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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Un marché transatlantique impérial

by Jean-Claude Paye

An Imperial Transatlantic Market

Translated Sunday 21 December 2008, by Anatoli

A resolution passed by the European Parliament in May 2008 has conferred legitimacy upon a project of establishing a huge transatlantic market by 2015. It envisages elimination of customs, technical or regulatory barriers to trade, as well as deregulation of public procurement, intellectual property and investment. The agreement provides for increasing the coordination of regulations and, above all, for mutual recognition of rules in effect on both sides of the Ocean. In fact, the U.S. law will apply. [1]

In parallel, some discreet debate arises with the aim of establishing a common area for the control of population. In a secret report drafted by experts of six member states, a project has been developed for establishing transatlantic cooperation in matters of “freedom, security, and justice” from now to 2014. The issue concerns restructuring member countries’ interior and justice agencies “with respect to foreign relations of the European Union,” i.e. essentially their relations with the United States.

In addition to the transfer of personal data and cooperation between police agencies, already implemented to a large extent, the challenge of establishing such a program makes possible the extradition of Union nationals to U.S. authorities. We recall that the European writ of arrest, a consequence of the established “Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice” between EU member states, cancels any guarantees formerly extended by the extradition procedure. The writ of arrest is based on the principle of mutual recognition. It states that all legal provisions of the requesting state are unquestionably consistent with principles of the rule of law. If such an area of transatlantic cooperation is established, it will entail the recognition of the entire U.S. legal system by the 27 countries and any U.S. requests for extradition would be honored automatically after some simple procedural checks.

The parallelism between deregulation of exchanges between the two continents and U.S. control of the European population has been in effect through the 13 years of negotiation proceedings.

The progress achieved in establishing a transatlantic market is due to the activity of a Euro-American institution, the Transatlantic Policy Network. Founded in 1992 to bring together European Parliament deputies, U.S. Congress members and private business, it calls for establishing a Euro-American political, economic and military bloc. It is supported by numerous think tanks, such as the Aspen Institute, and receives funding from U.S. and European multinational corporations.

An important component of this “Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice,” a general agreement on the transfer of personal data, is being finalized. An internal report written jointly by negotiators from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security on the U.S. side, and Coreper, a team of permanent representatives of the European Union, has announced that an agreement to that effect will be in place in early 2009.

The negotiators have reached agreement on 12 basic principles. In fact, the deal is to release permanently to U.S. authorities a number of personal data such as credit card numbers, bank account details, investments undertaken, travel itineraries or Internet contacts, as well as data associated with the person — namely, race, political opinions, morals, religion, etc.

The Americans put their requirements into the current economic context. The issue is not to be able to transmit such data to administrative authorities, which has already been implemented to a large extent, but rather to be able to communicate them legitimately to the private sector. The point is to remove any legal obstacles to the distribution of information and to ensure keeping its costs as low as possible. The deal should be economically viable, first of all.

The European negotiators have relinquished their own authority regarding the need for independent control and have accepted American criteria. They accept self-supervision of the executive branch, and acknowledge that the internal control system of the U.S. Government provides sufficient assurances. They have accepted the use of data concerning “race,” religion, political opinions, health, and sexual life by any government subject to incorporation of appropriate protection in the domestic law. Each government would decide for itself whether it complies with this obligation or not.

The process leading to establishing a great transatlantic market is the opposite of the construction of the European Union. The European common market is primarily an economic structure based on deregulation of the exchange of goods. The great transatlantic market relies upon supremacy of the U.S. law. This is primarily a political structure, and even setting up a Transatlantic Assembly is suggested. Establishing new property and exchange relations is subject to accepting U.S. sovereignty over the European population and legitimizing such powers by the Union—to convert personal data into a commodity, and to set such a large market free from any impediment.

[1The author, Jean-Claude Paye is a sociologist. He is author of La fin de l’État de droit, La Dispute Publishers, 2004 (Global War on Liberty, Telos Press, 2007

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