Wednesday, 8 July 2009
"One must act 'as if' in Europe: as if one wanted only very few things, in order to obtain a great deal. As if nations were to remain sovereign, in order to convince them to surrender their sovereignty. The Commission in Brussels, for example, must act as if it were a technical organism, in order to operate like a government ... and so on, camouflaging and toning down. The sovereignty lost at national level does not pass to any new subject. It is entrusted to a faceless entity: NATO, the UN and eventually the EU. The Union is the vanguard of this changing world:it indicates a future of Princes without sovereignty. The new entity is faceless and those who are in command can neither be pinned down nor elected ... That is the way Europe was made too: by creating communitarian organisms without giving the organisms presided over by national governments the impression that they were being subjected to a higher power. That is how the Court of Justice as a supra-national organ was born. It was a sort of unseen atom bomb, which Schuman and Monnet slipped into the negotiations on the Coal and Steel Community. That was what the 'CSC' itself was: a random mixture of national egotisms which became communitarian. I don't think it is a good idea to replace this slow and effective method - which keeps national States free from anxiety while they are being stripped of power - with great institutional leaps - Therefore I prefer to go slowly, to crumble pieces of sovereignty up litle by little, avoiding brusque transitions from national to federal power. That is the way I think we will have to build Europe's common policies..." - Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, later Vice-President of the EU Constitutional Convention, interview with Barbara Spinelli, La Stampa, 13 July 2000. Posted in a great list of quotes compiled by Free Europe.org.