A MAASTRICHT PHRASEB 001(
Charles Moore's essential summit-watcher's guide to Eurospeak
Acquis Whatever the Community has agreed on already. Britain constantly discovers that it has agreed to things of which it was unaware at the time.
Bruges Group The only known pressure group set up specifically to support the policy of the Government. Therefore an object of suspi- cion to the Government whips and the Chairman of the Conservative Party.
Brussels The Belgian capital, scene of a great ball before the defeat of the French at Water- loo. Today the setting for the long drawn- out humiliation of Britain. Boasts a wide range of good restuarants.
British statesman. Prayed in- aid by Europhiles because he said something in favour of a United 'States of Europe (q.v.). He also said:
We are with Europe but not of it. We are linked but not comprised. We are interested and associated but not absorbed, and should European statesmen address us in words which were used of old, 'Shall we speak for thee to the king or captain of the host?'
We should reply with a Shunanite woman, 'Nay Sir, for we dwell among our own people.'
Cohesion Paying pour countries to accept EMU.
Common Agricultural Policy The chief tangible achievement of the first 30 years of the EEC. It is on such founda- tions that we shall go forward to build the Europe of the future.
Common Position Something which it is advisable for Euro- politicians to adopt. The British, typically repressed, tend to find it embarrassing.
Communautaire There is no English equivalent of this important adjective. Convergence The process by which, either as a prelude to or as a result of EMU, all countries will become the same as one another. This will reduce their competitiveness, to be sure, but that is a small price to pay for Ever Closer Union.
Not to be confused with security, a word imported into the argument in order to reduce tension by suppressing meaning. Defence used to be a matter for Her Majesty's Government. Soon it may be a matter for the casting vote of Luxembourg.
Delors, Jacques The President of Europe, a post which does not officially exist, but to whose cre- ation all member states are surely commit- ted by their adherence to the doctrines and formularies of the EEC. Its holder has more power than the Holy Roman Emper- or. He is French, by the way.
Democratic Deficit Not the lack of control of the EEC or the Council of Ministers by the parliaments of the member states. The phrase means the fact that the European Parliament still has less power than the national parliaments. If 650 Westminster MPs cede their power to 81 British Euro-MPs, there won't be a democratic deficit any more.
Directives Orders from Brussels. Member statesx can choose the means by which they carry them out. To be distinguished from Regulations, which must be carried out exactly as Brus- sels says. But see also Implementation.
Eastern Europe A place we all feel very sorry for. It isn't part of Europe (q.v.). Its goods, services and people must therefore (we regret) be excluded.
Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) The development of one currency, looked after by one bank. This natural develop- ment of the European idea will cut transac- tion costs, reduce the poorer member states to penury and transfer power from elected national politicians to unelected international financiers. British elected politicians would like to wait a few years before accepting the idea, by which time there may be some different elected politi- cians around.
ECU The European Currency Unit. Also a French coin of the 13th century. Like a snake charmer's cobra, it lives in a basket. With EMU, it will come out and bite.
ECU, Hard A British suggestion, and therefore reject- ed.
Englander, Little One who defends the independence of Great Britain.
Formerly a continent, first identified in classical times, and stretching from Ireland to the Urals. Now a set of institutions cen- tred on Brussels and ruled by Jacques Delors (q.v.). Despite having been in Europe throughout its existence, Britain found it necessary to 'go into' Europe again in 1973. In the primitive period before that date, Europe simply existed. Since 1973, it has been possible for Britons to be 'pro-Europe' or 'anti-Europe'.
Europe, Heart of Where we all want to be, including Mr Major and even (see Bruges speech) Mrs Thatcher. According to cartographers, the heart of Europe is a few miles from Vil- nius, capital of Lithuania. Contrary to appearances, Britain is at the heart of Europe, we are told.
European Commission The body which runs the EEC. Normally, a commission is a body which carries out the wishes of others. This one has dispensed with that encumbrance: it devises the laws itself.
European Germany A good thing. This is what we are promised if we accept political union. If we do not, the Germans threaten, we shall get a German Europe Federal As in 'federal goal'. If you accept the exis- tence of a supreme European authority, the word describes the diffusion of powers beneath that authority. If you oppose that authority, the official adoption of the word reminds the world that you are losing. The British Government is adamant that the word be kept out of all treaties. It does not mind so much whether the reality is kept out.
A slang phrase, meaning the way Europe is run.
Going Native An invariable process in Brussels. The dif- ference between Britain and Brittan.
Implementation The carrying out of rules made in Brus- sels. An unworkable practice attempted only in the United Kingdom.
Inevitable The process of European union is inevitable, as were the collapse of capital- ism, the victory of Napoleon's empire, and the thousand-year Reich.
The danger for Britain if it does not Shape the Community from Within (q.v.). The Dutch prime minister recently warned that Britain might become an 'isolated island'. Presumably he was speaking on behalf of a continental continent.
Japan Another isolated island (see Isolation). It has no plans to be patt of a union with any- one or to jettison its currency. Curiously enough, it does quite well economically.
