The Nice Treaty Is Dead – the Ratification Process Must Stop!

The No of the Irish people to the Nice Treaty means that this treaty is dead. The Irish people is the only people of the EU countries who has had the opportunity to vote on it – and they rejected it. They said No to the actual transformation of the EU into a federal state, No to increased power to the big countries at the expense of the small ones, No to loss of sovereignty, and No to the militarisation of the EU and its becoming an imperialist superpower.

According to the EU treaties, EU legislation and international law, this means that the Irish government cannot sign the Nice Treaty. But it also means that the process of ratification in all the other countries has to stop. The No is not an Irish problem, but a problem of the EU. The Irish people has performed its democratic right to say No, and everybody is obliged to respect that.

With tremendous arrogance, the Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, present Chairman of the European Council, and the Chairman of the European Commission Romano Prodi, refused to respect and adhere to the Irish No. On the contrary, they have called for “doing a Denmark” on Ireland. That is to force the Irish people to vote again, to vote on a “Nice 2” that does not change a single word in the “Nice 1” they have already rejected, a “Nice 2” furnished with some protocols and declarations about Ireland – just as it happened when Denmark rejected the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. With enormous contempt for the democratic process, and even the laws of the EU itself, the foreign ministers of the EU countries have also concurred in this at their meeting in Luxembourg, and proclaimed that the Nice Treaty will be signed by everybody, as planned, before the end of 2002!

The formula of “democracy” of the EU is “Vote Yes – Or Vote Again!”. This is another proof of its anti-popular and anti-democratic nature, that the EU is the Union of the monopolies and not the project of the European peoples.

The Workers’ Communist Party of Denmark (APK) appeals to the Danish government and the Danish parliament to adhere to democracy and stop the process of ratification – and it appeals to the strong Danish movement against the EU to take steps to secure that this happens. If not, a referendum on the Nice Treaty must be held in Denmark, too.

We also appeal to all democrats and critics of the EU – outside and inside the EU – to put pressure on their governments and the EU in order to stop the ratification process, respecting the No of the Irish people.

The Irish people are not only speaking on behalf of themselves, but on behalf of all European opponents of the Nice Treaty. A Danish referendum, which until now has been refused, would most likely result in another No.

No to the Europe of the Monopolies!

June 13, 2001

Workers’ Communist Party of Denmark

Defend the No! No Nice Treaty! Nice Means More Union!

Three times, we Danes have voted no. Nevertheless, the government and the yes-parties are working intensely to defy the content of the no vote, paving the way for more Union with the upcoming Nice Treaty.

For the Nice Summit in December, the decision on the introduction of majority voting is being prepared. This means away with the right of veto and accepting interference in the fiscal and social policies of every single country. Also, there is scheduled more power to Germany and France due to the fact that they get more votes as the minor countries get fewer, and due to the accept of them running at full speed, making more Union in order to demand later that the rest of the EU follows them. The accept of interfering in the internal affairs of every single EU member state through the adoption of a Union charter is also on the agenda in Nice.

To the Union politicians, promises exist to be broken. Today, all parties of the Folketing (the national parliament) are involved in Denmark’s adjustment to the EU: The Socialist People’s Party is supporting the Nice mandate of the government, the Unity List (Red-Greens) is supporting the state budget for 2001, adapted to the demands of the EU, and Danish People’s Party will support a future openly bourgeois Union government.

Fundamentally speaking, the no of the September 28 referendum was a no to the Union slide – a no to more Union. It was a no to the abolition of the veto and the transition to majority decisions, a no to Union harmonization, also of fiscal, social and domestic policies.

It was a no to the “United States of Europe” with its own state, government, currency and military, and which is still under way, even though the Danish workers and the majority of the population do not want it.

All popular forces must support that Denmark does not vote for a new Union treaty in Nice because the Danish people has voted against more Union.

The Denmark of the future: Outside the EU

It is attempted to pack away the whole Union development by describing it with phrases like “the peace project” and “the incorporation of the Eastern European countries into the EU for the sake of the populations living in these countries”.

But to the European working class, the reality of the EU has been a strengthening of the monopolies at the expense of the workers. It has meant privatisation, increased rate of work and the dismantling of collective rights and the welfare society.

Within the next years there will come more Union, more centralisation. There exist plans for changing the treaties to a real federal constitution within five years. Then the United States of Europe will be a reality, a state suppressing the social rights and democracy, a state with its own military, tax collection and EU nationalism, trying to play the role as superpower towards the rest of the world.

Therefore, we are already now seeing the Union supporters preparing for the crucial referendum that shall put an end to all the provisos and finally integrate Denmark into both the euro, the Union army and the Union state.

If Denmark shall be able to refuse more Union, there is only one answer: We must get out of the EU! Denmark cannot put the brake on the Union roulette, but it can say yes to become an independent country again.

What do we win outside the EU? We win the right to welfare and the possibility of negotiating solidarily and equally with the peoples in Eastern Europe and in the developing countries. We win the freedom of saying no to lots of stupid and disagreeable EU rules and the possibility of fighting for workers’ rights. We win the possibility of getting democracy and the right of making equal agreements on trade, culture and peace with our neighbouring countries, with the European as well as the poor countries. We win the freedom from the endless Union screw and regain the national independence.

It is not at all unrealistic, and in the course of time other EU countries will undoubtedly accompany us.

In October, an opinion poll showed that 46 percent of the voters are fundamentally against the EU-membership. This many would vote no, if there were a referendum on the Danish EU-membership now.

