EU pushes for Seat on UN Council
Dr. Benita Ferrero-Waldner new EU Commissioner for External Affairs has said the European Union should have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council “The more we speak with one voice, the better for us and the better for Europe. We are not important if we don’t speak with one voiceâ€
When she says the â€œbetter for usâ€ she obviously means better for the Commision because she then says and â€œand better for Europeâ€ so it is clear that she distinguishes between the two, and is making a plea for the Commision to have more power and to be more important on the world stage.
This is not one of those areas where the EU is jumping the gun on the Constitution, because we are assured by the government in its â€œWhite Paper on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europeâ€
September 2004, p15 that The Constitution will Not â€œrequire Britainâ€™s foreign policy to be determined in Brusselsâ€ or â€œabolish the permanent British seat on the United Nations Security Councilâ€
At the moment, there are only five permanent members of the UN Security Council: Britain, France, Russia, China and the United States.
Miss Ferrero-Waldner said that the creation of an EU seat would give greater representation to smaller member states. She believes that Britain and France would not necessarily have to relinquish their seats if an EU position was created. She also thinks that although member states still retain a veto over foreign policy, that they should make more effort to reach a common position.
I would suggest that a little thought Britain and France would not necessarily have to relinquish their seats if an EU position was created, would show how unlikely it is that the other countries would allow the EU (which is not a country so they keep on telling us) to agree in Brussels to reach a common position and then vote on the UN Security Council as a representative of all the 25 states in the Union, and also allow individual states to have a seat as well. Is America going to allow 3 seats to go to the EU block while it only has one, is Russia or China, not likely.
What will happen is that the UN will reform its general council and bring in other countries Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, is even now making such an attempt, he has set up a “high level panel” of international figures that will present its proposals in December.
India, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt have all made a case for a permanent seat on the council, there is a suggestion that there might be a two tier council, whatever the eventual outcome, it can be safe to suggested that neither Britain or France will be allowed to take up a seat when so many others are demanding one, and would have the effect of giving them two seats each if the EU were also given a seat, and none would allow the EU to control the UN Council by having three seats or even four if Germany were successful.
So we now come to the governmentâ€™s white paper, which clearly states that the Constitution will not require Britainâ€™s foreign policy to be determined in Brusselsâ€ or â€œabolish the permanent British seat on the United Nations Security Council, these assurances do seem to be a tad misleading. It perhaps could be argued that the Constitution does not require this, but if we are going to be forced to agree a common policy within the EU and if we are going to loose our seat on the UN Council because of our involvement with the EU, then we should face those points and not pretend they are not going to happen.
We should also expect our own government to be honest about these issues, instead of making claims that have no relevance to the facts. In the long run it does not matter that the Constitution does not require these things of Britain, if we are to loose the ability to make our own foreign policy and our seat on the UN Council by other methods then we have still lost our place in the world and become less important on the world stage, and this loss of power and prestige for Britain will not be replaced because the EU now will speak for us, who really cares what the governor of Texas thinks about world affairs, the president of the USA is a different matter.