The Nation State, Sovereignty and the European Union

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Ireland's EU-critical National Platform EU Research and Information Centre issued this communiqué to mark the occasion of the enlargement of the EU from 15 to 25 Members on May 1st. As well as a brief response to the accession of ten new member states, the National Platform has drawn up a statement of fifteen democratic principles on the subject of "The Nation, State Sovereignty and the European Union". A version of this  has been published in the Spring 2004 issue of the Irish quarterly "Studies" (Vol.93,No.369).  We would be glad to receive any comments on it that you might care to give.

Welcome to our prison-house of nations...

"As everyone is well aware, in a few days our State will cease to exist as an independent sovereign entity."

- President Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic, Mlada Fronta Dnes, 22 April 2004

Like inmates in our EU prison, we welcome new companions. We can be confident the new arrivals will in time help us to break down our political prison walls.  At the same time we do not wish on the 10 new Accession countries the loss of national democracy and political independence they now face.

*  Last year's referendums on their Accession Treaties were travesties of democracy.  Public funding, the mass media and the referendum rules were grotesquely unbalanced in favour of EU accession. The EU Commission, ever anxious to increase its own power, interfered massively in favour of the Yes-side - almost certainly in breach of EU law, which gives the Commission no competence in treaty ratification. The result was that voters in the Accession countries went to the polls in virtual total ignorance of the undemocratic, power-hungry, institutional monster they are joining next weekend. All the more bitter will be the inevitable popular disillusionment in these countries.

*  The 10 Accession countries have got a thoroughly bad deal economically and politically.  They are required to take into their domestic law the 80,000 or so pages of EU directives and regulations adopted by the EC/EU since 1957, which they had no part in making, even though many of these are quite unsuited to their different circumstances.

*  The collective imperialism of the EU 15 is shown by their insistence that each of the 10 new members must agree to abolish their national currencies and adopt the euro in due time as a condition of their joining the EU, even though Britain, Denmark and Sweden are not abolishing their currencies. When the East Europeans were client states of the USSR, the Russians never required them to adopt the rouble. Yet the EU 15 is insisting that the newcomers commit themselves to adopting the euro as a condition of their joining the EU.

*  EU membership transforms Government Ministers from Executives subordinate to Legislatures at national level into supranational legislators at EU level. Instead of having to obtain the support of their national parliaments in order to pass laws, they can now make these laws or directives for 450 million Europeans behind closed doors as one of an oligarchy of 25 persons on the EU Council of Ministers, and responsible as a collectivity to nobody.  This is a huge increase in their personal power, while their national parliaments will realise this and  insist on re-establishing their democracy.

*  The political dynamics of a 25-Member EU will be fundamentally different from a 15-Member one. The new members will strengthen the international movement to restore democracy to the nation states of Europe. This week's enlargement of the EU is almost certainly the beginning of the end of Euro-federalism.  Let us rejoice at that.

NATION, STATE SOVEREIGNTY AND THE EUROPEAN UNION:

15 DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES

Nations and nation states make up the international community. "Globalisation" and the supranationalism of the European Union affect the environment of Europe's nation states, but do not make them out of date. Nationhood, shared membership of a national community, is the normal basis of democratic states in the modern world. This is shown by the advent of many new nation states to the international community since 1989, and the likely advent of many more this century. The following democratic principles are proposed as fruitful ways of approaching questions of nationhood, state sovereignty and the European Union. No claim is made for their novelty, but they may be useful as a summary of what is contended to be the classical approach of democrats to these issues.

1) INTERNATIONALISM, NOT NATIONALISM, IS THE PRIMARY CATEGORY

We are internationalists on the basis of our solidarity as members of the human race.  As internationalists we seek the emancipation of mankind. The human race is divided into nations. Therefore we seek  the self-determination of nations. The right of nations to self-determination inspired the 18th century American Revolution. Formally proclaimed as a democratic principle in the French Revolution's Declaration of the Rights of Man, 1789, this is now a basic principle of international law, enshrined in the United Nations Charter. As internationalists and democrats we assert the right of those nations that wish it to have their independence, sovereignty and a nation state of their own, so that they may relate to one another internationally on the basis of equal rights with other nations. The democratic principle of internationalism does not mean that we are called upon to urge people of other nations to assert their right to self-determination; but that we respect their wishes and show solidarity with them if they decide to do that. It is as true of the life of nations as of individuals that separation, agreed recognition of boundaries, and mutual respect - i.e. political equality, neither dominance nor submission - are the prerequisites of free and friendly cooperation, of internationalism in other words. Good fences make good neighbours.

