EU Parliament declares state of emergency

And hardly anyone outside Strasbourg notices

© 123RF/EU–EP

Fortunately the motion was passed by the EU Parliament, which has little power

Yesterday in Strasbourg the EU Parliament passed a motion declaring a state of emergency. The motion was passed by 429 to 225 votes, with 19 abstentions, a majority of 204.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

The motion states that :-

“The European Parliament [EU Parliament – Ed.] declares a climate and environment emergency; calls on the Commission, the Member States and all global actors, and declares its own commitment, to urgently take the concrete action needed in order to fight and contain this threat before it is too late;”

What is a “State of Emergency”?

If a state of emergency is declared in a country, the government is empowered to perform actions or impose policies that it would normally not be permitted to undertake. In general, states of emergency are declared following a natural disaster, civil unrest, or armed conflict.

Under international law, rights and freedoms may be suspended during a state of emergency. For example, a government can detain persons and hold them without trial. Under this same law, however, a government must inform the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

As so often, the EU is way behind the UK

It was the Welsh Assembly which was the first national assembly in the world to declare a ‘State of Emergency’ on climate change. This took place on 29 April this year – over six months before the EU Parliament.

Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP, also declared a State of Emergency in Scotland the previous day, but she did this unilaterally at a party conference. This was not as a result of a motion in the Scottish Parliament.

Both Wales and Scotland have the status of “devolved administrations”, which gives them limited powers. Many of these have not of course yet been tested in the courts.

So what does the EU Parliament’s declaration of a “State of Emergency” mean?

Yesterday’s declaration by MEPs in Strasbourg has only symbolic meaning. In practice they are unable to introduce laws, although the entire legislative structure of the EU will soon be reviewed as part of a Franco-German initiative being led by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

All the MEPs can do is ask the EU Commission and the EU Council to look at this. This is what they have now done. The final wording in the resolution “instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.”

Readers can read the full motion which was passed here.

What will the EU Council decide?

The EU Commission has already proposed the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but the EU Council has still not endorsed it, as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic are opposed.

Observations

There are MEPs in the EU Parliament whose views are not too far from those of the extremist activists from ‘Extinction Rebellion’ in the UK. Sadly the antics of MEPs from across the EU are seldom shown on British TV.

We really wish the British public could get sight of the antics and opinions of some MEPs. Perhaps this is why the BBC almost never covers any of the proceedings there.

Putting aside the declaration of a ‘State of Emergency’ by MEPs yesterday, however, the motion does not go as far as the some of the policies now being expounded by the major political parties in the United Kingdom.

We have very considerable reservations on almost every level in relation to ‘climate science’, but when it comes to targets being set by the EU Parliament, no Remainer can claim that the EU ‘leads the way’.

As with subjects like ‘workers’ rights’, the UK is ahead of the EU. Readers may not always like the policies involved behind these facts, but facts they are.

The dangers of giving the EU power

In the last two days we have published articles on the lack of democratic legitimacy throughout the EU. If any body in the EU can try to claim a limited form of legitimacy, it is the EU Parliament. At least MEPs are elected, not appointed, even if the overall system is deeply flawed.

Over time, the EU Parliament has gradually gained more powers. It is of deep concern to us that the EU plans to extend these, whilst at the same time giving national parliaments less and less say.

In 2016 the British people voted to take back control. Remainers need to be very clear that staying in the EU cedes more and more control to bodies which do not represent the interests of the British people. There is no ‘status quo’, there is only a continuing path to an EU superstate.

[ Sources: EU Parliament | EU Council ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, 29 Nov 2019

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