European Central Bank - The ECB is run by appointees, who are completely “independent” (they do not take any instructions from people such as members of the European Parliament who have been elected, or any other EU institution or member state government, none of whom are permitted to attempt to influence it.). They come from private banking interests and meet behind closed doors with complete control over the direction of European economic and monetary policy and interest rates, and are able, on their own, to issue regulations and directives carrying the same force as those issued through the community legislative procedures. These people are totally unanswerable to anyone.
This is where the real power lies. For those states that sign up to the single currency, the ECB will determine monetary policy and set interest rates that control the amount of money and credit in circulation, and thus the general level of economic activity, at a given time throughout those member states which adopt the Euro.
What it decides will determine levels of direct and indirect taxation, spending in every area of economic and social activity, wage deals, government borrowing, the budgets to be allocated to the newly created regional assemblies etc. National Central Banks become an integral part of the European System of Central Banks and must act in accordance with its instructions. It therefore has the power to controls cycles of “boom” and “bust”. Its regulations and directives do not require the approval or consent of any of the other institutions, which are obliged to recognise its “independence”, by not seeking to influence it. The only control is a judicial one exercised by the European Court of Justice which is limited to deciding whether or not it has acted in accordance with it’s very wide powers!
The granting of full independence, and control of monetary policy to the Bank of England by the Labour Government immediately after it was elected, was essential to prepare for the handing over of power to the ECB and the incorporation of the Bank of England into the European System of Central Banks.
The Euro is fundamental to the continuing creation of a single European state. Our government, despite what some ministers may say publicly, is almost certainly ideologically committed to getting us in. The so called 5 economic tests that have to be met are really just a smoke screen to conceal the political objective, and to allow time to try to convince people that the single currency should be adopted. The government will try to avoid calling a referendum on the issue until they are satisfied they will get a yes vote. Even the protocol in the Masstricht Treaty that permitted Britain to remain outside the single currency is something of a sham, because we are already committed to managing our economic and monetary policy for the benefit of the community as a whole, and with a view to entry into full monetary union, no matter how far in the future that may be. What is the difference between running policy in readiness for going in and actually being in? It certainly means public spending, taxation, public sector borrowing and public sector wage deals are being tightly controlled to comply with the so called “convergence criteria” for joining the Euro. On the economic front, the shots are called by big business and multinational corporations, through organisations such as the European Round Table of Industrialists, whose founder Etienne Davignon chaired the Bilderberg Group meeting in 2000. So many new regulations seem designed to force small business people right out of business.
European Court of Justice - (NOT to be confused with the European Court of Human Rights which is separate and not an EU institution - yet) Its job is to interpret the rules of the treaties and all community legislative acts, regulations and directives made under them. Since the only law it applies is that contained in the treaties, which is designed to further European integration, it is essentially a political court, whose decisions and interpretations are intended to make sure member states give effect to that process.
There are other general features that need looking at as well:
Europol - A Europe wide police force known as Europol is being created. It has very wide powers but is not answerable to any elected body. It reports to a special committee appointed by the Council of Ministers. It exists ostensibly to fight crime, but it has a much wider function. Not only will it collect and store information on known and suspected criminals, but also on anyone's political and religious beliefs and activities. The building up of large databases is specifically provided for under the Maastricht Treaty. Europol has recently been empowered to form its own anti terrorist squad with access to information held by MI5 and MI6. All Europol personnel are immune from prosecution.
Corpus Juris - The European Commission and the European Parliament are pressing for the imposition of a uniform legal system throughout the EU known as Corpus Juris. If fully implemented in Britain, all criminal prosecutions would be heard solely by judges or other professional paid officials appointed by the state. Trial by jury would be phased out, to be replaced by a single judge sitting alone. Recent attempts to get legislation through Parliament reducing those cases where an accused can demand trial by jury, should be seen as the start of this process. In addition a Home Office report has recommended that lay magistrates should be replaced by stipendiary (i.e. professional paid) magistrates, another measure that clearly fits in with the Corpus Juris plan. In both cases the government claims the measures are simply in the interests of efficiency and cost effectiveness. The involvement of ordinary people in the judicial process as magistrates and jurors is fundamental to the system of justice employed through much of the English speaking world, and goes back hundreds of years - it is designed to protect the citizen against the risk of arbitrary or malicious prosecution, and is a healthy feature in any democracy. Corpus Juris would also introduce detention without trial, since under this continental system, a person suspected of an offence can be arrested and held in custody for a period of six months or more, pending such further investigations and enquiries as the public prosecutor sees fit, before being brought before a court. This is radically different from our own system of Habeas Corpus (which has its origins as far back as Magna Carta of 1215), whereby an accused person must be brought before a court within a very short period of arrest, and evidence against the arrested person produced. The Anti –Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 rushed through parliament in the aftermath of September 11th includes provisions enabling the Home Secretary to make changes such as these to our court system, by statutory instrument, rather than by a bill requiring full parliamentary debate. A European public prosecutor has already been appointed and will have authority in Britain and throughout the EU, initially only in respect of cases involving fraud against the EU budget (e.g. people who make dishonest claims for EU grants and subsidies etc.) this is now being extended via Eurojust, a new agency which will have powers of investigation in all EU member states.
