Human rights organisations such as Statewatch and Liberty have consistently warned that the European Union is accumulating a vast range of powers that pose a threat to civil liberties across the continent of Europe.
The Lisbon Treaty will continue this process by expanding the role of EU police force, Europol, whose agents have been granted immunity from prosecution.
The EU Arrest Warrant also enables the authorities to have individuals extradited from one member state to another with varying judicial standards without the need to provide evidence against the accused.
EU directives give state agencies the right to monitor all electronic traffic including data relating to e-mails and websites we visit, without a court order.
Article 108 of the EU treaty makes it an offence for an elected government, MP or MEP to in any way try to influence the deliberations of the European Central Bank, which manages the euro.
Article 52 of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights attached to the Lisbon Treaty gives Brussels the right to suspend any human right if deemed in the ‘general interest’ of the EU.
These and other measures, taken together with the completely undemocratic structure of the EU, means that a system of Brussels-based government is taking shape which represents a huge threat to the basic freedoms of ordinary Europeans.
“The emerging EU state is indeed different to the national state, not just because it exercises cross-border powers, but rather because even traditional, often ineffective, liberal democratic means of control, scrutiny and accountability of state agencies and practices are not in place, nor is there any political will to introduce them”
Tony Bunyan, director of human rights group Statewatch