‘missionaries of Europe’.

They are making Europe – what ‘Europe’ and for whom?
The Commission of the European Eunion, 2005

‘Making Europe’ is now conceived as a historical mission by many officials of the European Union including most members of the EU Parliament. The number of people who have devoted their lives to the mission is soaring, and the sense of it being a goal in itself is growing simultaneously. This means that more and more politicians, bureaucrats, journalists, lawyers, and even judges think that many things, including democracy and the rule of law, can be sacrificed for building the ‘State of Europe’.

The Community law is compromised

For a long time, the law of the European Communities (acquis communautaire) was developing according to the principle of subsidiarity. Unanimity was prevailing in the lawmaking procedures of the Communities; thus, only the laws that were appropriate for all member states were adopted. The states that had found any new legal act of the Communities unacceptable could veto it, opt out, or negotiate long transitional periods for implementing it.

Now, the countries that find themselves in the minority from time to time have to implement such EU laws that are unsuitable or even harmful to their economies.

However, the things changed with the establishment of the EU. The principle of unanimity, the so-called ‘common denominator’ in the EC lawmaking, that was prerequisite to ensure coherence of the acquis communautaire and its relevance to the actual needs of the people was sacrificed for the sake of qualified majority vote necessary for the desire of the EU to imitate a national state. Therefore, now, the countries that find themselves in the minority from time to time have to implement such EU laws that are unsuitable or even harmful to their economies.

The relevance of the EU law was finally lost as the new members from Eastern and Central Europe joined the European Union. They were much poorer than the former EU members; however, they were not given any support comparable to that received by Greece, Portugal, or Spain.

The Eastern and Central European countries are not able to meet the high EU standards, especially those related to environmental protection; therefore, they are physically unable to implement the EU law that they already have formally enacted. Thus, the European Union makes its member states adopt such laws that certainly will not be implemented.

This is only one of the many ways the EU, intentionally or not, is destroying lawfulness and justice in its member states. Although many interests and values are being sacrificed ‘for Europe’, lawfulness seems to suffer most. The history of Lithuania’s integration into the EU is a good example of how the ‘mission of making Europe’ destroys the rule of law.

The introduction of ‘making Europe’ in Lithuania – the first big sacrifice ‘for the sake of Europe’

In Lithuania, the death penalty was abolished in 1998 by recognizing it unconstitutional. However, the capital punishment was not even mentioned in the Lithuanian constitution. Furthermore, those who drafted the Constitution and those who voted for it were certain that it permitted (or even stated necessity of) the death penalty.

The death penalty is a controversial issue in itself; however, the way it was abolished established a dangerous precedent for Lithuania’s legal and democratic culture.

The true cause of such a hasty, undemocratic, and paralegal abolition of the death penalty doubtlessly was together with the Treaty of Amsterdam adopted EU declaration condemning the capital punishment. The declaration was considered an imperative order for all the countries seeking EU membership.

Despite being a necessary precondition of accession to the EU, the death penalty could not be abrogated via a democratic political process in Lithuania, as the majority of the people and politicians firmly supported it. Therefore, the constitution of Lithuania had to be abused in order to satisfy the whim of ‘Europe’.

Anyway, it was the first case of so utterly sacrificing the law and justice for political objectives. The rule of law had been broken, yet the government and the media feeding from its hands did their best to convince the people that satisfaction of the EU bureaucrats was worth it. The death penalty is a controversial issue in itself; however, the way it was abolished established a dangerous precedent for Lithuania’s legal and democratic culture.

The political agreement that forbade speaking negatively about the European Union

In order to ensure Lithuania’s accession to the EU, all the influential Lithuanian political parties concluded an agreement ‘to refrain from any criticism towards the European Union’. The agreement was extremely effective. Making public any negative information about the EU by a party member at the time was considered betrayal of the party, and it could result even in ruining their professional career.

The habit to refrain from speaking negatively about the EU has developed into an imperative tradition of politicians and the media.