European Army - Under the new Nice treaty, an old European defence pact known as Western European Union is to be incorporated into the European Union itself. It will lay the foundation for a European Army, hailed by German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer as another pillar in the process of European unification. The first steps to create the European army were taken at the EU Helsinki summit in December 1999, where agreement was reached to set up a so called “rapid reaction force” of 60,000 soldiers complete with command, planning and intelligence bases. It is likely to have an offensive role rather like NATO adopted and put into practice in Yugoslavia and Kosovo in 1999. More significantly, French PM Lionel Jospin has stated that “by pooling its armies, Europe will be able to maintain internal security, as well as prevent conflicts throughout the world..” Indeed, Foreign Office sources indicate that the setting up of a 5000 strong internal emergency reaction force was approved at the EU summit at Feira, Portugal in June 2000. In many parts of the EU, it is normal practice already for riot police, with tear gas and water cannon, to be used to confront even peaceful protests
Banning Political Parties? - In April 2000, the European Parliament approved the Dimitrakopoulos-Leinen Report, article 6 of which makes provision for the setting up of EU wide political parties. However, this is subject to the proviso that “parties that do not respect human rights and democratic principles as setout in the Treaty of Rome shall be the subject of suspension proceedings in the European Court of Justice”. Despite the rhetoric in its preamble, the Treaty of Rome is not based on democratic principles but rather on European integration. Is the framework being created that any party opposed to the EU such as the United Kingdom Independence Party, could be subjected to such proceedings? The banning of political parties characterised the former Soviet Union. They never abolished elections - the ruling Communist party simply outlawed all other parties as “fascist” or “counter revolutionary” and maintained itself in power that way!
EU Constitution etc. The Treaty of Amsterdam, signed in October 1997, provided for the removal of border controls between EU member states, although Britain has a temporary opt out on this. Plans exist for a written constitution for the EU incorporating the existing treaties - the Nice Treaty declares that this will be presented to the next intergovernmental conference in 2004. The last intergovernmental conference that produced the Nice Treaty laid the foundations for this under the guise of a charter of fundamental rights – this may sound great… until you realise that the only rights you get are the ones specifically mentioned in the charter – and that under article 51 all rights can be suspended if “the interests of the Union” so require. This along with the possible future replacement of the Council of Ministers by a president with power to appoint a cabinet would ensure that member states’ governments would no longer have any involvement in EU policy making, or be able to amend the treaties or a future EU constitution. The Nice Treaty also provides the framework for the enlargement of the EU from the present 15 states up to 27 – mainly the former communist states of eastern Europe and some of the old soviet republics.
Devolution - There’s been lots of spin and hype about bringing power closer to people by devolving power to Scotland and Wales. The devolved assemblies have very limited powers in practice – they have no revenue raising powers such as the council tax raised by county councils. Fixed sums are allocated to them annually by central government. What they can spend the money on is also limited to health, education and certain aspects of economic development. The devolution plan is fundamental to the ongoing creation of the single European state, which may explain why our government launched such massive campaigns in favour of a “yes” vote in the referenda for Scottish and Welsh devolution. The 1998 “Good Friday” agreement, presented as a breakthrough in the Northern Ireland peace process, was a vital part of the same plan, because, crucially, it set up an assembly for Northern Ireland.
Under the umbrella of the Committee of the Regions (set up by the Maastricht Treaty) the EU is divided into 111 regions of which Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are each a region. England is divided into 9 regions and the plan is for these regions also to have assemblies – John Prescott is a vigorous promoter of these. The first English assembly (Greater London) is already in place. The remaing eight would complete the EU pattern. Their forerunners, the regional development agencies, have already been set up. These assemblies will play no part in the EU legislative process - they too simply decide how a budget allocated to them will be spent in limited areas such as health and education. Their voice in the EU will be confined to 2 members each appointed to the Committee of the Regions which is only consulted by the other institutions in very limited areas of legislation.