2) NATIONS AND NATIONALITY COME BEFORE NATIONALISMS AND NATION STATES

Nations exist as communities before nationalisms and nation states. To analyse nations and the national question in terms of "nationalisms" is philosophical idealism, looking at the mental reflection rather than the thing it reflects.  Nationalism developed as an ideology  legitimating the formation of nation states in the eighteenth century, although its elements can be found centuries before in some of the world's oldest nation states, such as England, Denmark, France, Japan.  Nations evolve historically as stable, long-lasting communities of people, sharing a common territory and language and the common culture and history that arise from that. On this basis develop the solidarities, mutual identification and mutual interests that distinguish a people from its neighbours. Some nations are ancient, some young, some in process of being formed.  Like all human groups, for example the family, clan, tribe, they are fuzzy at the edges. No neat definition encompasses all cases. The empirical test is to ask people themselves.  If they have passed beyond the stage of kinship society where the political unit is the clan or tribe, they will invariably know what nation they belong to. That is the political and democratic test too. If enough people in a nation wish to establish their own independent state, they should have it, for democracy can exist normally only at the level of the national community and nation state. The reason is that it is principally within the national community that there exists sufficient solidarity and mutuality of identification and interest as to overcome other social divisions and induce minorities freely to consent to majority rule, and obey a common government based on that.  Such mutual identification and solidarity characterise the "demos," the collective "we," that constitutes a people possessing the right of national self-determination. They underlie a people's sense of shared citizenship and allegiance to a government as "their" government, possessing democratic legitimacy, and their willingness to finance that government's tax and income-transfer system, thereby tying the richer and poorer regions and social classes of particular nation states together. When people speak of the "common good" that it is the duty of the state to uphold, it is the community of the nation, the people, the "demos," whose welfare is referred to.  The solidarities that exist within nations do not exist between nations, although other solidarities may exist, international solidarity, which become more important with time, as modern communications, trade, capital movements and common environmental problems link all nations together in international interdependence in today's "global village."

3) MANKIND IS STILL AT THE RELATIVELY EARLY STAGE OF THE FORMATION OF NATION STATES

Only a dozen or so contemporary nation states are more than a few centuries old. The number of member states of the United Nations has grown from some 60 in 1946 to nearly 200 today. The number of European states has grown from 30 to 50 since 1989. This process is not ended even in Western Europe, where people have been at the business of nation state formation for centuries. It is ongoing in Eastern Europe. It has scarcely begun in Africa and Asia, where the bulk of mankind lives, where most people are still part of clan-tribal societies, and where state boundaries were drawn by the colonial powers after World War 2, with little consideration for the wishes of the indigenous peoples. There are over 6000 different languages in the world. At their present rate of disappearance there should still be 600 or so left in a century's time. These will survive because in each case they are spoken by a million or more people. There clearly are many embryonic nations. There are also long-established nations without nation states, that have a national identity but no independence - the Kurds, Palestinians, Chechyns, for example. A nation can keep its identity in servitude as well as freedom.  Many new nation states, probably a couple of hundred or more, are likely to come into being during the 21st century. In doing that they will acquire the two classical pillars of independent statehood, the sword and the currency: the monopoly of legal force over a territory and the monopoly of the issue of legal tender for that territory. A world of several hundred nation states will be a world of several hundred national currencies.

4) MULTINATIONAL STATES, WHETHER FEDERAL OR UNITARY, MUST RESPECT THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION OF THE NATIONS COMPOSING THEM IF THEY ARE TO BE STABLE AND ENDURE

The right to self-determination of nations does not require that a nation must seek to establish a separate state. Nations can co-exist amicably with other nations inside a multinational state, as for example the English, Welsh and Scots do within the British state. But they can do this only if their national rights are respected and the smaller nations do not feel oppressed by the larger ones, especially culturally and linguistically. If that condition breaks down, political pressures are likely to develop to break-up the multinational state in question. The historical tendency seems to be for multinational states to give way to national ones, mainly because of the breakdown in solidarity between their component nations and the development of a feeling among the smaller ones that they are being put upon by the larger. Shared civic nationality is the political basis of multinational states, shared ethnic nationality the political basis of nation states. In both cases, if the state is a democratic one, all citizens will be equal before the law and the rights of minority nationalities in multinational states and of national minorities in nation states, will be equally respected. Historically, multinational federal states are all twentieth century creations - the USSR, the Russian Federation, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Malaysia etc. They have lacked, or lack, the stability and popular legitimacy that comes from centuries of tradition. Some have already dissolved, others are likely to in time, as various peoples within them assert their right to national independence.