Mitbestimmung Scholars differ as to its meaning. 'Worker participation' is one suggestion; 'beer and sandwiches' is another.
Nation States The existence of nation states has caused war, just as the existence of property causes burglary.
No. No. No.
Three extremely rude words. Mrs Thatcher used them in the House of Commons on 30 October 1990: The President of the Commission, Mr Delors, said at a press conference the other day that he wanted the European Parliament to be the democratic body of the Community, he wanted the Commission to be the Execu- tive and he wanted the Council of Ministers to bc the Senate. No. No. No.
Nobody As in 'nobody is talking about a United States of Europe', or 'nobody is talking about a European superstate', or 'nobody is talking about a loss of cultural identity. 'Nobody' is talking a great deal at present and is clearly a man of influence in the counsels of the Conservative Party.
Partner As in 'our EEC partners'. A new word for a trade rival.
Political Union Rule by the EEC Commission and the European Parliament. It is the Germans price for letting the French and others gain control of their money. Little in it for Britain, the only European country to have had its own political union these past 300
Another European custom which displays the British at their most inhibited.
Sovereignty (q.v.) is particularly amenable to it. Come on in, the water's lovely.
Poos, Jacques Foreign Minister of Luxembourg. He was the cutting edge of EEC foreign policy during the Gulf crisis, and the name at Which Saddam Hussein turned pale.
Powell, Enoch A politician who warned the British people that if they voted for entry to the EEC, they would be handing their sovereignty (q.v.) over to others. An obvious madman.
Qualified Majority Voting This was entrenched in the Single Euro- pean Act. Mrs Thatcher thought it was only there to speed up a few useful free trade measures. Soon it will be the way in Which Europe decides whether to go to war.
Seat at the Top Table This is something Britain must have. Don't question the company or ask to look at the menu.
Shaping the Community from Within Britain agreeing to whatever the other 11 Propose.
Single As in market, currency etc. This is a more communautaire word than common, because it means one controlling authority and no messing about. The Single Market will make us all freer. Following is the list of measures for its implementation in the last six months:
Document Brief description ref no.
88/180 Lawnmower noise (cylinder mowers) 88/181 Lawnmower noise (larger mowers)
90/427 Animal health in live animals
of the equine species (zootechnical rules) 90/428 Animal health in live animals of the equine species (com- petitions) 80/608 Mutual assistance between Member States authorities on customs matters.
90/167 Production and trade in medi- cated feeding stuffs
89/552 Broadcasting activities 89/665 Application of Community rules on procedures for the award of public supply and public works contracts
89/104 First directive to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to Trade Marks
89/107 Food additives 89/662 Veterinary checks in intra- Community trade 90/425 Veterinary and zootechnical checks in intra-Community trade in certain live ani- mals and products 90/429 Semen of animals (porcine species) 90/667 Pathogens in feeding stuffs
Single European Act (Signed in 1986). Mrs Thatcher thought this would introduce free trade between EEC nations. In fact, it was far more visionary, providing for the eventual aboli- tion of nations altogether.
Sovereignty Formerly, this meant the ultimate authori- ty in any political community. Now it means power or influence, as in 'We get more sovereignty by pooling it'. In other moods, Euroenthusiasts will tell you that the whole concept is out of date. Mr Edward Heath says that. When we entered the EEC in 1972, he said that sovereignty would not be affected. Perhaps the word is Unhelpful (q.v.), and should be dropped.
Soviet Union A useful model of the federal goal to which the builders of the new Europe aspire. Some carping spirits now want it to break up. V. also Yugoslavia.
Tobacco Advertising An evil practice which will soon be out- lawed, using the new freedoms conferred by the Single Market.
Tobacco Growing A virtuous agricultural occupation, widely pursued on the Continent and subsidised by the Common Agricultural Policy (q.v.) Train, Bus, Boat, Prefaced with Word 'European' These are forms of public transport which we must climb aboard. (Sir Geoffrey Howe was particularly keen on the train; Sir Leon Brittan prefers the boat, which he also wants us to help build.) It is ill-mannered to ask where they are going or whether we want to go there.
Transaction costs What you pay a lot of if you start with £100 and then change it successively into the other 11 currencies of the Community. Apparently there are people (MEPs?) who do this. EMU (q.v.) will greatly assist them. But according to Karl Otto Pohl, former president of the Bundesbank, 'the repeated references to huge savings in transaction costs through having a single currency are not in the least convincing'. Herr POhl has now departed, and his grudging attitude is becoming rarer.
Two-Speed Europe A device by which a few of the Gadarene swine would be permitted to run over the precipice a little later than the others.
Unhelpful Anything which meets with the disapproval of Mr Douglas Hurd. Anything which Mr Hurd does is sensible.
United States of Europe One of the things that Nobody (q.v.) is talking about. It will be achieved by the end of the century.
The above is an extract from Charles Moore's A Maastricht Phrasebook which is available from the Centre for Policy Studies, 52 Rochester Row, SW1P 12JU for £3.95.