So we now have a copy of the text, and it appears that after major league surgery, and despite earlier reports the finished document may well be anodyne enough for the Heads of Government to sign it. However I still have my doubts. The translation is by a friend and thus is not the official final text in English but is close enough.
Declaration for the 50th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome
For centuries Europe was an idea, a hope of peace and understanding. This hope is now fulfilled. European unification has made peace and well-being possible for us. It has created a sense of community and overcome obstacles. Every Member has helped to unite Europe and to strengthen democracy and the rule-of-law. We have the love-of-freedom of the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe to thank that today Europe's unnatural partition has at last been superseded. Through European union, we have diverted our counsels from bloody conflicts and painful history. Today, we live together, in a way, which was never possible before.
OK here we go again. NATO has made peace and well being possible. For without the need to fund the massive expense of defense against the Soviet Union the EEC countries were free to spend far more of their money on social projects. The fact that this has resulted in higher than necessary unemployment and a level of social breakdown that is the horror of our age seems to be neither here no there. We have the love of freedom of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to thank as well you know. Without their steadfastness against the Communist East, against the express wishes of most continental western European leaders, the Soviet bloc would not have been faced down. The peoples of Poland, Czechoslovakia and elsewhere may well have loved freedom, and the evidence of 1956, 1967, 1981 and others prove this. But their efforts would have come to naught without steadfast support from the US.
We citizenesses and citizens of the European Union are, to our good fortune, united.
In the European Union, we are developing our common ideals: for us, the individual is the focus. His dignity is indisputable. His rights are inalienable. Women and men are accounted equal. We strive for peace and freedom, for democracy and the rule-of-law, for mutual respect and responsibility, for welfare and security, for tolerance and participation, for justice and solidarity.
This week in Germany a judge decided that it was OK for a Moroccan man to beat his wife. So much for equality and the rule of law. Nice sentiments though, but as we all know, words are cheap.
We live and work together in the European Union in a unique way. This is expressed in the democratic participation of the Member-States and the European institutions. The European Union is founded upon equality and communal solidarity. In this way, we have made possible a fair balance of interests between the Member-States.
The problem is that many of us don’t work, but I will let that pass. The collapsing turnout in European Elections across Europe (though funnily enough not in the UK in 2004 – maybe having UKIP on the voting slip has some odd effects) gives the lie to that. And to describe the European Institutions – such as the Commission (appointed executive) – as democratic is pure NewSpeak.
In the European Union, we affirm the uniqueness and manifold traditions of its members. Its open borders, and vital multiplicity of languages, cultures and regions, enrich us. There are many goals, which we cannot reach alone, but only together. The European Union, the Member-States and their regions and localities divide the work between them.
We acknowledge the uniqueness of the traditions and then attempt to harmonise them out of sight. Why else would there be a drive to write a common European History text book? Then there is this feeling that without borders no cultural or social idea would travel. Then how the devil do they explain the Reformation, the Counter Reformation, the Renaissance?
We stand before great challenges, which do not stop at national borders. The European Union is our answer to them. Only together can we safeguard our social ideal for the future for the benefit of all the citizenesses and citizens of the European Union. This European model combines economic success and social responsibility. The common market and the euro make us strong. Thus we are able to shape the increasing globalisation of commerce, and ever growing competition in the international markets, according to our concepts of good practice. Europe's riches lie in knowledge and the abilities of people; these are the key to growth, employment and social solidarity.
Great Challenges, maybe, but what are they, and how does the EU propose to meet them? Economic success, oh sorry I must have missed that. The Euro makes us strong, so why did the FT poll in January have a majority of Eurozone citizens believing that it did quite the opposite. Good thing that Europe’s riches doesn’t lie in riches, it doesn’t seem to have too many of them. And if it does lie in knowledge, how is it that so few of its universities in the worlds top 50? If America has both the cash, and the knowledge, and by the way is buying our culture? The Getty Museum in California.
Together, we shall fight terrorism and organised crime. In the struggle against the opponents of freedom and citizens' rights, we shall thereby defend these things. Racism and xenophobia must never be given an opportunity again.
Together we will fight terrorism, hmmm, by voting like Spaniards? What about freedom of speech?
We are determined that the world's conflicts shall be peacefully resolved and that people will not bet he victims of war, terrorism or violence. The European Union wishes to promote freedom and development. We wish to drive back poverty, hunger and disease. In this way we wish to take an even more leading role.
Darfur? Iran? North Korea? What they seem to think is that if they just keep giving people money that they will become perfect people. Well if history teaches us anything it teaches us that there will always be conflict and war. We can mitigate it a bit, maybe even delay it a bit, but without understanding what the Catholics understood, that as humans we are flawed then there can never be any effective public policy. If you think you can create perfect people, you will fail.
In the politics of energy, and in protecting the climate, we wish to go forward together and do our duty, in order to avoid the global threat of climate-change.
Aaaaargh. There is a threat from climate change, agreed. Whether any law made by man can have the slightest effect upon it is open to question. But with closed minds and the desire for control in their hearts these numpties are committed to bringing in legislation that will crucify the developing world, penalise the poor and damage the peoples of Europe and beyond in a myriad ways.
The European Union will live on in the future thanks to its openness and the goodwill of its members, at the same time making firm, together, the internal development of the European Union. The European Union will also continue to promote democracy, stability and welfare beyond its borders.
The European Union will live on, if it does by the continual refusal to allow its peoples to have any say in its future. This of course will lead to its downfall. Fools, the deluded fools. If you cannot practice democracy at home, how on earth do you think you can export it beyond your borders?
As a result of European union, the dream of former generations has become reality. Our history warns us to protect this good fortune for future generations. For this purpose, we must renew the political form of Europe, ever and again, and in timely fashion. Today, therefore, 50 years after the signing of the Treaties of Rome, we have agreed on the objective of placing the European Union on a renewed, common foundation, before the 2009 elections to the European Parliament.
A few people in the political elite saw a way in which power could be concentrated in their own hands. This is a dream that has come and gone across the millennia. This “renewed, common foundation”. No relation to the rejected Constitution by any chance. It is? Oh in that case you can keep it.
For we know that Europe is our common future.
Oh no we don’t.
Can we leave yet?