By Bruno Waterfield

The European Union has drawn up secret plans to establish itself as a global power in its own right with the authority to sign international agreements on behalf of member states.

Confidential negotiations on how to implement the Lisbon Treaty have produced proposals to allow the EU to negotiate treaties and even open embassies across the world.

A letter conferring a full “legal personality” for the Union has been drafted in order for a new European diplomatic service to be recognised as fully fledged negotiators by international bodies and all non-EU countries.

According to one confidential paper, the first pilot “embassies” are planned in New York, Kabul and Addis Ababa.

The move is highly symbolic in Britain as it formally scraps the “European Community”, the organisation that Britons originally voted to join in the country’s only referendum on Europe 34 years ago.

The decision, taken shortly before Ireland’s referendum last week, will mean a new European
diplomatic service with over 160 “EU representations” and ambassadors across the world.

Lorraine Mullally, the director of Open Europe, described the move as “a huge transfer of power which makes the EU look more like a country than an international agreement”.

“Giving the EU legal personality means that the EU, rather than member states, will be able to sign all kinds of international agreements – on foreign policy, defence, crime and judicial issues – for the first time,” she said.

She pointed out that the 1975 referendum was on joining the EC and that it is the European Communities Act that gives Brussels legislation primacy over British law.

“British voters agreed to join the European Communities, not a political union with legal personality with the power to sign all kinds of international agreements,” said Miss Mullally. “No one under the age of 52 has ever had a say on this important evolution and it’s about time we did.”

A restricted document circulated by the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, seen by The Daily Telegraph, spells out the need for legal changes to set up a European External Service (EEAS), an EU diplomatic and foreign service with “global geographical scope”.

The paper said: “The EEAS will need a legal status providing it with functional legal personality so that it has sufficient autonomy.

“This legal personality should also give it the capacity to act as necessary to carry out (its) tasks.”

Brussels ambassadors yesterday (TUES) began detailed work, in secret, to create new institutions, the EEAS, “foreign minister” and EU President, that are to be set up under the Lisbon Treaty.

Decisions “in principle” will be taken despite the fact that both Poland and the Czech Republic have not yet fully ratified the new EU Treaty.

Full article


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