Consequently, only three members of the Seimas (the parliament of Lithuania) dared to oppose Lithuania’s accession to the EU publicly. As it was described in the previous article, the rule of law was virtually abolished during the referendum on Lithuania’s accession to the EU; however, most politicians, the well paid media, and the judiciary had accepted it as a necessary means of achieving something more important than democracy, the rule of law, and justice.

The habit to refrain from speaking negatively about the EU has developed into an imperative tradition of politicians and the media. Although it was introduced as a temporary means of persuading Lithuanians to vote for the EU membership in the above-mentioned referendum, nowadays, any critical attitude towards the EU is considered bad manners for a politician or any other member of the ‘elite’.

The agreement to refrain from any criticism of the EU was beyond doubt illegal at least in the extent it concerned the members of the Seimas. It was incompatible with the duties of a Seimas member and the obligations arising from a MP’s oath. However, the agreement was a prerequisite for humbly fulfilling the countless preconditions for accession to the EU that in their turn played an important role in further destroying the rule of law.

Inadequacies of the EU law undermine the whole law system of Lithuania

Even with the best intentions, Lithuania is unable to fulfil all the strict provisions of the EU law. Such a poor country cannot afford all the ambitious EU standards that are found too expensive even by some prosperous states. A good example could be the EU requirements of humane treatment of animals. How dare anybody require that Lithuanian farmers who enjoy monthly incomes of about hundred euros provide toys for pigs or deliver their farm animals to special ‘humane’ slaughterhouses? Of course, hardly anybody cares about such ‘laws’.

Even some of the wealthiest EU countries have serious problems with observing the ‘Convergence criteria’; faking official economic statistics is sometimes the only way out for Lithuania.

Another good example is the so-called ‘Convergence criteria’ that establish for the members of the European monetary system upper limits for the basic ecnomic indicators: annual inflation rate, budget deficit, public debt, exchange rates, and long term interest rates. Even some of the wealthiest EU countries have serious problems with observing the criteria; faking official economic statistics is sometimes the only way out for Lithuania. For example, in order to meet the three-percent of the GDP limit on the state budget deficit, the Lithuanian government even had to extend the fiscal year in 2003!

Nobody observes idiotic laws; however, the rapid proliferation of them undermines the very status of the law in the society. The current sporadic course of European integration makes the law of Lithuania a mess of contradictory texts that cannot be obeyed due to its very nature, because the law is losing connections with the Lithuanian reality. As a result, even the most relevant legal acts are not respected in the society any more. In other words, with expansion of the EU, the coherence and authority of the whole Lithuanian law system is being undermined.

The state of law is replaced by the ‘mission of Europe’

Thus, ‘making Europe’ gradually destroys the rule of law in Lithuania. The ‘mission of Europe’ has become an imperative, for which most other values and principles have to be sacrificed. From seemingly ‘painless’ abuses, such as the above-mentioned case of paralegal abolition of the death penalty, it has grown up into the common practice of ignoring the law in every case this is needed by the ‘missionaries of Europe’. The accession referendum seemingly was the milestone for consolidation of the tendency.

Seemingly ‘painless’ abuses have grown up into the common practice of ignoring the law in every case this is needed by the ‘missionaries of Europe’.

In 2004, during the impeachment of the previous president of Lithuania Rolandas Paksas, most of the media campaign against the then president was already based on the ‘accusation’ that he had good relations with some Russians, which ‘could infringe the image of Lithuania in the eyes of Europe’ – and hardly anybody dared even to question it. The very procedure of the impeachment of Paksas was clearly unconstitutional; the decision to oust the former president was not even legally binding because it was not properly signed. However, all this did not even gain publicity because ‘it would have terribly damaged Europe’s opinion about Lithuania’.

However, the culmination of ‘breaking the rules for the sake of Europe’ was reached with ratifying the so-called ‘Constitution for Europe’.

The ratification of ‘the Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe’ in Lithuania

The Seimas of Lithuania affirmed the EU constitutional treaty in less than two weeks after it had been signed, so there was not enough time even to read it carefully. What this means for democracy, is a separate question; one thing is evident, however – the leaders of the ruling parties that actually decided to adopt the constitution in the Seimas and so quickly did it for reasons unrelated to the ‘Constitution for Europe’ itself.