5) THE EUROPEAN UNION IS FUNDAMENTALLY UNDEMOCRATIC AND CANNOT BE DEMOCRATISED, FOR THERE IS NO EUROPEAN "DEMOS" OR PEOPLE AND NO SUPRANATIONAL SOLIDARITY AND COMMON GOOD SUPERIOR TO THAT OF ITS MEMBER STATES

It is the absence in the European Union of anything like the underlying national solidarity that binds Europe's nation states together that makes the EU project, and especially the euro-currency scheme, so problematic and therefore unlikely to endure. The EU is a creation of powerful political, economic and bureaucratic elites, without popular legitimacy and authority. It is directed from the top down rather than the bottom up and is therefore fundamentally undemocratic.  There is no European people, no European "demos," no European "we," bound together by solidarities like those that bind nations and nation states together. Rather, the EU is made up of a plurality of Europe's nations and peoples. There is therefore no EU "common good" comparable to that underlying its component member states, whose achievement could be regarded as justifying the establishment at supranational level of state-like governmental institutions.

Every nation state is both a monetary and a fiscal union. As a monetary union it has its own currency, and with that the capacity to control either the domestic price of that currency, the rate of interest, or its external price, the rate of exchange.  As a fiscal union it has its own taxation, public spending and social service system. By virtue of citizens paying common taxes to a common government in order to finance common public spending programmes throughout the territory of a state, there are automatic transfers from the richer regions and social classes of each country to the poorer regions and classes. This sustains and is sustained by a shared national solidarity, a mutual commitment to the common good. By contrast, the euro-currency project (EMU/Economic and Monetary Union) is a monetary union but not a fiscal union. Never in history has there been a lasting monetary union that was not also a political union and fiscal union, in other words a fully-fledged state, deriving its legitimacy from shared national solidarity and a common good that its government existed to serve, which in turn underpinned a common fiscal transfer system. The euro-currency scheme deprives the poorer EU states and the weaker EU economies of the ability to maintain their competitiveness or to compensate for their lower productivity, poorer resource endowment or differential economic shocks, by adopting an exchange rate or interest rate that suits their special circumstances. It fails to compensate them for that loss by the automatic transfer of resources from the centre which membership of a fiscal union entails. Compensatory fiscal transfers at EU level to the extent required to give the monetary union long-run viability are impossible, in view of the volume of resources required and the unwillingness of the richer EU countries to provide them to the poorer because of the absence of the shared national solidarity that would compel that. Currently expenditure by Brussels in any one year amounts to just over one percent of EU annual gross domestic product, a tiny relative figure, whereas expenditure on public transfers by the EU's member states is normally between 35-50% of their annual national products.

Thus the fiscal solidarity that would sustain an EU political union and an EU multinational state does not and cannot exist. Democratising the EU without a European "demos" is impossible. The EU's adoption of such traditional symbols of national statehood as an EU flag, EU anthem, EU passport, EU car number plates, EU Olympic games, EU youth orchestra, EU history books, EU motto, EU "national" day, EU citizenship, EU rights charter and EU Constitution, are so many doomed attempts to manufacture a European "demos" artificially, and with it a bogus supranational EU "nation" and "national" consciousness. They leave the ordinary people of Europe indifferent, whose allegiance remains to their own countries and nation states. The more European integration is pushed ahead and the more the national democracy of the EU member states is undermined, the more the EU loses legitimacy and authority in the eyes of citizens. Consequently the greater and more certain the eventual popular reaction against it. To align oneself with such a misguided, inevitably doomed project is to be out of tune with history.  It is to side with a supranational elite against the democracy of one's own people, to spurn genuine internationalism for the intoxication of building a superpower.