In 1998, Tory MEP Roger Helmer was told seriously by a fellow Tory MEP that in 10 years Westminster would be gone, and by then, the U.K. would be 12 regions governed from Brussels. With major constitutional and law making powers being transferred to the federal institutions of the EU, and limited spending powers being devolved to the regions, elected national parliaments are already becoming just “clearing houses” for passing on EU made policy, rules and regulations – part of major global moves intended to deprive democratic structures of any real power and substance.  Some people defend the EU saying without it we would all end up at war. This is nonsense - it is thanks to such things as modern communications, television and travel that have brought us together in ways that were impossible 50 plus years ago, making it highly unlikely that we would ever fight each other again as in the past. They also ignore the fact that most wars in the world today are being fought within states with totalitarian regimes which refuse to accept minority and individual rights to run their own affairs. This is the pointer for the future – conflict in Europe with the grass roots rising up against undemocratic centralised control that the EU, especially an enlarged EU represents… Indeed mass protests are already starting to take place throughout the EU as more and more people see their livelihoods being sacrificed on the altar of what is becoming a banker corporate dictatorship.
NAFTA, APEC and “DOLLARISATION”
A similar process as we have with the European Union is now beginning to take place on the other side of the Atlantic. The embryonic North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is presently comprised only of the U.S. Canada and Mexico. It is presented at this stage as no more than a free trade bloc, as was the EU’s forerunner the Common Market. However, Bill Clinton spoke latterly of expanding it to take in central and south American states and extending its powers. All central and South American countries are already tied into at least one of several free trade blocs of which Mercosur is the largest – these seem likely to be merged into NAFTA in due course. A vastly expanded NAFTA to be known as the Free Trade Area of the Americas was the central theme at the “Summit of the Americas” held in Quebec City, Canada in April 2001. This whole process is backed by George W. Bush and the New York based “Council of the Americas” comprised of bankers and big corporate bosses.
Although there are rules and arbitration procedures and an enforcement tribunal, as yet NAFTA does not have formal institutions like the EU’s. However, in addition a process of “dollarisation” is afoot. There has been serious debate in Canada and Argentina to scrap their currencies and adopt the U.S. dollar instead, and Ecuador and Panama have already done so. Ultimately, a single currency for the Americas (the US dollar), like a single currency for the EU, is a probable objective in certain corporate banking and government circles.
A third major bloc is starting to be formed, namely the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation zone (APEC) – within that region is AFTA (the Asian Free Trade Area.) which covers ten states in south east Asia. Are these the forerunners of “the American Union” and “the Asia-Pacific Union”?
THE UNITED NATIONS AND NATO The UN is not a very effective organisation these days. The problem is that, whilst at its inception at the end of World War 2, on the one hand the victorious powers may have sought to create an organisation that was supposed to tackle “worthy goals”, on the other hand they sought an organisation to protect and promote their own interests. Thus the Security Council with its five permanent members drawn from the victors, was set up alongside the General Assembly of states. The five permanent members of the Security are also the leading purveyors of the weapons of war. The General Assembly has been sidelined by the Security Council and its powerful five permanent members each of whom has a veto over any proposal or resolution. None has used the veto more than the US and even when a resolution is made it is frequently ignored, and only heeded when it doesn’t interfere with its members plans, especially those of the US. Following the end of the cold war and the demise of Soviet power, many people say that today UN = US!
However the UN is in the process of reinventing itself. Under the headline “Getting into bed with big business” journalist George Monbiot writing in the Guardian 31/8/00, concluded that the UN is turning itself into an enforcement agency for the global economy, helping western companies to penetrate new markets, whilst avoiding regulations which would be the only effective means of holding them to account. “By making peace with power, the UN is declaring war on the powerless…” It is the body responsible for imposing and maintaining the most appalling economic sanctions on the people of Iraq for the last 11 years. The UN Centre on Trans-national Corporations (TNCs), which tried to help weak nations protect themselves from predatory companies, was dissolved in 1993 – its place taken by the Business Council for Sustainable Development put together at the much hyped Earth Summit at Rio in 1992. Its chief recommendation is that companies regulate themselves. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is now saying that he wants to see more opportunities for companies, rather than governments or the UN, to set global standards. It was announced in June 1997 that corporations would be given a formal role in UN decision making. The UN Conference on Trade and Development now works with the International Chamber of Commerce, which is dominated by TNCs. In 1999, Annan launched the Business Humanitarian Forum, chaired jointly by the UN Commissioner on Refugees and the Chairman of Unocal, a US company which once operated in Burma helping to build a gas pipeline, during the construction of which Burmese government soldiers tortured and killed local people. Annan explained to BHF’s corporate members, such as Rio Tinto Zinc and Nestle, that the business community is fast becoming one of the UN’s most important allies. In March 1999 it was revealed that the UN Development Programme was receiving gifts from a variety of big corporations, in return for which they receive privileged access to UNDP offices.
