A close look at the European Union
Msgr Ireneusz Skubis talks to Mrs Urszula Krupa, MD and member of the European Parliament.
Msgr Ireneusz Skubis: – As the conducted surveys show we know very little about the work of the European Parliament and we are going to have elections to the European Parliament soon. You are a member of the European Parliament. Please tell us, first of all, one thing: to what extent the EU institutions are democratic? Is the European Union democratic?
Dr. Urszula Krupa: – We know that the European Parliament elections are common (this year they will be on 4-7 June), for all member states, and are conducted in a democratic way. You can of course discuss about democracy. The lack of giving objective information about the EU institutions or the work of the European Parliament result that citizens are not interested in the elections. If the media invite MEPs they usually invite the socialists and liberals who enthusiastically show what is going on in the EP. However, the Parliament is some sign of democracy in the non-democratic European Union. Although, the Parliament is sometimes called ‘dummy’. We, the MEPs, do not create the law. We receive all documents, regulations and directives from the European Commission. The Parliament can only amend them, which is often, unfortunately, to a limited extent. We can only create opinions and reports but these are no binding. Many a time these are suggestions, which are differently interpreted. If the Parliament had a different structure some documents of the European Commission could be changed to be more normal. However, the majority if the MEPs consists of socialists, the Green Party and liberals or Christian Democrats whose voting has often nothing to do with the social teaching of the Church.
– What are the sources of law for the European Union?
– The European Commission authorises the documents, but they are prepared by its commissions, which are ca. 3,000. Commissioner Huebner was asked whether she knew who had prepared these documents. She answered that she did not know.
– How are the documents for the whole European Union created?
– As I have said we officially receive documents from the European Commission and after discussions in appropriate commissions and voting in the Parliament the documents must be approved by the European Council.
– What is the European Commission?
– The European Commission is a EU organ consisting of 27 commissioners from particular member states; one of them is the Commission President.
– How are the commissioners chosen?
– The commissioners are appointed by particular member states, and then the European Parliament approves their candidatures. If the Treaty of Lisbon is signed there will be fewer commissioners than the member states, i.e. for several years we could not have a representative in the European Commission. The European Council has meetings of presidents and/or prime ministers of the member states whose tasks are to discern the general directions of development of the European Union. The President of the European Commission takes part in the meetings of the European Council, too. Sometimes ministers of foreign affairs participate in the meetings as well.
– Can they create the EC law for the whole of Europe?
– Officially, the European Union law is divided into the primary law, determined by the member states as part of the international law, and the secondary law, determined by EU organs. The former is treaties and agreements between member states, changing and amending the foundation and EU treaties. Many rules of the EU law has been worked out on the basis of the verdicts of the European Court of Justice, which do not always result from the treaties, whereas the secondary law is created by the EU institutions on the basis of the primary law. It consists of various legal acts including the above-mentioned regulations, directives and decisions as well as opinions and recommendations. Only the European Commission has the legislative rights. We receive documents from it. However, no commissioner signs them. As I have said the European Commission is supported by numerous working commissions, which most likely create documents according to its instructions. One can see from its effects that these are liberal and new left wing party centres, directed by big countries and concerns. For example, the much-complicated regulation REACH was determined in this way and another example is the directive concerning services or the last climate and energy package. REACH is a large document aiming at protection of health and environment against distribution and implementation of certain substances and dangerous means. Briefly speaking, every producer should be responsible for the contents of his/her product and should examine it. Over 5,000 amendments to the document were made. It took ca. 10 years to work out his document, which allowed the big chemical concerns to get prepared to that. Despite solemn mottos about equal chances for everyone, the lack of discrimination and equal rights, free market is only for the strong and rich, who graciously consent to have transitory periods for the small and medium producers, thus prolonging their existence for several years. President Klaus did not want to accept the REACH regulations. Similarly, the Polish government could not have agreed to accept the Treaty of Lisbon or the regulations of the climate and energy package. One of the accepted documents discussed within the framework of the climate and energy package introduced such rigorous norms of fuel emissions that only the German MAN lorries can meet whereas all other lories will probably be eliminated. That’s why for the time being the governments of the member states play a big role, negotiating profitable conditions for their countries and citizens. Of course, the Polish government could play a big role in defending the Polish interests if it cared for our national interests like the governments of Germany and France do – both President Sarkozy and Angela Merkel defend the interests of their countries. Similarly, it is necessary for the member states to accept the Treaty of Lisbon, which is only a slightly changed version of the European Constitution, supported by the governing elites in spite of the opinions of the societies.
