Thursday, 13 December 2007

Anti-Europeans showed their true ilk

The anti-European MEPs who launched their demonstration in the European Parliament yesterday really showed the stuff they are made of.

Trying to disrupt the proclamation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, endorsed by a vast majority of the Parliament, as well as the governments of the Member States and the European Commission, is in extremely bad taste.

Euphemistically calling themselves Eurosceptics, they have nothing philosophical about their manners or aims. Loutish behaviour seems to be pack and parcel with their anti-European ilk.

Choosing the proclamation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights as the setting for their disruptive and childish behaviour must have emanated from a highly insular kind of genius.

Largely symbolic, the Charter is one of the signs that the citizens of the European Union were not totally forgotten in the process leading up to the Treaty of Lisbon.

The Charter embodies, in a coherent manner, freedoms as well as political, economic and social rights and principles concerning citizens. The Charter is the most comprehensive and up to date codification of legally binding human rights on this planet.

It is not the fault of 25 Member States that Poland and the United Kingdom chose to opt out of the Charter. There must be interesting reasons for these two countries to disenfranchise their own citizens, but the new Polish government seems to have understood that these reasons are unconvincing in the long run.

And Great Britain? But that is a story for grown-ups, said Kipling.

Ralf Grahn