The EU’s Militarized Police

Monday, October 13, 2008

EU riot police

The Eurogendarmerie practise their street-fighting tactics in battle formation. George Orwell’s novel 1984 describes the typical totalitarian police state, where the prime purpose of the police is not really to stop crimes against people and their property, but crimes against the State, which is whatever the State calls a crime.


With the 2nd reading of the “EU Amendment Bill” underway, I have changed the format of this issue to accommodate two reports on the threats it will pose to one thousand years of democracy if it is ratified by Parliament. The first, which follows, is by Torquil Dick-Erikson, (1.8.07; updated 5.1.08) a commentator on legal affairs and by extension continental inquisitorial vs Anglo-Saxon systems, who writes in English and Italian law journals and was a contributor to the House of Lords report on Corpus Juris (HL 62, 9th Session 1998-99). His report has been compiled primarily from the Eurogendarmerie’s official website, the Treaty of Velsen (esp. articles 6.3 and 44) and the Portuguese Presidency website. The second report, by Professor Anthony Coughlan, Dublin, describes the supranational state created by the Lisbon Treaty. ~ Iris Binstead


by Torquil Dick-Erikson, MA Oxon

In the image above, you will notice two nationalities of policemen – the ones on the right are Italian Carabinieri (it is written across their shields), military police in Italy under a centralised national command. Though part of military police and Italian army, they are used as a “civilian” police force, and they are stationed in every borough and hamlet, tasked to keep public order. The ones on the left are from one of the other four countries that so far have decided to participate in the Eurogendarmerie force. They are still wearing their national uniforms, since a single “harmonised” EU gendarme uniform has not yet been issued, but they have the EU armbands (see above) which they all wear over their national uniforms.

They are standing here in locked-shield formation, like ancient Roman legionaries, to protect themselves from assaults by demonstrators, or from stones or other objects which might be thrown at them. The little patch of flames in front of them is presumably a Molotov cocktail which in their simulation some “subversive” demonstrator has thrown at them. They are being trained to deal with this sort of thing. From this formation they can fire tear-gas grenades over the heads of, or straight into, a crowd to disperse it (they are wearing gas-masks so as not to breathe in the gas themselves), or indeed rubber, or more usually lead, bullets; and when ordered they will charge forward swinging their batons, and anybody who is in their path is likely to get pretty seriously injured.

Today, as the nation states of Europe lose their borders and prepare to merge into one single European State, we must realise that the continental traditions of policing, like their traditions of criminal justice, are very, very different from ours. And since they are the majority, it will inevitably happen – if the planned merger goes ahead with the new Treaty – that their system will be imposed on us.

Not many know that, for example, the first chapter of the Italian criminal code (listing of course the most important and heinous crimes) is entitled “Of crimes against the personality of the State”. The code used today is still the one left by Mussolini, tinkered with over the last sixty years but never properly overhauled, let alone replaced. And in its overall approach Mussolini actually took his cue from the French, that is, Napoleon, of course.

There has been concern in Britain about surveillance cameras etc, of which there are more in the UK than in any other EU state. Well, we do feel uneasy with them at present, but not too alarmed because we feel we still have a government we can “trust” not to abuse them in fundamental ways. . .But what if a future, more tyrannical, government comes in? The line of reasoning that most people take in Britain when debating this issue is based on the assumption that in any case the government we shall have will always be a British government, that is, elected by, and dismissible by, the British voters.

But this assumption is no longer justified.

In discussions earlier this year we heard Angela Merkel quoted as saying that “The EU needs more and better defined powers than it has at present: in energy policy, in foreign policy, in justice and home affairs,” – the key here being the last item, JHA. And Blair raised no objections to that.

So the risk is looming of indeed a future, unknown and unfamiliar, government in charge of our JHA, and it not being a British government, but an EU government. How would the people of Britain feel about their CCTV footage being scrutinised, not by British bobbies, but by German policemen, wearing EU uniforms or EU armbands over their German uniforms?

This is not just a theoretical risk.

And something we must realise is that German/French/Spanish/Italian etc policemen are not just like our own, only wearing different uniforms and speaking another language.

The fact is that the whole continental tradition of policing is different from ours, as a glance at the European Gendarmerie Force website will make clear. And we can see from this website that they have already set up the nucleus of their paramilitary, armed, anti-riot battalions, organised in the continental style.

So the high-surveillance machinery is set up in Britain, the heavily repressive police forces and the unelected and undismissible government apparatus is set up in Brussels, and our own government seems to be ready to hand over and join these two together. We are very nearly in 1984.

The EU is preparing for that moment, of physical confrontation with dissent against its authority, and intending to suppress it with sheer, overpowering, paramilitary, brute force, in a way that British people who have always lived in Britain will find astounding.

Have a look at the pictures on the European Gendarmerie Force website. This sort of use of paramilitary police is quite common in continental European countries and people there are accustomed to it. Indeed these photographs, which are possibly a bit shocking for us Brits, are taken from the Eurogendarmerie’s own official website. They think this is all quite normal. They have published these photographs, evidently not thinking that anyone would be at all shocked or surprised by them.

On the 18th October 2007, the same day as the new EU “Reform Treaty” was agreed in Lisbon under the media spotlight, another Treaty was signed in Velsen, Holland, between the 5 EU member states participating in the Eurogendamerie, to put it on an official footing. Britain was not amongst the signatories, because not having a militarised police force the UK is not entitled to take part.

