Seeing StarsSQA has much concerned itself recently with various arms of European Union integrationism, mainly manifestations of the Malvine Project (read our previous blogs The Hidden Hand of the Malvine Project and Will the real Malvine Project please step forward?)
These other manifestations include Report on Archives in the Enlarged European Union: Increased Archival Co-operation in Europe - Action Plan which we have blogged under Patrimony or patriotism? and the Multilingual Inventory of Cultural Heritage in Europe (The MICHAEL project) which we blogged under A common cultural heritage?
The detested EU flag
This last mention of a supposed common European cultural heritage leads us to our latest blog, partly as there is further evidence of such a cultural case being made for integration and partly as it ties in with evidence of the long running deception by which purportedly non-political or non-EU issues on the wider stage give way to EU integrationism, far removed from the 1975 UK referendum on joining a free trade area or Common Market and illustrating perfectly the surreptitious process by which integration is taking place.
We are referring on this occasion to the Europa Nostra Project.
René van der Linden
The deception underlying this project is that it is backed by the Council of Europe, publicly, legally and officially entirely separate from the EU and European Commission. However, as the Council of Europe is quick to proclaim, the EU has acquired their anthem and flag and the Council is even negotiating with the European Commission for the latter to accede to all the Council of Europe Conventions that are open to it in order to make for the establishment of a single European legal area (Speech by Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly President René van der Linden during his visit to the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies 23 March 2005).
The Council of Europe was set up to "defend human rights, parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, develop continent-wide agreements to standardise member countries' social and legal practices, promote awareness of a European identity based on shared values and cutting across different cultures." It now comprises 46 countries, rather more than the EU.
We will not take up space digressing on how the EU is not a parliamentary democracy, headed as it is by the unelected and unaccountable European Commission, how Peter Mandelson has proclaimed the post-democratic era or how Romano Prodi has dismissed the importance of public opinion.
So there we have it. The Council of Europe, in backing the Europa Nostra project, is doing so as part of an integrationist blueprint and far from being independent of the EU is actually advocating a single legal system and an awareness of a single European identity, in other words sharing a common agenda.
Europa Nostra's history branch page gives a chronology of formative events since its foundation in 1963. This confirms the increasing tendency for Europa Nostra's agenda to be linked into the European Commission's remit as the latter's cultural arm. Ironically, Europa Nostra laments the damage done to heritage in Yugoslavia and Kosovo, ironic in that it was the European Union's decision in 1992 to recognise the breakaway republics of Croatia and Slovenia, pre-empted by Germany in 1991, which brought about the terrible civil war in Yugoslavia, undermining any case for the EU having kept the peace in Europe, which is NATO's achievement, even quite recently, having been left to pick up the pieces in Yugoslavia.
NATO's percipient Jamie Shea
Jamie Shea, spokesman for NATO stated in 1999:
The Yugoslav forces, so we are learning, are destroying the archives of the Kosovar people, property deeds, marriage licences, birth certificates, financial and other records, public records are being systematically destroyed. This is a kind of "Orwellian" scenario of attempting to deprive a people and a culture of the sense of past and the sense of community on which it depends. This attempt to re-write history reminds me of George Orwell's 1984 which I used to believe was fiction but now seems to be actually happening in reality.
This is an interesting and disturbing corroboration of SQA's quotation of Orwell in previous blogs and which we have to quote yet again by way of explanation of Shea's comments:
The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four years ago. But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, which in any case must soon be annihilated. And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -- if all records told the same tale -- then the lie passed into history and became truth. Who controls the past, ran the Party slogan, controls the future: who controls the present controls the past. And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. Reality control, they called it: in Newspeak, doublethink.
Nineteen Eighty-Four, published in 1949.
The true meaning of Europa Nostra then is not so much genuine support for cultural heritage but rather support for political integration and the use of cultural heritage including archives as a tool for achieving this. By implication, this entails destruction of cultural heritage Tibetan style if their great goal of an integrated Europe is to be achieved. In other words, to hell with heritage.