The Creation of the European Union – Jointly Celebrated? – Sunday, 9.5.2010

Posted on 10 May 2010. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 663 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 663

On Saturday, 8 May 2010, we carried a headline saying: The European Union and Cambodia Jointly Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Creation of the European Union. What does such a celebration mean? At least it is a sign of recognition: Cambodia and the European Union have mutual friendly relations, even cooperation beyond financial aid, like during the two days ASEM Conference on very practical, actual problems: Forests, Forest Governance and Timber Products Trade – Scenarios and Challenges for Europe and Asia, on 4 and 5 May 2010 in Phnom Penh, and the ASEM Senior Officials’ Meeting on 5 to 6 May 2010.

But even dealing with such practical questions as the handling of forest resources – how did it relate to the present campaign in Cambodia to crack down on the illegal cutting of luxury grade wood which has already identified 6,000 cubic meter of such wood, so that the authorities could confiscate it; but the question is raised in some papers that so far, the Oknhas – mostly rich businesspeople – behind this trade have not been touched, while low level operators are arrested. Have these international meetings and the joint celebration also led to exchanges about the basic values which were at the beginning of the European Union? Or which may motivate, beyond economic considerations, the further inner growth of ASEAN?

On 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman, Foreign Minister of France between 1948-1952, made a programmatic speech, a proposal, which led to the creation of the European Union. It has to be noted that this was exactly 5 years after the end of the Second World War, in which France had been among the victors against Germany. This speech initiated the end of the traditional, centuries old emotional distrust and enmity between France and Germany. To construct peace.

Declaration of 9 May 1950

World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it.

The contribution which an organized and living Europe can bring to civilization is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations. In taking upon herself for more than 20 years the role of champion of a united Europe, France has always had as her essential aim the service of peace. A united Europe was not achieved and we had war.

Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany. Any action taken must in the first place concern these two countries.

With this aim in view, the French Government proposes that action be taken immediately on one limited but decisive point.

It proposes that Franco-German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority, within the framework of an organization open to the participation of the other countries of Europe. The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe, and will change the destinies of those regions which have long been devoted to the manufacture of munitions of war, of which they have been the most constant victims.

The solidarity in production thus established will make it plain that any war between France and Germany becomes not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible. The setting up of this powerful productive unit, open to all countries willing to take part and bound ultimately to provide all the member countries with the basic elements of industrial production on the same terms, will lay a true foundation for their economic unification.

This production will be offered to the world as a whole without distinction or exception, with the aim of contributing to raising living standards and to promoting peaceful achievements. With increased resources Europe will be able to pursue the achievement of one of its essential tasks, namely, the development of the African continent. In this way, there will be realized simply and speedily that fusion of interest which is indispensable to the establishment of a common economic system; it may be the leaven from which may grow a wider and deeper community between countries long opposed to one another by sanguinary divisions.

By pooling basic production and by instituting a new High Authority, whose decisions will bind France, Germany and other member countries, this proposal will lead to the realization of the first concrete foundation of a European federation indispensable to the preservation of peace.

To promote the realization of the objectives defined, the French Government is ready to open negotiations on the following bases.

The task with which this common High Authority will be charged will be that of securing in the shortest possible time the modernization of production and the improvement of its quality; the supply of coal and steel on identical terms to the French and German markets, as well as to the markets of other member countries; the development in common of exports to other countries; the equalization and improvement of the living conditions of workers in these industries.

To achieve these objectives, starting from the very different conditions in which the production of member countries is at present situated, it is proposed that certain transitional measures should be instituted, such as the application of a production and investment plan, the establishment of compensating machinery for equating prices, and the creation of a restructuring fund to facilitate the rationalization of production. The movement of coal and steel between member countries will immediately be freed from all customs duty, and will not be affected by differential transport rates. Conditions will gradually be created which will spontaneously provide for the more rational distribution of production at the highest level of productivity…

The essential principles and undertakings defined above will be the subject of a treaty signed between the States and submitted for the ratification of their parliaments. The negotiations required to settle details of applications will be undertaken with the help of an arbitrator appointed by common agreement. He will be entrusted with the task of seeing that the agreements reached conform with the principles laid down, and, in the event of a deadlock, he will decide what solution is to be adopted.

The common High Authority entrusted with the management of the scheme will be composed of independent persons appointed by the governments, giving equal representation. A chairman will be chosen by common agreement between the governments. The Authority’s decisions will be enforceable in France, Germany and other member countries. Appropriate measures will be provided for means of appeal against the decisions of the Authority.

To understand the boldness of the proposal, against all historical experience, it is necessary to highlight this section:

“The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe, and will change the destinies of those regions which have long been devoted to the manufacture of munitions of war, of which they have been the most constant victims.

“The solidarity in production thus established will make it plain that any war between France and Germany becomes not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible.”

The production of coal and steel – the basis for the economic strength and for the opposing military machineries – is to be taken away from the opposing national authorities and put under a common international administration, a common High Authority which is not working under the supervision of the different governments – but these governments have to work under a joint High Authority for the common good of their people, for the “the equalization and improvement of the living conditions of workers in these industries,” and in this way, “Europe will be able to pursue the achievement of one of its essential tasks, namely, the development of the African continent,” working beyond its own narrow interests.