EU military police can enter Britain

However, article 6.3 of this Treaty, the full text of which can be accessed through a link on the European Gendarmerie Force website, provides that other member states can join in with this particular form of presumably “enhanced” cooperation, simply by “agreement” of the country concerned. Since our Parliament already approved the provisions on “enhanced cooperation” (whereby states that wish to forge ahead in certain areas may do so without waiting for the agreement of all the others) with the Treaty of Nice, it is possible that this simply means “with the agreement” of the government of the day, that is, without need for any new specific Act of Parliament.

EU military police will only leave if the EU orders them to leave

On December 11th 2007 Bob Spink MP in the Commons debate (Hansard, col 188) prior to the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon asked Miliband for an assurance that the Eurogendarmerie will never be allowed into the UK. No such assurance was given, and Miliband confirmed that they could enter Britain with Britain’s “consent”, presumably just the consent of the government. What he did not mention and what was not spelt out was the (obvious) fact that once the EGF is inside a country, it will not leave that country simply because that country’s national authorities tell it to leave, for it will not recognise those authorities, but only its own supreme authority in Brussels.

EU military police may be Turks

Another disturbing element of the Treaty of Velsen is in article 44 which provides for the recruitment of Eurogendarmes not only from member states but also from “candidate states”. Indeed the Portuguese EU Presidency’s website, announcing the signing of this Treaty, stated that Turkey had already shown interest. So when the EGF does come over to Britain, we could find ourselves being policed by Turks in EU uniform. Even if they are excluded from being full members of the EU because their human rights record is not good enough, and torture in Turkish police stations is reported to be commonplace, the Turks are evidently considered good enough to be recruited as policemen to police us.

Please note – these are not soldiers, they are European riot-control policemen. They are actually members of the Spanish Guardia Civil as you can see from the flashes on their left shoulders, and it is written on the flak jacket of the man standing on the left of the picture, but if you look at their right upper arms you will just glimpse the royal-blue armband of the European Gendarmerie Force – which has as its emblem a circle of little yellow stars, and in the middle a “sword and a flaming grenade, symbolising the common military root of European police” (this logo and the armband are fully explained on their website).

This “military root” we need hardly say, may be “common” to the police forces of continental Europe, but it is utterly alien to our own policing traditions. Note their steel helmets, and their heavy automatic rifles, carried here by the Guardia “Civil”, by what they are pleased to call a “civilian” police force. . .

Europeans distrust police

In continental Europe, our idea of “policing by consent” is considered a bizarre and incomprehensible contradiction in terms. Of course one of the duties of continental police is to tackle crime. But they are also regularly and normally considered to be a fairly blunt instrument whereby the State imposes its will on the citizenry in general. It has always been that way. They are occasionally admired, more often feared, and sometimes hated by the population at large, law-abiding and criminal elements alike. They are seldom recruited locally.

One unfortunate result is that whenever they try to investigate a crime, they often receive little help from the public – people are most unwilling to “step forward” (hence the phenomenon of omertá – which is a tremendous obstacle to any serious police detective work). So the extent to which crime goes unchecked is often higher on the continent than in the UK, although it is worsening in the UK as we are
being brought into line with continental practice, with our own policemen being taken off the beat and so out of that daily contact with the local population, which would enable confidence and trust to be built.

Eurogendarmerie strongarm 'protestor'

As we know, unlike in Britain, all continental police carry lethal weapons at all times. In the simulated exercise above, the protester has been handcuffed and arrested, and is being led off to prison.

EU criminal code – Corpus Juris – no Habeas Corpus

Incidentally, under the proposed Corpus Juris EU criminal code, which reflects most continental procedures, on arrest a person may be held for up to six months in prison, renewable for three months at a time, with no right to a public hearing in the meantime, nor any obligation on the prosecution to exhibit any evidence. This is what happens when there is no Habeas Corpus, as indeed there is no Habeas Corpus in the nations of continental Europe to this day.

I remember reading a few years ago that the present UK government started a centralised militarised police force of sorts with a “Ministry of Defence police” – who at once got called “ModPlods”. Until we get a centrally commanded British paramilitary police force, we won’t be allowed to join the Eurogendarmerie. This is doubtless why the Home Secretary made the announcement earlier this year about the centralising of police under government control which caused the letter of protest published in the Times from former Deputy Assistant Commissioner Roach. The criteria for a national force to join the EGF are displayed on their website.

Combating fellow-countrymen

The fact of having different nationalities drilling side by side is clearly part of a “harmonisation of police” plan, so as to create a unified European military police force. This is frightening because the European Union is not democratic and not accountable. The possibility that sooner or later the military police will be manipulated and will be fighting the people is very high. The CV of the former French general who led the force indicates that his main professional expertise was in confronting and combating his fellow-countrymen when they try to riot in the streets.

The best way to stop these fellows from coming over to the UK and demonstrating their skills on a high street near you, is – as a very first step – to make sure that as many people in Britain see the European Gendarmerie Force website.

This will help people to realise with some urgency that the EU is NOT just about our prosperity, it is about our very basic freedoms, and what in an old-fashioned phrase used to be called our national security – the safety of each and every one of us.

And it should help each and every one of us to realise that a merger with our continental neighbours will NOT just mean that things will carry on much as before, only on a larger scale.

We must realise that our continental neighbours have a very different history from ours and do not share many of our traditions, in particular our traditions of policing, and in a merger their voice will prevail over ours, and our traditions will be uprooted and erased, and their traditions, new, unfamiliar and alien to us, will be imposed on us. Their ability to control the EU’s military police will be lost as well because they will have lost their own national controls over their police just as we will . This makes us all extremely vulnerable.

Let us persevere in the defence of freedom.


5 Battery Park, Polruan-by-Fowey, Cornwall PL23 1PT
Tel: 01726 870850
Contributions to SOS are welcome.

e-mail: iric.binstead@virgin.net



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