The UN Millennium Summit in September 2000 didn’t receive much media coverage. However, amongst its proposals were plans for a much enhanced UN military role – the present role of peace keepers made up of the soldiers of member states is no longer seen as adequate – the UN must have its own staff and troop training facilities to provide a permanent UN standing army along with an intelligence capability. Above all, it was contended, the UN should be able to crack down with full military might wherever a national government fails to treat its people in conformity with UN criteria on “human rights” and “social justice”. Its role was no longer to be just peace keeping, but “humanitarian intervention” and “peace enforcement”. Tony Blair and Robin Cook were the prime movers behind these plans which appear to be very much in accord with their Fabian philosophy.  To get a good idea as to how this may work in practice and what the grounds might be for intervention let’s look at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ( NATO), and particularly its intervention in Kosovo in 1999. Just as the UN is seeking to provide itself with an enhanced military role, so too is NATO. As more states join NATO, it is possible that its military roles could eventually be merged with the UN. NATO was originally a defensive pact between the US and several European nations, created as a bastion against possible Soviet aggression – it would act if only a member state was attacked – it would not initiate an attack itself. But all that changed in 1999, when NATO declared that it had the right to intervene wherever it regards a state as not respecting human rights.
Let’s be very clear about one thing - western governments and corporate business interests have no objection to states with repressive totalitarian regimes, provided they play the global game, allowing TNCs to invest in and exploit their resources - and provided these regimes take out loans from the big commercial banks, the World Bank or the IMF etc. - for example Indonesia, the Phillipines and numerous tin pot dictatorships in sub Saharan Africa. Indeed western governments will help bring dictators and human rights abusers to power and support them, as the US did with General Pinochet in Chile and Suharto in Indonesia.
However if they do not play the game, instead seeking to be independent for the benefit of their own people, then, if they happen to have a dubious human rights record towards minorities, it will be seized upon to provide the excuse for armed intervention. Such states are now termed rogue states, and the old federal republic of Yugoslavia became a perfect example. It was a socialist country with state and co-operative ownership of business interests. It was unwilling to allow foreign companies to invest in or take over its industries and was not interested in joining the European Union or NATO. Economic collapse occurred in the late 80’s when international bankers called in Yugoslavia’s loans, which had the effect of rekindling old ethnic tensions as people began to squabble over increasingly scarce jobs and resources, and the ethnic groups blamed each other for the resulting economic collapse. (Against this backdrop, Milosevic was elected to power by a Serb majority.) Subsequent events produced favourable results for western finance and industry. The newly created states of Bosnia, Croatia etc. are all now open to “foreign investment”, but Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo still made up Yugoslavia. 
Within Kosovo lies the massive Trepca mining complex capable of producing up to £3 million worth of vital industrial minerals per day. It is one of the most concentrated mineral rich areas in the world and is a rich picking for TNCs. The Kosovo Liberation Army is in fact a terrorist organisation rather like the IRA and was actually supported covertly by the German secret service. The alleged mass atrocities by Milosevic against Albanians in Kosovo have never been established, although these were the excuse for armed intervention. Nearer the truth is perhaps, that the federal Yugoslav authorities used heavy handed tactics at times to deal with terrorists and guerrillas whose aim was (and still is) to create a greater Albania. The Rambouillet Accords ultimately put before Milosevic by NATO were a modern form of “gunboat diplomacy”, because they included demands that no leader of a sovereign nation could possibly accept - namely that NATO personnel have unrestricted access, to not just Kosovo, but the whole of Yugoslavia. Milosevic naturally refused to accept this, and NATO responded with the mass bombing of Serbia and Kosovo that followed.
The International Crisis Group is a high level think tank supported by financier and regular Bilderberg attendee George Soros. In November 1999 it sought to provide policy guidance to governments involved in the NATO led reshaping of the Balkans, and issued a paper advising the take-over of the Trepca complex as soon as possible. On 14th. August 2000, NATO forces swooped down on the Zvecan smelter to seize the last remaining piece of the Trepca mining complex owned by the Yugoslav government. The excuse for this action was health reasons. It was claimed the plant produced dangerous atmospheric lead pollution and that it would remain closed until repairs could be made to reduce emissions. In an ironic disregard for health concerns, protesting workers were dispersed with tear gas and rubber bullets… 
In conjunction with the UN and NATO, the term “the international community” has become very popular. This loose and misleading term has no definition, but in reality it is the global power brokers - the movers and shakers who will deal ruthlessly with those who do not tow the line, as Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and others have found to their cost.