Gentleman has described Angus Robertson During the 1990s when I reported for

Gentleman has described angus robertson during the

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suggest that Germany is facing the sort of problem that the right hon. Gentleman has described. Angus Robertson: During the 1990s, when I reported for the BBC in central Europe, I remember interviewing an Austrian general on the border with Hungary who was concerned, as were the Austrian Government, about the potential for criminality from the Hungarian side, as from the Czech and Slovak side, yet within two years, it was clear that there were no such problems whatever. There may need to be transitional arrangements, but as the economies of central and eastern Europe improve in the longer term, the problem of criminality as a result of different standards of living becomes progressively ameliorated. Michael Connarty: I take that point and hope that everyone else will. I believe that any form of xenophobia is a very bad thing for the project and, indeed, for the world we live in. We now live in a global village, as Marshall McLuhan predicted back in the 1960s. We have to get used to it and come to understand that what seems to some to be a threat may be our saving grace. The truth is that people are not really talking against the Lisbon treaty, but against the process of the European Union—what I as a member and Chair of the European Scrutiny Committee recognise as clear “Commission creep”. There is such Commission creep because that plutocracy was given power to try to put together arrangements for the advancement of a closer and closer Europe in order to prevent Europe from being run by politicians who would go to war when they could not solve problems. We have moved on from that, however, as the process is now about economic development, social development, enlargement and making the European Union a place of safety, security and, hopefully, human rights for people who did not have them under the previous Soviet communist arrangements. Many everyday things will not change when the treaty goes through and the various directives, regulations and framework decisions come into force—the process under which the European Commission can get rules, regulations and laws on to the statute book. There will be green papers, white papers and even the non-papers. The EU is the only organisation in the world I know that presents non-papers. I predict that they will eventually become green, then white papers and eventually directives. That is how the EU gets things on the agenda. We are used to dealing with that process every week. I hope that people will read our reports, which are printed every week, and see exactly how our business is done. In respect of the post-constitution and post-referendum period, at COSAC and Future of Europe meetings or 11 Mar 2008 : Column 220 even in face-to face meetings with Franco Frattini, I have said—I believe I said it in Hansard— that “the constitution is dead”. The constitution was dead, because that arrangement would never have got through under the barrier. Even by taking 5 per cent.
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  • Fall '08
  • Finklerberg

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