From our archives
Pew Research Center, 2013 - The European Union is the new sick man of Europe. The effort over the past half century to create a more united Europe is now the principal casualty of the euro crisis. The European project now stands in disrepute across much of Europe. Support for European economic integration – the 1957 raison d’etre for creating the European Economic Community, the European Union’s predecessor – is down over last year in five of the eight European Union countries surveyed by the Pew Research Center in 2013. Positive views of the European Union are at or near their low point in most EU nations, even among the young, the hope for the EU’s future. The favorability of the EU has fallen from a median of 60% in 2012 to 45% in 2013. And only in Germany does at least half the public back giving more power to Brussels to deal with the current economic crisis.
Daily Express, 2007 - Tony Blair wants to hand the
European Union radical new powers in his last act as Prime Minister,
it emerged today. The Prime Minister has welcomed controversial
plans to bring back the troubled EU constitution by the back
door - totally bypassing the need for public referendums on sweeping
new powers for Brussels.
German chancellor Angela Merkel has suggested ditching the name
"constitution" from the title and instead calling it
an "amending treaty" - to avoid having to seek the
approval of voters. French and Dutch voters rejected the original
plan - which would hand Brussels the power to represent individual
countries at the UN and change national laws - two years ago.
Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "If Tony Blair
thinks he can hoodwink the British people by smuggling in the
rejected EU constitution under another name, he had better think
again. He underestimates the British people. They will see right
through any shabby stitch-up. .
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph, 2001 - Racism and xenophobia would become serious crimes in Britain for the first time, carrying a prison sentence of two years or more, under new proposals put forward by Brussels. Holocaust denial or "trivialisation" of Nazi atrocities would be banned, along with and participation in any group that promotes race hate. The plans, drafted by the European Commission, define racism and xenophobia as aversion to individuals based on "race, colour, descent, religion or belief, national or ethnic origin". Ordinary crimes would carry heavier penalties if they are motivated in any way by racism or xenophobia, or if the culprit is carrying out "professional activity", such as a police officer . . . But the list also a covers a wide range of activities that sometimes fall into the sphere of protected political speech, such as "public insults" of minority groups, "public condoning of war crimes", and "public dissemination of tracts, pictures, or other material containing expressions of racism of xenophobia" - including material posted on far-Right internet websites . . . The law could potentially cover many stand-up comedians, and even Anne Robinson, who, during an appearance on BBC television this year, described the Welsh as "irritating". MORE