6) RESPECT FOR STATE SOVEREIGNTY IS A FUNDAMENTAL DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLE AND THE CORNERSTONE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW

Insistence on the sovereignty of one's own state is a natural right as well as a social duty. It is in no way an expression of misguided national egotism. Sovereignty has nothing to do with autarchy or economic self-sufficiency.  The national sovereignty of a democratic state is analogous to the freedom and autonomy of the individual. It means that one's domestic laws and foreign relations are exclusively decided by one's own parliament and government, which are elected by and responsible to one's own people. State sovereignty is a result of advancing political culture and is an achievement of modern democracy. It is not an end in itself but is an instrument of juridical independence, determining the possibility of a people that inhabits a particular territory deciding its own destiny and way of life in accordance with its own needs, interests, genius and traditions. It is the opposite of every kind of subordination to foreign rule. Without sovereignty a nation's politics become provincial, concerned with marginal, unimportant issues. Maintaining state sovereignty alone guarantees the political independence of a nation and creates conditions for its members to maintain their right to self-determination. The sovereignty of a democratic state means at the same time the sovereignty of its people. The end of the sovereignty of a state is at the same time the end of the sovereignty of its people. The sovereignty of a state and of its people is democratically inalienable. No government, no parliamentary or referendum majority, has the right to alienate it, for they have no right to deprive future generations of the possibility of choosing their own way of life, determining their internatinal relations and deciding the common good of that society.  The only mode of international cooperation acceptable to democrats is therefore one that will not demand of a state the sacrifice of its sovereignty.  That makes possible the free cooperation of free peoples united in sovereign states on the basis of juridical equality, which is fundamental to a stable international order.

7) THE EU'S CONCEPT OF "POOLING SOVEREIGNTY" IS A PROPAGANDA COVER FOR DOMINATION BY OTHERS AND FOR THE EFFECTIVE HEGEMONY OF THE BIGGER EU STATES

Concepts of "shared sovereignty,"  "pooled sovereignty" and "joint national sovereignties" are covers for having one's laws and policies decided by European Union bodies one does not elect, that are not responsible to one's own people and that can have significantly different interests from them. As EU members countries can no longer decide their own laws over a wide range of public policy. In practice countries and peoples that surrender their sovereignty to the EU become ever more subject to laws and policies that serve the interests of others, in particular the bigger EU states. The claim that if a nation or state surrenders its sovereignty to the EU, it merely exchanges the sovereignty of a small state for participation in decision-making in a larger supranational EU, is simply untrue. The reality is different. The EU continually reduces the influence of smaller states in decision-making by abolishing or limiting national veto powers. Even if bigger states divest themselves similarly of formal veto power, their political and economic weight ensures that they can get their way in matters decisive to them. Equally false is the statement that membership of new states in the European Union and their surrender of sovereignty to the EU would increase their sovereignty in practice. The nation that gives up its sovereignty or is deprived of it, ceases to be an independent subject of international politics. It becomes more like a province than a nation. It is no longer able to decide even its own domestic affairs. It literally puts its existence at the mercy of those who are not its citizens, who have taken its sovereignty into their hands and who decide the policies of the larger body. In the European Union the big states, in particular the French-German axis, decide fundamental policy. Juridically, EU integration is an attempt to undo the democratic heritage of the French Revolution, the right of nations and peoples to self-determination. Its profoundly undemocratic character makes the EU a project that is historically doomed and that must inevitably disintegrate.

8) THE EU INSTITUTIONS VIOLATE THE DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLE OF THE SEPARATION OF POWERS

The principle of the separation of powers between legislature, executive and judiciary has been recognised as the basis of democratic states and as fundamental to the liberty of citizens since the days of Locke and Montesquieu. The European Union flagrantly violates this principle. The Commission is the EU's executive, but it proposes all EU laws as if it were a legislature. It has judicial powers and can adjudicate on competition cases and impose fines. Even though there may be an appeal to the Court of Justice, the Commission acts as if it were a lower court. It draws up and administers its own budget, with minimal democratic control. The Council of Ministers makes laws as if it were a parliament, on the basis of Commission proposals, although it legislates in secret, often on the basis of package deals,  and takes some executive decisions. The European Parliament cannot initiate any EU law. It does not decide the EU budget and acts more like a council. The Court of Justice is not just a court but sometimes legislates like a parliament - for example in the way its judgements have greatly extended the legal powers of the EU. The executive, judicial and legislative functions of government are not separated in the EU institutions, but continually overlap.