For 60 years, there has been no war in central Europe – because the coal and steel industry, the physical basis for a war machinery – was no more under full national sovereignty: “war between France and Germany became not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible.”

During the past week, tensions at the border between Thailand and Cambodia flared up again: at the Ta Krabei Temple, and at the Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak Pagoda.

What would happen, if both Cambodia and Thailand would give up claims on what sets them against each other – like Germany and France had been facing each other as not reconcilable enemies for ages, sending hundreds of thousands of soldiers from both sides to death – and consider and operate the historical heritage of both countries not for confrontation, but for cooperation?

Even the whole community of ASEAN would receive a new breath of life, if two member countries could make a step – probably smaller than the end of the bloody history between Germany and France – not just to forget past tensions, but to build an irreversible path into a common future. Like the unthinkable proposal Robert Schuman made 60 years ago. Was something similarly bold like this considered in the joint celebration of the creation of the European Union?

Please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.

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Wednesday, 2.7.2008: Australia Announced to Provide US$30 Million to the Electric Energy Sector in Indochina

Posted on 2 July 2008. Filed under: Week 567 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

“The Australian Foreign Minister announced that his government will provide US$30 million to help develop electric energy in the three countries of Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.

“According to the announcement by the Australian Embassy on 1 July 2008, Mr. Stephen Smith, the Australian Foreign Minister, spoke about providing these funds during his visit in Vietnam.

“Mr. Stephen Smith announced that Australia will provide funds to countries in Asia to meet their urgent needs for the supply of electricity with sustainability.

“Mr. Stephen Smith said that ‘Australia will proved more than US$30 million through the World Bank for the period of four years, in order to improve the supply of electric energy in rural areas, to reduce the loss of energy during distribution, and to push the development of methods to use new sources of electric energy in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.’

“He added, ‘In Cambodia, only 6% of all families have access to electricity. Australia will provide US$12,300,000 to support the expansion of the supply of electricity to 13,000 families and to some enterprises in rural areas.’

“He continued, ‘Some funds will also be provided as loans to guarantee new investments for new energy resources, and to provide cookers using bio-substances to reduce the effect by greenhouse gas and by the pollution of the atmosphere.’

“This initiate was made based on the basis of a strong cooperative program which has been used previously in Cambodia. The government of Australia will provide approximately Australian Dollars 61,200,000 (approx. US$56,600,000) as development aid for Cambodia from 2008 to 2009 (from June 2008 to July 2009). The priority sectors of this cooperation include agriculture, rural development, the health sector, and law and judicial reforms.

“Nowadays, Cambodia has only about 230 megawatt of electricity for the supply in cities and other populated areas, and in order that all citizens have access to electricity, Cambodia needs more than approximately 1,000 megawatt.

“According to the plan, the Cambodian government intends to distribute electricity countrywide by 2010, and important electric sources are to come from investment in hydro-electric plants and from imports from other countries.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4630, 2.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #126, 2.7.2008

  • Environment Protection Organization in Battambang Puts Limits on Seize of [illegal] Wood and Extorts Money
  • Kampuchea Krom Khmers Remembered the Day on which Yuon [Vietnam] Arrested Tim Sakhan


Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #75, 2.7.2008

  • Thailand Withdrew Support to List the Preah Vihear Temple; Cambodia Warns to Boycott Thai Goods and Close Border Crossing at the Temple Forever


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1682, 2.7.2008

  • [Former Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Kompong Thom who left the party to join the Cambodian Peoples Party] Sok Pheng Will Sue Khmer Machas Srok [a pro-Sam Rainsy newspaper], if It Continues to Publish News which Affect His Honor


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #36, 2.7.2008

    Corruption and Nepotism Are Barriers for Youth to Seek Jobs

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6386, 2.7.2008
Nowadays, There Are More Than One Million Illiterate Citizens in Cambodia, and more than 820,000 of Them Are Women
Most Poor Citizens of Cambodia Work in the Agricultural Sector
Hearing Was Opened over the Case of the Explosion [on 29 July 2007] at the Cambodia-Vietnam Monument [1 July 2008]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3501, 2.7.2008
People in the Law Profession and Civil Society Believe that the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Will Not Release the Chief of the Murderers [of “Democratic Kampuchea”] Ieng Sary [on bail]

Raksmei Angkor, Vol.11, #1329, 2.7.2008
The [Phnom Penh] Municipality Warned [on 30 July 2008] about the Uses of Chemicals Which Are Illegal, to Retain the Quality [of food]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4630, 2.7.2008
Australia Announced to Provide US$30 Million to the Electric Energy Sector in Indochina
Cambodian Economy Rises after Joining the World Trade Organization
Senior Minister Keat Chhon Attended the Europe-Asia Meeting [ASEM] in South Korea
Oil Price Increase to Nearly US$144 per Barrel

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3348, 1.7.2008
Police Official of the Cambodian People’s Party Used a Car with a Number Plate of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces for Election Propaganda; He Twisted an Arm of Ms. Mu Sochua [deputy secretary-general of the Sam Rainsy Party] and Pulled Her Blouse Away to Expose Her [to prevent her from taking pictures of that car – Kampot]

Have a look at the last editorial – Preah Vihear still in the headlines – more information about Thailand’s and Cambodia’s documents.

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