If this casual abandonment of EU rules fails to stop any unrest then our corporate masters can always rely on the new armed paramilitary Europolice created by the Lisbon Treaty to step in. The European Gendarmerie Force (Eurogendfor), founded five years ago, is made up of paramilitaries from six member states – France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Romania, which joined in 2009. It is a European intervention force, based on the armed French Gendarmerie and the Italian Carabinieri. Eurogendfor troops, which have all the powers of a secret service and are immune from prosecution, are permanently billeted at its headquarters in the Italian town of Vicenza. The paramilitary plans were launched by the former French defence minister Michele Alliot-Marie after the French had to deal with internal uprisings of immigrant youth with regular running street battles. Under the Lisbon Treaty, Eurogendfor can be deployed in times of crisis instead of national armies, which presumably would be less inclined to fire on their own citizens.
The cross-shaped sword in the arms of Eurogendfor symbolises unity and the flaming grenade the common military roots of the police unit. The motto "Lex paciferat" means "The law pacifies" – that would be EU, not national, law.
In Article 4 of the establishing treaty, the duties of the unit are described as follows.
"Protecting the population and property and maintaining the public order during activities of public unrest."
During deployment, the troops of this paramilitary EU unit must commit to the laws of the state in which they are stationed and deployed, but all premises and terrain that are seized by the troops are immune even to authority of the state for which the troops operate, and not accessible.
Now Tony Blair and the political class didn't reveal that particular gem when promoting the treaty formerly known as the EU constitution. The existence of what is in effect a mercenary army under the control of EU institutions should be a major concern to growing protest movements across Europe, particularly those on the "left" who believe that the EU should be handed even more economic and political powers to "deal with" the crisis of capitalism.
A G20 counter-demonstration is being planned in Nice on November 1 and violence is erupting across the EU "empire" – as EU president Jose Manuel Barroso once candidly described it – so it may be a matter of time before the EU uses the lawless paramilitary force it has created to deal with just such a threat.
The Lisbon Treaty also gives plenty of scope for external military adventures by developing an armed wing for the EU, complete with its own military-industrial complex, to fight resource wars in the interests of the biggest European military powers, namely Britain, France and Germany.
Blair's former foreign policy guru Robert Cooper, architect of the illegal wars on Yugoslavia and Iraq, openly promoted this new form of direct European military colonialism. He claimed once that this new imperialism would require the EU to get used to "double standards."
"When dealing with old-fashioned states outside the post-modern continent of Europe, we need to revert to the rougher methods of an earlier era – force, pre-emptive attack, deception, whatever is necessary to deal with those who still live in the 19th century world of every state for itself," he said.
This latter-day Lord Palmerston is now a special adviser to EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton and revealed to us these "double standards" during a visit to oil-rich Bahrain earlier this year. With EU support, Bahrain's Western-backed king called in Saudi and Emirati mercenary troops to brutally crush Shia-led democracy demonstrations in March, leaving many dead.
When questioned about this harsh crackdown, Cooper said bluntly: "accidents happen. It's wrong to suggest that only violence has been from the police and the authorities. Undoubtedly there has been violence by some demonstrators and the deaths of at least two policemen," he said. Since then many Bahraini opposition activists have been sentenced to life in prison by military courts. So much for the Arab Spring.
Ironically in the same month the French and British air forces began pounding targets across oil-rich Libya with the full support of EU foreign policy tsar Ashton in order to "to help the people." It has long been known that the EU is seeking to build a military dimension to defend and extend its corporate interests externally. But the same militarisation process is developing internally with the creation of an armed police force which is immune from prosecution.
Repression at home and eternal war abroad – this is the new European model and it looks a lot like the old one.
Brian Denny is a spokesman for the (UK) Campaign Against Euro-Federalism. This article first appeared in the Morning Star. The photo is by George Laoutaris.