By Sonya Jay Porter
INTRODUCTION (By Rodney Atkinson):There is nothing new about the use of “regionalisation” by European imperialist powers to conquer the democratic nation states. Sonya Porter here traces the EU’s first steps from 1958 when a cross border entity between Holland and Germany was created. But on this website we have frequently pointed to the much earlier plans of the Nazis in their “Regional Principle”. They realized that to undermine the democratic nation state they would need to bypass their Parliaments and hence their Capitals. By re-drawing the map to ignore nation states and by establishing regions within the former nations with direct links to the Centre (Berlin in the 1940s and Brussels today) the nations’ capitals and their Parliaments would become powerless and irrelevant.
Sonya Porter even shows how those countries which are NOT part of the European Union are being surreptitiously joined (by pen pushing map drawers in Brussels – the nomenclatura with their “scientific” Nomenclature!) to states which ARE members. They even receive indirect EU funding – although for those in the European Economic Area like Norway and Switzerland a mere drop in the ocean compared to those countries’ compulsory contributions to the EU in return for their right to “trade freely” with EU members.
Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics
(nomenclature d’unites territoriales statistiques)
By Sonya Jay Porter
The plan by the European Union to destroy the historical borders — both internal and external — of its separate countries is speeding up.
In 1994 we, in the UK, voted in our Counties at the European Elections for the last time. If you lived in Cornwall, for instance, you sent an MEP from Cornwall to sit in the European Parliament. But by the next EU election in 1999 as far as the European Union is concerned, the counties had been superseded and the country split into twelve Regions. The Provinces of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were considered by the EU to be countries and therefore were established as one Region each, but England instead of being one country was now nine Regions. This meant that if you lived in Newcastle you now lived and voted in the North East Region of the UK, not England.
This was the start of the NUTS — Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (nomenclature d’unites territoriales statistiques), or the division of all EU countries into areas ostensibly for statistical purposes. The basic countries have a two letter code — UK, for instance — and each Region is an NUTS1 and has an additional letter. If you live in the South East Region, then you reside in UKJ, while those living in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland reside in UKL, UKM and UKN respectively.
Then comes the first subdivision of the Regions, or NUTS2. While Northern Ireland remains one NUTS2, Wales now has two and Scotland, which believed it could be an independent country within the European Union, now consists of four NUTS2 subdivisions. The nine regions of what was England now consist of 30 NUTS2. There is yet one more sub-division: NUTS3. These consist of five groups of districts in Northern Ireland, 23 Groups of unitary authorities or LECs in Scotland, 12 groups of Unitary Authorities or groups of districts in the nine regions of England.
All these sub-divisions and sub-subdivisions are numbered. So this means that if you once lived in the Isle of Anglesey, you now live in region UK11 of the European Union or if you once lived in the Shetlands, you now live in UKM66 of the European Union.
Of course the United Kingdom is not the only country to be divided in this way and there are now approximately 264 Regions (NUTS1) covering all the countries which make up the European Union. To take one instance, currently there are 13 such Regions in Greece. Their personnel are appointed by the Greek government and the duties of each Region is a miniature of the duties of the central government. In 2008 the current Greek government announced its plans (as per EU directives) to reduce the number of Regions from 13 to five, the number of prefectures from 52 to 16 and the number of municipalities from 1050 to 350. In the meantime came the financial crisis and these plans were shelved but not abandoned.
In addition, there are approximately 110 organisations known as Euroregions or inter-regions which cross national borders and belong to the Association of European Border Regions. These are said to be for cross-border co-operation in various fields including the promotion of trade links, cultural ties, transport policies, tourism, education and spatial development. However, the term ‘Euroregion’ does not always clearly show the differences in aims and objectives, if they exist at all, compared with other trans-frontier structures which are given different names such as Euregios, Border Regions or Working Communities. Many of the newly established Euroregions in the central and eastern European countries seem to be in fact, simply communities of interest which are forums for informal trans-frontier information and consultation. Moreover, the legal frameworks within which the Euroregions operate exhibit such a wide variety of forms that it is difficult to clearly associate one particular legal framework with the term ‘Euroregion’.
The first inter-region, called ‘Euregio’ which took in parts of Germany and the Netherlands, was created by Germany in 1958 to ensure, it stated, that national borders should not be a barrier to the integration of Europe.
Although several of these date back to the 1960s, it was the 1990s which saw the largest increase in cross-border regions all over Europe. In fact today there are virtually no local or regional authorities in border areas which are not somehow involved in inter-regional co-operation initiatives.
Nor do these inter-regions stop at the borders of the current European Union. Turkey, which has yet to be formally accepted as a member of the EU, nevertheless has extensive inter-regional programmes linking it with Greece.
Switzerland with its substantial banking sector and Norway with its huge resources of oil, are both particular targets in spite of the fact that they, too, are currently outside the EU.
For instance, the Nordic Council, which comprises Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark, gets EU grants for all of its eight Euroregions and the EU says that it is necessary to include Switzerland so as to integrate it into European regional planning. According to the August 2009 Current Concerns, the English edition of the Swiss magazine Zeit-Fragen, largely unknown to the Swiss population (and certainly not voted for by them), this most democratic of countries is being split into three huge Metropolitan Areas — Zurich, Geneva and Basel — ready to act as ‘European Motors’ and to play leading roles in Europe in a number of respects such as economic performance, decision-making, etc.
But of particular interest to us here in Britain is the fact that three of these Euroregions cross our borders: the Arc Manche, the Atlantic Region and the North Sea Region.
The Arc Manche was originally set up in 1966. It currently includes the French areas of Brittany, Nord-pas de Calais, Lower Normandy, Upper Normandy and Picardy together with the English counties of Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, and West and East Sussex.
It has created its own forums for conferences, etc. and on 12th October 2005, members of Arc Manche met in Brighton to create the Channel Arc Manche Assembly. Inter-regional Assemblies, where they exist, usually consist of regional heads of governments, commissions of executive officers, general secretariats and standing commissions on a wide range of issues. These officials are not elected by the general public.
At the first meeting of the Arc Manche Assembly, Alain Le Vern from the Upper Normandy region, was appointed President and Brad Watson, from the West Sussex County Council, was appointed Vice President.
The North Sea Region was created in 2007 and links areas of six countries bordering the North Sea: Norway (which is outside of the EU), Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands and the whole eastern side of the UK.
The Atlantic Region, which was possibly created in 2008, takes in the west of Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Devon, Northern Ireland and Eire, plus parts of south-western France, Spain and Portugal.
There seems to be no information yet about Assemblies for the North Sea or Atlantic Euroregions but it is certain that none of the three will be based in the United Kingdom. The Arc Manche Region will be run from France, the Atlantic Region from Portugal and the North Sea Region from Denmark. All three now have legal status and receive large grants from the central funds of the EU (which, of course, includes British taxpayers’ money). Between 2007 and 2013, the Arc Manche Region will receive an annual budget of £261 million, the Atlantic Region £127 million and the North Sea Region £219 million.
In other words, the EU is busy knitting the various nations so tightly together, destroying both local and national loyalty, that it will be difficult to unpick them and retrieve our countries should we ever wish to leave the European Union.
And that’s the idea.
By Sonya Jay Porter