A referendum on the EU-membership can be won!

To all no-voters, the position must be clear: If the government defies the no of the September 28 referendum and signs the Nice Treaty, all no-forces must unite in demanding a referendum on that treaty.

No to more Union – the Nice Treaty must be dropped!

Stopping the Union can only become reality when Denmark is out of the EU.

Copenhagen, October 24, 2000

Workers’ Communist Party of Denmark (APK)

Kommunistisk Politik, No. 22, October 28, 2000


The Danish No to the Euro – a Victory for the Working Class and the People

The referendum about Danish adoption of the Euro and removal of the national currency, the krone, ended in a resounding victory for the No. It was a No to the dissolution of Denmark as an independent currency nation – a major symbol of one of the constituting factors of a nation.

And it was a definite No also to closer integration into the European Union and its course towards a supranational state in whatever form, a No to any kind of “United States of Europe”.

With 53.1 pct. voting No and 46.9 pct. voting yes and a record-like turnout of 87 percent of all voters, this was an even more clear-cut decision than the No to the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.

The Danish bourgeoisie and its social supporters almost to a man recommended a Yes-vote. The social democratic led coalition government and the official opposition of the main conservative and liberal parties led a co-ordinated campaign in favour of a yes. The state propaganda was in favour of a yes. The employers’ organisations and the entire social democratic leadership of the trade unions (with the exception of a few minor trade unions) carried out a co-ordinated campaign for the Euro. The Yes-side controlled the mass media and spent millions of kroner (five times as much as the No-side) on advertisements and propaganda for a Yes.

The Yes-campaign was a horrendous mix of threats, promises, false “guaranties”, insults and intimidations of the No-side. They threatened that the Danes in case of a No would lose their home, work and bread!

In spite of this the result was an overwhelming No, reflecting the true interests of the Danish working class and people. Being the project of big capital, of monopoly capital, to advance profits and create a new imperialist European superpower, competing with the USA, less than one third of the population, with the working class as its core, has any objective interest in this project. On the contrary: “United Europe” is against the interests of the workers and the people. In the period of Danish membership, which has included adaptation of the convergence demands of the Maastricht Treaty, the Danes have seen a growth in mass unemployment, privatisation of great parts of the public sector, reduced social welfare and constant attacks on the hard-won rights of the workers. Schools, educational centres, kindergartens and health services have been cut back to a lower standard. The so-called Nordic welfare-model has been changed beyond recognition.

The EU sanctions against Austria, that showed the interference in the autonomy of a sovereign nation, also assisted the NO-campaign in a small country like Denmark that has always fought the domination of greater neighbouring powers like Germany, the main force in the Union of the monopolies. Of big importance for the strong NO were also the crises of the Euro, the demonstration of the weakness of this currency and its factual devaluation.

This is speeding up the process of building the Union State and stimulates so-called reforms to harmonise social legislation, finances, taxes, labour market and so on. In advance the Danes voted against the upcoming Nice-treaty, that is going to remove the unanimity principal in favour of majority decisions, and the expected “reforms”.

The referendum confirmed all the existing Danish “exceptions” (of which non-participation in the Euro and the third phase of the Economic Monetary Union was one) to the Maastricht Treaty, including the not joining of the “European army”, that is going to be ready in 2003. Had the rulers won this election, there would have been held a new referendum in a short time to remove the three other exceptions.

Pursuing their own class interests the bourgeois media presents the result of the referendum as a victory of the Right, and as a nationalist and chauvinist No. This is a major distortion. All the parties to the left of Social Democracy, including small revisionist parties, have constant advocated a No. The small so-called Christian Peoples’ Party, a small party of the “Centre”, which had a couple of ministers in the previous bourgeois government of Poul Schlüter, which preceded the present government of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, also advocated a No. The populist right-wing party Danish Peoples’ Party with less than ten percent of the voters was presented as the leading advocate of a No, which is a total falsification. In the political sense, a great range of forces represents the No, covering the entire political spectrum. Among the major political forces are the two Danish No-movements – the Peoples’ Movement against the European Union (created as a broad social and political front organisation already before Danish entry into EU in 1972) and the June Movement, which are represented in the European parliament with 25 percent of the Danish votes, but not running for representation in the Danish parliament. They are supported by the Danish left and a great percentage of those voters that oppose the pro-Union stands of their parties. It is a fact that more than half of the social democratic voters voted against the massive recommendation of a yes by the party and its leadership. The NO-movements rallied support behind the slogan: “Hold på kronen – Nej til Unionen”, rhyming in Danish: “Uphold the krone, No to the Union!”

The No, then, was the voice of the majority of the Danish workers, and of the popular social forces. A No from the working people in the cities and the countryside. Only in a few rich areas there were a majority of Yes-votes. All the big cities, the peninsula Jutland, traditional yes-territory, and the islands, Zealand with Copenhagen, and Funen with Odense, voted No.

The APK campaigned for a NO with the slogans: “If the workers vote No, Denmark shall vote No!” and “Stop the monopolies, the bureaucrats and the EU-politicians!”.

In fact the latter – the rulers – got a slap in the face by the people. Their unionist policies have been rejected. This is an important victory for the people in one battle – but the struggle around Danish membership of the European Union is far from finished. The krone is still closely tied to the Euro. The aim of the consistent opposition to the EU is to remove all ties to the Union, getting Denmark out of it.

Copenhagen, September 29, 2000

Workers’ Communist Party of Denmark (APK)