Saturday, 13 February 2010

Trust is good, control is better? US & EU at a crossroads

In the Lisbon Treaty preamble the member states of the European Union confirmed their attachment to the principles of liberty, democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and of the rule of law. The EU shall offer its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice, according to Article 3(2) TEU.

“Trust is good, control is better”, has been ascribed to V. I. Lenin, not our first choice among icons of liberty. However, these words seem to encapsulate the purported defence of our freedoms, by elected governments on both shores of the Atlantic.

From data retention of all electronic communications and nudie pics at airports to spying on bank data, nothing is to be left unseen by the US administration and the European Union, in the name of our security.

Security is important, but are our administrations driven by fear? Is any level of control ever sufficient to eliminate all threats?

What happened to liberty, human rights and fundamental freedoms?

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself” would be a better motto for our leaders than the vain pursuit of total control.

Ralf Grahn