‘In Europe, not run by Europe’ part XXVII

Dateline: House of Commons, London – 11 November 2010
Subject: Government written answer to a question from MP, Dominic Raab
Topic: EU Justice and Home Affairs

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers the European Commission has to monitor UK compliance with those EU Justice and Home Affairs instruments to which the UK has opted in, under the provisions of the Lisbon treaty; and what jurisdiction the European Court of Justice has over such monitoring.

James Brokenshire: There are specific provisions in the treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’) to enable the European Commission to monitor UK compliance with EU Justice and Home Affairs instruments to which the UK has opted in under the provisions of the Lisbon treaty. There may also be provisions in specific instruments that provide provisions for the Commission to monitor compliance with that particular instrument.

Article 258 TFEU empowers the European Commission to deliver a reasoned opinion to a member state when it considers that the state has failed to fulfil an obligation under the treaties. This includes any obligation arising under those EU Justice and Home Affairs instruments to which the UK has opted in since the entry into the force of the treaty of Lisbon. If the member state fails to comply, the Commission may bring the matter before the Court of Justice of the European Union. In accordance with article 260 TFEU, if the Court of Justice of the European Union finds that the member state has failed to fulfil the obligation the member state shall be required to take the necessary measures to comply with the judgment.

Just another day in the utopian European Union Provinces of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and ‘The Regions’.

8 Responses to “‘In Europe, not run by Europe’ part XXVII”


  1. 1 Gawain 12/11/2010 at 2:26 pm

    Right so ECHR judgements are justiciable at the ECJ if a nation refuses to comply? That is as we have opted in to them.

    Or am I wrong?

  2. 2 kenomeat 12/11/2010 at 6:02 pm

    Slightly off topic, but I’ve just heard Daniel Hannan being interviewed on Radio 5 Live about the EU budget. Dan gave an impressive (as always) account of how our money is wasted and (and this is the interesting part) wasn’t interrupted once. Could it be that the BBC is changing it’s attitude?

  3. 3 Autonomous Mind 12/11/2010 at 7:32 pm

    Crikey. That has to be a first for the BBC. Who was doing the interview?

  4. 4 Tufty 12/11/2010 at 8:54 pm

    One problem with the EU is behavioural – the EU is not overtly threatening so it doesn’t induce much opposition or escape behaviour. We don’t get EU tax demands through the door, there are no visible EU police, no local EU courts or EU trials to catch the headlines and MEPs are virtually invisible. It moves slowly too and to some extent I imagine it’s all deliberate. EU bureaucrats must have some awareness of behavioural psychology.

    On the other hand, many people benefit from the lack of travel restrictions within the EU and this is a behavioural plus. As for those directly involved with the EU, well they are definitely not likely to see it as a threat because they receive a range of benefits depending on who they are, politician or bureaucrat.

    So unless one has acquired wide-ranging analytical habits then EU doesn’t come across as a threat and possibly never will. This is why certain politicians got away with lying to us about a Lisbon treaty referendum and why they will get away with many more lies in the future. The only option is to keep up the pressure.

  5. 5 kenomeat 12/11/2010 at 9:13 pm

    It was Aasmah Mir. Peter Allan kept quiet for a change. By the way, Patrick Flynn wrote a good piece last Saturday featuring Nigel Farage and, on reading it again, he says that “even the BBC has started giving UKIP fairer coverage”. Maybe the tide is finally turning.

  6. 6 Autonomous Mind 12/11/2010 at 9:27 pm

    Kenomeat, if it causes discomfort for Conservatives the BBC will suck it up. It says a great deal that genuinely impartial coverage on the BBC stands out like a sore thumb from its usual programming and editorial slant.

  7. 7 cosmic 12/11/2010 at 10:35 pm

    Tufty,

    You’ve described the hollowing out process by which the EU works. All of the mechanisms of national government are left in place as empty facades; upper and lower chambers, monarchy, constitution, but all are powerless. The levers of power are all bought with the taxpayers’ money.

    What’s more the EU isn’t really a foreign government; our own people have been enthusiastically constructing and imposing it, bought as they are.

    People in general see it as a distant thing and don’t really associate things which irk them with it. For instance, expensive and inconvenient refuse collection services which do nothing to save the planet and are simply a waste of time and money. If they are irked,it’s with the UK government for imposing it, but there’s no choice between the main parties on this and local government is powerless to do anything about it anyway. People become conditioned to accepting, and paying for, going through the pointless ritual of having several bins, and punished for not complying.

    The dream of the EU is to let things be run properly by civil servants without interference from the uncouth mob having its shout through democracy. Among the fatal flaws are that civil servants don’t know what they are doing as well as they think they do and are wont to set up self-serving systems with enormous inertia which are essentially unsound and can’t be corrected.

  8. 8 Tufty 13/11/2010 at 7:38 pm

    Cosmic

    I agree – particularly with your statement that civil servants overestimate their own competence. I think they are bound to because they have too few externally-set standards. Democracy is supposed to set some of these standards, but civil servants tend to think they can set their own (via internal meetings presumably), an attitude that ignores decades of psychological research.

    Democracy provides a healthy form of limited external control on civil service culture. Without it our institutions become, as you say, hollowed out.


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