– Exactly, the Treaty of Lisbon...
– During our 5-year term, in 2005, we attempted to force through the European Constitution, which despite the predictions of the European elites was not accepted by France and Holland. After about a year of reflection several changes were made and the Treaty of Lisbon was introduced. In fact, it is another constitution, amended in some aspects, which aims at establishing a superpower.
– What are the threats for accepting the Treaty of Lisbon?
– First of all, the community of the EU member states gains all the attributes of one superpower, governed de facto by the European Commission, with one EU president, minister of foreign affairs and common international politics. It is more and more often said about the army of the European Union, which even the Polish MEPs suggest. They try to convince us that the European Union will not act properly if it has not an army, which means the EU aims to be a superpower.
– There were some politicians who publicly said that they did not know the contents of the Treaty of Lisbon. How can one accept a treaty that a politician – prime minister – does not know?
– For me it is improbable. But some politician neither read nor knew the Treaty. It also happened that the Hungarians had signed the Treaty of Lisbon before its official version was made and the amendments were introduced. How was that possible? You should ask those who did it. I think that there can be various motives of the elites: financial and prestigious ones. The Group called Independence and Democracy with its members opposing the Treaty of Lisbon and the EU beaurocracy, published the results of surveys that showed that 75% of citizens (even more citizens in England) were against the Treaty. These data, like the referendum in Ireland, show that the EU citizens do not want to be in one superpower that is created by the European elites despite the awareness, wishes and objectives of the societies.
– Whose work is the present European Union? Who exerts such pressure that governments and parliaments yield to?
– The assumptions of the European community were completely different. The Fathers of Europe were Christians and wanted to build a community on the Christian roots. The Holy Father John Paul II told us that there would be no unity of Europe unless it was a community of spirit, and that deepest foundation of unity was brought about in Europe by Christianity. But what we have had is first of all the hegemony of the new left-wing. For two years I thought that in the European Parliament the solutions of the documents were imperfect because of some immaturity. Only after hearing the lecture of Rev. Prof. Tadeusz Guza about the new left-wing did I realise that the Parliament realised the programme of the new left-wing, negating God and seeing man as a higher animal – which opinions some MEPs openly say in their official statements. By the way, animals in the EU are sometimes treated better than people. There are many amendments and documents forbidding experiments on animals but nobody wonders whether introducing an alien kind of gene causes immense harm to people’s health and lives. The lack of experiments on animals can be the reason for experimenting drugs on people. Moreover, the European Parliament rejects all amendments defined as ethical, introduced by Catholics who do not agree to conduct experiments on human embryos and on their selection, to killing conceived children, defined as sexual and reproductive health, or to cloning, etc. Currently, it is Germany, France and Great Britain that exert the biggest influence in the EU.
– At some moment the ‘faces’ of various important Europeans appeared, for instance Günter Verheugen. Where did they come from? These people play a very big role; all people listen to them and in some sense they are dictators. Can you characterise these important Europeans? Where are their power and strength as well as their overwhelming influence come from?
