Italy Asks the EU for Permission

Italy, like Ireland and Denmark, has been an inspiration to those of us who dread the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon. The Berlusconi government, by imposing draconian restrictions on immigration and cracking down on the illegals, seemed to be presenting an example of resistance to the Multiculturalism imposed by the European Union.

However, the most recent news is that Italy won’t go ahead with its anti-immigration policies until it can clear them with the EU. According to ANSA :

Italy to consult EC on immigration

Govt to wait for ok on modifications to foreigners’ rights

(ANSA) — Rome, August 1 — Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said Friday that the cabinet has decided to send the text of three new immigration measures to the European Commission (EC) for ‘‘suggestions’’ before final approval. Maroni admitted that sending the text to the EC was ‘‘slightly unusual’’, but said that the step had been agreed with shadow interior minister Marco Minniti of the Democratic Party in light of the ‘‘delicate issues’’ involved.

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Italy has come under fire from some European bodies in recent months over new emergency security measures involving immigrants, raising particular concern with the European Parliament and the Council of Europe over a census of gypsy camps in the country.

‘‘Today’s decision gives the lie to everyone who has talked about splits and friction between our government and the EC,’’ said European Union Affairs Minister Andrea Ronchi.

So, unlike Denmark, Italy has decided to be a good child and do whatever Papa Europe says.

But the important question is this: what will the Berlusconi government do if the EC says “no”?

Will it reverse course, undoing the mandate of the voters and turning its back on the policies it was elected to execute?

This one will be interesting to watch.

Hat tip: Insubria.

7 thoughts on “Italy Asks the EU for Permission

  1. Baron-

    “The Berlusconi government, by imposing draconian restrictions on immigration and cracking down on the illegals, seemed to be presenting an example of resistance to the Multiculturalism imposed by the European Union.”

    I would take issue with one thing in that quote. The word “draconian”. I see nothing draconian about it. I would say they are actually quite reasonable. Unless of course you are talking about perceptions as they relate to the PC ruling elites?

  2. I haven’t got this one figured out yet. But first of all Italy has got a very different history about the EEC/EU than Denmark, and there is no strong anti-EU movement, so they have to play it differently. There must be some kind of political game behind this, but I cannot see how they intend to play it. They way I see it the anti-immigration measures by the new Italian government can only lead to a collision between Eu and Italy. Possibly Berlusconi’s government just want play it nicely, exemplary according to protocol, so they can’t be accused of that too.

    I surely will be interesting to follow. If there is no underhanded plan connected to this, then it amounts to just giving up, and that would surly be out of character for this government, so I don’t think that is the case.

    So what could Italy do when the EU says no (I’m sure they will)?

    * Claim the EU’s motivation is invalid and go on anyway. Maybe they feel they need a reason to pick a fight with EU, and this is the reason behind.

    * They could permanent their state of emergency and claim that this allows them to do what they wish, since it’s exceptional.

  3. Probably B. just wants a big pile of money shoved italy’s way to take the edge of the coming recession due to the creditcrunch.

    The justification for the voters is just a matter of finding the right excuse and the right amount.

    Would a couple of billion dollars from the EU over the next couple of years to, lets say, assist italy in her efforts to “controle” immigration, do the trick??

  4. Conservative Swede,
    I take issue when you say there is no big anti-E.U. movement in Italy. There is a great anti-European Union feeling, probibly the movement is just not organised as in Northern Europe.

    What I mean is that the anti European sentiment is growing and is paleo-European.

    When the poor Southern countries that recieved the funds start complaining about it, we have a big anti-EU movement.

    But it is bigger than that, when in Spain (the biggest/poorer) you got the fishermen and truc drivers (the poorer) waging a war against the European Union… Spain is kind of the leader to Portugal and ven Italy in this “class”…

    I’d say that even in Eastern Europe an anti-European feeling is growing… a feeling that we in the Peninsula had not known in the eighties and nineties…

  5. I think what the Berlusconi government does here is rather stupid. EU will never approve anything marginally effective, for fear of controversy. Asking for permission invites first a useless delay, then a ‘No’, from the reactionary EU system.

    Instead, Italy might as well go right ahead, and then when (if) the Commission catches up with events, deal with it as a fait accomplis, and undue meddling from EU.

    It’s more fun to ask forgiveness than to ask permission 🙂

  6. The EU has a nasty habit of simply ignoring such things, though. If Italy were to try to frame it as a case of EU meddling, the EU would simply respond with some waffle about “subsidiarity” and then spend the next decade quietly changing the law to punish Italy in all sorts of tiny, petty ways. That’s how it works. Slow, tiny shuffling steps that eventually add up to a great big thing, and if you say “it’s coming” people just laugh at you because it’s so slow and so far away…

    No, this is better. Be upfront about it. Tell them what you’re doing, and when they say no – as they must in such a confrontation, because they believe they can tell people how to behave – then frame it as the EU refusing to allow a nation the freedom to defend it’s integrity.

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