9) THE EU TURNS MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE ARM OF GOVERNMENT AT NATIONAL LEVEL INTO SUPRANATIONAL LEGISLATORS, GREATLY INCREASING THEIR PERSONAL POWER WHILE EMASCULATING THE DEMOCRACY OF THEIR OWN PARLIAMENTS AND PEOPLES.  IT TURNS THE STATE ITSELF INTO AN ENEMY OF ITS PEOPLE, WHILE CLAMPING A FORM OF FINANCIAL FEUDALISM ON EUROPE.

Every time the national veto is abolished in a particular policy area and laws are made by majority voting on the EU Council of Ministers, national parliaments and citizens lose power correspondingly, for they no longer have the final say in the areas concerned. Simultaneously, individual Government Ministers, who are members of the executive arm of government at national level and must have a national parliamentary majority behind them for their policies, are turned into legislators for 450 million Europeans as members of the EU's 15-person,or 25-person, Council of Ministers, which constitutes an oligarchy that is responsible as a collectivity to no one. National politicians thus obtain an intoxicating accretion of personal power at the expense of their national parliaments and electorates, even though they may be outvoted on the EU Council. This is the reason national Government Ministers tend to be so europhile, so willing to cooperate in emasculating politically their own parliaments and peoples. The more policy areas shift from the national level to Brussels, the more power shifts simultaneously from national legislatures to national executives, and the more the power of individual Ministers increases. Keeping in with their fellow members of the exclusive Council of Ministers "club" of EU legislators tends to become more personally important and attractive to them than being awkward in defence of their own people's interests.

When laws are made by the EU Council of Ministers,  national parliaments and peoples can no longer decide or make laws on the issue in question. A member state on its own cannot decide a single European law. Its people, parliament and government may be opposed to an EU law, its government representative on the Council of Ministers may vote against it, but they are bound to obey it once it is adopted by qualified majority Council vote. This devalues the vote of every individual citizen. Each policy area transferred from the national level to the supranational EU level devalues it further. It reduces the political ability of citizens to decide what is the common good and deprives them of the most fundamental right of membership of a democracy, the right to decide their own laws, or to elect their representatives to make them, and to change those representatives if they dislike the laws they make. European integration is therefore not just a process of depriving Europe's nation states and peoples of their national democracy and independence. Within each member state it represents a gradual coup by government Executives against Legislatures, by politicians against the citizens who have elected them. It turns the state itself into an enemy of its own people, while clamping a form of financial feudalism on Europe.

10) THE DOMINANCE OR ATTEMPTED DOMINANCE OF A PEOPLE BY THE GOVERNMENT AND POWERFUL ELITES OF ANOTHER COUNTRY OR GROUP OF COUNTRIES IS IMPERIALISM AND A DENIAL OF DEMOCRACY

Imperialism can take the classical form of direct rule, in which the dominated people is openly treated as a colony, or the more modern form in which a people may have formal political independence, but their resources and external political and economic relations are under foreign control and directed at continuing their subordination or dependence. Neo-colonial relations of this kind are common in the contemporary world between metropolitan powers and former colonies, and are against the interests of the peoples of both. Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung described the origin of the EU's aspiration to empire and Big-Powerdom as follows: "One basic formula for understanding the Community is this: Take five broken empires, add a sixth one later, and try to make one grand big neo-colonial empire out of it all."

11) DEMOCRACY MEANS RIGHTS OF EQUALITY, WHICH PEOPLE AGREE TO ACCORD ONE ANOTHER AND WHICH THE STATE RECOGNISES

Democrats acknowledge the possession of equal rights by all citizens of a state, as well as equality of rights between people of different sex, race, religion, age and nationality. Ethnic minorities are entitled to have their rights protected within a democratic state. Majority rights and minority rights are different from one another, but are not in principle incompatible. The struggle against racism, sexism, ageism and national oppression are all democratic questions, concerned with equality. By contrast, the traditional issues that divide political right and left in modern industrial societies, proponents of capitalism and socialism, are concerned with inequality - in ownership and control of society's productive forces, in power, possessions, income and social function. The mass democracy that historically was first achieved under capitalism serves to legitimate and make more tolerable the inequalities of power, wealth and income of capitalist society. Traditional left-wing thought holds that capitalism in turn creates the material conditions for the application of the principle of democracy to the economic sphere, in the form of socialism, social democracy or a social market.