– Günter Verheugen is a German commissioner, one of many commissioners in the European Parliament. They were recommended to us as Poland’s defenders and friends who wanted to introduce us to Europe. The ‘faces’ of Europe do not only include Günter Verheugen, whom we know from the time of our accession, but also Hans-Gert Pöttering, the President of the European Parliament, Angela Merkel, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and many others who speak beautifully about the European Union. I think that many people, not only in Poland but also in other countries of the former Soviet block, were naive. It must have been ignorance or imprudence that directed some ministers who were negotiating with the European Union, establishing our accession conditions. Currently, one can also see in the European Parliament that particular countries care for their citizens very much. The level of welfare in these countries as compared to Poland is considerably higher. They have numerous forms of social security and manage to defend their interests, organising frequent strikes. It is true that we belong to the political groups in the European Parliament that include socialists, the Green Party, Christian Democrats, advocates of Europe of homelands, but collaboration in the forum of the Parliament is conducted in accordance with the national interests of the particular MEPs. The German members, regardless of their political options, vote unanimously for matters important to Germany. Both the socialist Martin Schulz and a representative of the German Christian Democrats Hans-Gert Pöttering support the documents that are important to Germany. Moreover, you can clearly see the unequal treatment of the new EU member states. We had a very superficial attitude towards the European Union, which certainly creates numerous possibilities. Every day we deal with worldwide globalism, not only connected with rich concerns but also with rich countries that establish the rules. They try to destroy all that is small, medium and weaker. First of all, they mean money but there is another aspect, an ideological one: the left-wing and the liberals that realise their plan, unfortunately, using economy and media.
– How was the economy of the poorer countries destroyed? Actually there is no national economy in Poland...
– The economy does not exist because it was destroyed under the pretext of adjusting it to the EU requirements. It is hard to investigate why the governments that had led us to the European Union, negotiating the conditions of our accession, agreed to accept such very unfavourable conditions, and now they blame Brussels for all things. We were told about the necessity of privatisation. Consequently, whole branches of economy had to be privatised and taken over by those people who either obtained benefits for themselves or put themselves as top managers of companies. The enterprises were sold for next to nothing. Many of them were sold: steel works, mines; various branches of our industry have been destroyed, yielding to the diktat of the commissioners who referred to the law. As a doctor I want to give an example of pharmacological works that produced cheap reconstructive drugs, even those that were free for pensioners. The pharmacological works, even those modernised, were mainly sold to foreign entities that treat them as storages for expensive international drugs. Considering the national interests we should have modernised some branches of our economy, giving up the less profitable works. It is not true that there are no state enterprises in the European Union. We were told that all factories must be sold, including our shipyards, which brought about the destruction of our industry and to huge unemployment. Now ships can be produced in Germany under the protection of Chancellor Merkel. And that can be applied to any branch, at present to our health service. The scheme is as follows: under the pretext of protecting health an appropriate document is introduced. In the European Parliament there are many lobbyists, including some MEPs, who propose appropriate amendments, which are also profitable to them. All of that has the cover of help (which is propaganda). They even promote mini-loans but actually winning funds is extremely difficult. The fall of our industry has brought about a huge immigration of young people, including well-educated ones, who look for better social conditions in the countries of the old EU. The process of taking over many branches of economy does not concern only our country. Other MEPs from the countries of the former Soviet block, from Romania and from Ireland, evaluate their accessions to the EU in a similar way.
– If this scenario is realised what will happen to such countries as Poland?
– If the Treaty of Lisbon is accepted all activities will lead to eliminate national states and transforming Europe into one superpower divided into regions. This is the assumption. There is regional politics; there is the Committee of the Regions. Naturally, big countries will dominate the European superpower. Since the half term of the Parliament most commissions have been presided over by the Germans. First of all, Germany, France and England will lead the new European Union, recently not described as ‘Community’ or ‘the European Union’ but simply ‘Europe’. In my opinion, the attack on Poland is unprecedented – first of all, the attack against the Church that is an obstacle for frantic liberalism and the ideology of the new left-wing. Furthermore, one can see a clear division between the old and new Union. Besides, the Polish people are subject to numerous experiments – one concerns our health service. No EU country has hospitals transformed into companies and commercialisation and privatisation of the whole health service, which is an experiment that can lead to the situation when many Poles cannot have access to health services. Recently, under the pretext to facilitate medical treatment in other member states the EU has introduced a directive concerning patient’s rights in the trans-border health service. The approved regulations treat health as a market product, which will be connected with the interference of the community in the health care systems, which have been the domains of the member states so far. The European Union will force high standards on us, providing treatment to rich patients, and at the same time hindering access to medical care, especially in poor member states such as Poland. Unfortunately, the present Minister of Health is unwaveringly realising the scenario of granting privileges to the EU elites, against the opinion of Poland’s president, transforming hospitals into trade companies aiming at profits, which follows the verdict of the European Court of Justice treating health as an ordinary market product. The increase of standards will cause an increase in the costs of treatment.
