Speaking to Express.co.uk in Strasbourg, Ms von Storch, deputy leader of the far-right Alternative for Deutschland party, which is part of the Europe for Freedom and Democracy group in the EU parliament, labelled the speech “frightening”.Well, fair enough—your humble Devil can understand this position. After all, it's just one of the reasons that the UK voted to Leave. But another comment does rather show how staggering ignorant some politicians can be...
“The European Union which has been presented to us today is not the one we want to be members of."
Asked how long the EU could survive in its current form, she added: “It has to be reformed immediately.Um, yes. Quite so. I don't know why you should be so surprised at this, Ms von Storch.
“They will change the European Union to the United States of Europe without treaty change. Without the change of the treaties. This is incredible what we have heard today."
The ability to change the EU without having to change the treaties was inserted into the Lisbon Treaty—which the Germans politicians were thoroughly happy to sign up to. The clauses concerned are one of the reasons that this author was so outraged that our own politicos pushed ahead with signing the
These "passerelle clauses" are referenced by Mr Junker in his speech:
When it comes to important single market questions, I want decisions in the Council to be taken more often and more easily by qualified majority – with the equal involvement of the European Parliament. We do not need to change the Treaties for this. There are so-called “passerelle clauses” in the current Treaties which allow us to move from unanimity to qualified majority voting in certain areas – if all Heads of State or Government agree to do so.Well, isn't that a surprise? Who would have thought that it might be dangerous to give politicians huge powers, or that they might use them in a way that you don't like eventually?
I am also strongly in favour of moving to qualified majority voting for decisions on the common consolidated corporate tax base, on VAT, on fair taxes for the digital industry and on the financial transaction tax. Europe has to be able to act quicker and more decisively.
How naive are you, Ms von Storch?
There is a certain amusing irony to this, of course: Germany has been happily pushing the EU along, enjoying it's dominance for decades. And now, the Germans are being hoist by their own petard. And they can't say that they weren't warned, you know.
If only there were some kind of German word for this...