12) GLOBALIZATION CHANGES THE ENVIRONMENT OF NATION STATES, BUT DOES NOT MAKE THEM OUT OF DATE. INTERNATIONALISM, NOT GLOBALIZATION, IS THE WAY TO A HUMANE FUTURE

The notion that "globalization" makes the nation state out of date is an ideological one. Globalization is at once a description of fact and an ideology, a mixture of "is" and "ought." It refers to significant trends in the contemporary world: ease of travel, free trade, free movement of capital, the internet.  The effect of these on the sovereignty of states is often exaggerated. States have always been interdependent to some extent. There was relatively more globalization, in the sense of freer movement of labour, capital and trade, in the late nineteenth century than today, although the volumes involved were much smaller. At that time also most states were on the gold standard, a form of international money. Modern states do more for their citizens, are expected by them to do more, and impinge more intimately on peoples' lives, than at any time in history, most obviously in providing public services and redistributing the national income. Globalization imposes new constraints on states, but constraints there always have been. States adapt to such changes, but they do not cause nation states to disappear or become less important.  Globalization as an ideology refers to the interests of transnational capital, which wishes to be free of state control on capital movement and seeks minimal social constraints on the private owners that possess it. The relation of transnational capital to sovereign states is ambiguous. On the one hand it seeks to erode the sovereignty of states in order to weaken their ability to impose constraints on private profitability, and restrain "the furies of private interest."  On the other it looks to its own state, where the bulk of its ownership is usually concentrated, to defend its political and economic interests internationally.

13) PEOPLE ON THE POLITICAL LEFT AND RIGHT HAVE AN OBJECTIVE COMMON INTEREST IN ESTABLISHING AND MAINTAINING STATE SOVEREIGNTY AND IN UPHOLDING NATIONAL DEMOCRACY

People on the political Left wish the state to legislate left-wing measures, those on the political Right look for right-wing ones. But neither can have their way unless they are citizens of an independent state in the first place, possessing the relevant legislative power and competence to decide. This is why people on the political left and right of politics have an objective common interest in establishing and maintaining an independent nation state and a government that represents and is responsible to the nation. Likewise within each state different social interests align themselves for and against the maintenance of state sovereignty, seeking to uphold or to undermine national democracy.  This is a central theme of the politics of our time. It is why democrats in every country today, whether on the political Centre, Left or Right, are potentially part of the international movement in defence of the nation state and national democracy, and against the political and economic forces that seek to undermine these.

14) STATES HAVE THE RIGHT TO PROTECT THEIR CIVIC OR ETHNIC COHESIVENESS BY CONTROLLING IMMIGRATION, BUT NOT AT THE COST OF DISCRIMINATING AGAINST ETHNIC OR NATIONAL MINORITIES WITHIN THEIR BORDERS

There is no international, positive or natural law right that entitles people to migrate to live and work in other peoples' countries - apart from political asylum seekers, who are recognised as possessing such rights under international and natural law. All independent states have the right to decide who shall settle in their territories and how newcomers may acquire rights of citizenship.  At the same time, once people of different national or ethnic origins have settled in a country, they have the right to be treated the same as everyone else. It is evidence of how the European Union affects the sovereignty of its members that the government of each EU country must now extend such classical components of citizenship as rights to residence, work and social maintenance to the citizens of all the other member states as a requirement of supranational EU law. The states themselves no longer decide such matters. Two distinct democratic principles are involved in assessing international migration policy: the right of national communities to protect their social and cultural cohesiveness and integrity in face of uncontrolled or excessive immigration, and the right to equal treatment of all people within a country. It is the confusion of these two principles that makes rational consideration of migration issues often difficult.

15) PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS IS A PRIME DUTY OF SOVEREIGN STATES. NO ONE STATE OR GROUP OF STATES HAS THE RIGHT TO CONSTITUTE ITSELF AN INTERNATIONAL POLICEMAN OVER THE DOMESTIC AFFAIRS OF OTHER STATES.

International action to protect human rights should be grounded in respect for state sovereignty. This principle can be overborne only in accordance with the generally recognised principles of international law and on the basis of a broad consensus of the world community - for example if a state attacks another or attempts genocide against an ethnic group within its borders.

The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, whose director Anthony Coughlan supplied Spectre with this material, is based at 24 Crawford Avenue, Dublin 9, Ireland. Donations to finance the Centre's research and information work in the period ahead are very much needed, and will be gratefully received and acknowledged. They should be posted to the address above, with cheques or money orders enclosed, made out to Account No.30081817, Bank of Ireland. Call .+00-353-1-8305792 for further information.