According to Günter Verheugen, ‘Lithuania is the jewel in the crown of Europe’
Vice-president of the EU Commission Günter Verheugen

Most probably, the political leaders decided to ratify the treaty themselves because they were certain that a referendum on the issue would have no chance of success having in mind all the dirty tricks that were necessary for Lithuania’s accession to the EU.

Hopefully, it was not the remuneration for not suing the then government of Lithuania for certain public image formation strategies, such as including into the budget some tax revenues due for the next year in order to achieve impressive figures of economic performance.

No doubt, the internal EU row over the occupation of Iraq played an important role there. Lithuania always thoroughly supports the international policy of the US, so the Lithuanian Government and its allies in the EU have to put lots of effort in order to neutralise the current anti-American stand of France, Germany and the other irrational EU members. Having adopted the ‘Constitution for Europe’, and Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey having joined the EU, it will be much easier to convince the French, Germans, Belgians and the other ‘stubborn’ European nations that ‘it is necessary to appropriately consider the legitimate interests of the US’ instead of ‘playing the games’ of pacifism, sovereignty, and international law.

Anyway, the major explanations provided for the people were – ‘we are making Europe’ and ‘Lithuania will look so cool being the first to have affirmed the European constitution’. The rapid ratification of the EU constitutional treaty was presented as a ‘proof of faithfulness to Europe’. The explanations fully satisfied the media and politicians; however, the ratification procedure was clearly unconstitutional.

The Lithuanian constitution stipulates that the ‘Constitution for Europe’ may be adopted only by referendum

The constitution of Lithuania states unambiguously: ‘The most significant issues concerning the life of the State and the People shall be decided by referendum’. Moreover, the article 148 of the Constitution stipulates ‘The provision of Article 1 of the Constitution that “the State of Lithuania is an independent democratic republic“ may only be amended by a referendum in which at least three-fourths of the electorate of Lithuania vote in favour thereof’.


For what reason could a loyal citizen refrain from boycotting any political decision or legal document that flagrantly violates the constitution of their homeland?

Because Europe is more important than the homeland

Because national constitutions do not matter in the European Union

Because the epoch of national constitutions is coming to its end

Because they have to

The citizens loyal to their homeland must boycott all the unconstitutional political decisions and legal documents

Thus, a referendum is necessary in order to give any legal status to such an important and far-reaching document as the ‘Constitution for Europe’. The constitution of Lithuania formulates it so explicitly, that refusing to recognise it absolutely binding has to be considered fraud and disrespect for the Lithuanian constitution and, therefore, for the people of Lithuania that adopted it in a nation-wide referendum.

Has the mission finally defeated the lawfulness and justice?

Such a brazen disrespect for the constitution of Lithuania seems to be a logical result of the process of the gradual abolition of the rule of law for the sake of ‘making Europe’. A couple of years ago, the Parliament of Lithuania would not yet have dared to ratify the ‘Constitution for Europe’ itself. However, the sense of ‘making Europe’ of the Lithuanian politicians, media, and judiciary has little by little developed into a strong feeling of mission, for which many other things can be sacrificed.

The ‘Constitution for Europe’ will be eventually ratified by all the members of the EU. If legal methods do not do, the powerful ‘missionaries of Europe’ will think out other ways for accomplishing their mission. As the Lithuanian experience demonstrates, they always succeed.

It is not so obvious, however, that constitutionality of Lithuania’s ratification of the EU constitution will never be questioned in court. Undoubtedly, there is a tradition formed by the international courts in Strasbourg and Luxemburg – seemingly also consisting of judges with a strong sense of mission – to recognise even blatantly illegal constitutional acts irreversible when they serve well for ‘making Europe’. However, if there accidentally appears an old-fashioned judge still naively respecting democracy and the rule of law, – it might turn out that in Lithuania the EU constitutional treaty has not been ratified at all.


What is more important, justice or Europe?

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©  Giedrius // 2005 - 2021