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December 15, 2015


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Authorization is one thing.

How will it be funded, where will it be staffed, and how permanent are those arrangements?

You didn't click the links!

The answers are in the official legislation at the link! This isn't a vague proposal; it's a proposal ready to go to a vote in the Council and Parliament. Article 75 covers the budget. The Q&A provides an estimate: €322 million by 2020. HQ will be in Warsaw, which is obviously a political decision to win over one of the bolshiest E.U. states; it should be in Brussels.

The links have all your answers; this is not a trial balloon by any means. But that does not mean that it will happen. Nor does it mean that I am correctly weighing its significance. (After all, it still isn't quite a federal agency the way Americans or Canadians would think of it; most of the personnel and equipment will still be seconded from state forces.) It does mean, though, that there isn't a whole lot gray in the proposal.

Hrmph. They should have bought Kaliningrad back in the 90s and made THAT the capital.

A bit more seriously, I thought you were calling the EU the second coming of the Holy Roman Empire?

Not tracking, Will.

My bad. Should have left off the humor and written something in more detail. Let me rephrase the comment without it.

Back in the early Oughts on SHWI, you referred to the EU has Holy Roman Empire reborn. (in different words) This was, you stated, the default setting for Europe's governance[1,2].

With regards to this new agency, does the new agency's creation and structure reinforce the HRE model or count as proof against?

1. Doug calls the EU something completely new, which I'm not so sure about.

2. yes, your comment really stuck.

It strikes me a step in the direction of a confederal Europe since the seconding of personnel to the EBCG force (as opposed a wholly separate agency with entirely separate personnel) seems more confederal in nature than federal.

Will: this is an old debate between Doug and me. Often, that just means I haven't grokked his argument. The EBCG is another step away from the Holy Roman model.

JH: it's a hybrid. There will be about 1,000 full time employees and agents and permanent European equipment reserves, but the bulk of the capacity will be on reserve from the states. Note, however, that when called up state agents will be attached to the EBCG as individuals, not members of national units. That's a big jump in integration from having Brussels give an order to Spanish customs agents.

I'd consider the current E.U. set-up to be confederal. The EBCG Agency seems somewhere between federal and confederal.

I'd like to know what Doug thinks. Given that the E.U. hasn't been able to get through a no-brainer strong banking union under even immense pressure, I have doubts about this proposal.

I have to wonder if you the way the border guard was created was still HRE: each country still contributes rather than it be purely an EU entity.

It looks as if the new Polish government doesn't trust the new agency.


Putting it in Warsaw is obviously a sop to Polish euroskepticism (as was putting Frontex there earlier). Whether that's worth anything with the new bunch of crazies in power there is a good question.

Well at least one professor of EU (and human rights) law believes the proposal exceeds the powers available for the EU under the treaties:


Still, there are no precedents for local governments which want to step out of line merely asserting their territorial monopolies of force against the operatives of international organisations. Apart from this one, yesterday: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/18/polish-military-police-raid-nato-centre-warsaw

The new Polish government is doing all sorts of things. IDK enough to say whether they are .. off rails or not.


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