– The view of your political group concerning the future of Europe and Poland is very critical…
– My group, Independence and Democracy, opposes the European constitution called the Treaty of Lisbon and the Brussels beaurocracy. Our other aims are: democracy, respect for tradition and national values and different interests. The proposed form of unification of the EU countries, nominated by the strong and rich countries, does not bode anything good. We can see dictatorship behaviour of the commissioners forcing their decisions. The MEP Schultz calls the opponents of the Treaty insane and idiots – in the forum of the EP. The President of the EP, together with some MEPs, insults the Czech President Vaclav Klaus and recently the police in Poland have used force against the protesting shipyard workers, defending their work places. We remember how the Soviet Union put its opponents in psychiatric hospitals and the older people remembers the struggles with the ZOMO. All of that, together with manipulations concerning the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon, subtly speaking, shows a deficit of democracy, covered by solemn mottoes and media manipulations. We are losing our sovereignty and we can see, unfortunately, an economic crisis and a moral crisis. This is not a reason for being optimistic. That’s why we need to give true information and be in the EP as well as to elect such MPs for our Sejm that will care for their fellow citizens and national interests. The sceptical attitude towards the Treaty of Lisbon does not only characterise the IND/DEM but many non-associated MEPs and the UEN (Union for Europe of Nations) partly support our values and oppose the idea of superpower. Of course, there are many good initiatives in the European Union but in the name of giving the truth one should also warn against many threats. At present, we need to act together, but following fairer principles. The ideal would be to combine all forces caring for Christian values in the European Parliament but the socialists collaborate better with themselves that the advocates of the civilisation of life who perhaps are too big individualists in their freedom. However, some more experienced MEPs claim that the authorities of the Parliament will not allow to have a bigger ‘politically incorrect’ group since it would pose a big threat to the plans of integration, consistently realised under the leadership of Germany and the European left-wing. Lately the leader of the Constitutional Commission has reminded us that the Treaty of Lisbon is only a stage to a close integration of the European Union, which, as I have already mentioned, has been called a state – simply Europe.
– Your answer does not instil optimism and great hopes towards the European Union. But you intend to run for the EP in the election. Why? Why should Poles vote in this election?
– I intend to run for the European Parliament and my dream would be that voters choose 50 deputies who would work in the European Parliament for Poland’s good and for our society, following the social teaching of the Church and the civilisation of life. The absent have not anything to say. You must be there and do your best to defend Poland’s interests and the fundamental laws and values that are important to all of Europe. Being in the European Parliament you can influence the creation of documents even if we are only to amend them. One should remember that 80% of the biding law in Poland depends on the decisions of the European Parliament to some extent. One of the amendments I put forward protected the budget of health service, granting it several million zloty extra. I suggested about 1,000 amendments and even if some were rejected some changed the laws that were establishing. Presenting the Catholic point of view I defended women and families, trying to convince feminists to accept my reasons. I had the chance to deliver 155 speeches. Despite all that is happening I am for the integration of the European countries and their collaboration although on more just principles, which I can fight for only in the EP, trying to convince other MEPs. During the last session of the European Parliament I managed to eliminate the amendments suggested by the liberals who intended to criticise the Holy Father Benedict XVI for his opposition against contraception. We cannot take offence at the reality and do not participate in the election because then others will decide for us. The European Union is a community of countries and its official aims are very lofty. One must only apply them but one cannot do that not being involved in the changes. Moreover, by being in the European Parliament we create possibilities of jobs and getting to know the work of the European Parliament for many Poles who may not know the activities of the European institutions but can influence them by giving their testimonies.
– I thank you very much for your exhaustive answers. These are not easy matters but the society waits for the truth. I wish you many professional and social achievements as well as success in the approaching election. I hope that people of all righteousness, which you also represent, achieve political aims and will work for the good of our Homeland, Europe and Christian family.