Wednesday, July 23, 2008
There are presently 27 Nations( they call them States to remove the appearance of sovereignty) that are members of the European Union. A union without a Constitution, because the Irish did not want to abrogate some of their sovereignty to this amorphous body in Brussels.
Of the 27 members, 11 nations that joined the Eu are from what was called Eastern Europe. Many were previously Communist countries. The USA, Japan, Singapore and Panama have refused to grant blanket immunity to citizens of these Countries that wish to visit the USA and the three other Nations.
Most of the EU’s 27 members have visa-waiver deals with the US, allowing their citizens to enter the country for short visits without visas. However all but one of the 12 states that joined the EU from 2004 to 2007, most of which are in Eastern Europe, have no such deals. Neither does Greece, which has been an EU member since 1981. This is because of Our concern for terrorists entering our Country as tourists.The USA has in place a computer generated questionnaire that prospective passengers to this Country must complete no later than two days before their air travel.
Not unlike all rapidly growing Bureaucracies, the EU is slow in their process of obtaining visa immunity for new member states. Thus, Estonia and Latvia are taking a detour around Brussels in the quest for visa-free travel.
Impatient at the slow pace of European Union negotiations, two Baltic states are setting up their own deals with the US to provide visa-free travel for their citizens, despite protests from Brussels.
Estonia signed a bilateral visa-waiver deal with the US on Wednesday morning, with Latvia due to follow suit later this week.
This infuriated the proud “princes” of the Eu, who already have a “black eye” over the “no vote” in Ireland last month. So they are resorting to desperate measures to keep the USA from making separate deals with “member States”.
The move by the Eastern European states is creating tension within the European Commission, which wants to be the single negotiator with the US on visa-waiver deals. The Commission, which has already tried to put pressure on the US to give citizens of all EU states visa-free travel, feels bilateral deals infringe on its authority over visa and border policy. It is also worried that such deals might allow the US to pressure individual countries to give US authorities additional data on air passengers on top of that stipulated in an existing US-EU agreement.
They also are afraid that bilateral deals infringe on its authority over visa and border policy. It is also worried that such deals might undermine their supreme authority over what once were sovereign Countries, in my opinion!
As an act of retaliation the EU announced that as of 2009;
In a report released Thursday on visa requirements in breach of the principle of reciprocity,”the European Commission is proposing “retaliatory measures” that would force US diplomats to secure visas before entering EU countries”. source:jtw@Reuters
According to Diplomatic law established by the Vienna Conventions, Diplomats are include in International law. As such they are exempt from obtaining a visa to travel to or within the Country they are assigned to by their government.
Formally, diplomatic immunity may be limited to officials accredited to a host country, or traveling to or from their host country. In practice, many countries may effectively recognize diplomatic immunity for those traveling on diplomatic passports.
If the EU goes through with their obvious violation of International law. I believe the USA should make the diplomats from he EU pay their debts and traffic fines that they incurred in the USA.
The bulk of diplomatic debt lies in the rental of office space and living quarters. Individual debts can range from a few thousand dollars to $1 million in back rent. A group of diplomats and the office space in which they work are referred to as a mission. Creditors cannot sue missions individually to collect money they owe. Landlords and creditors have found that the only thing they can do is contact a city agency to see if they can try to get some money back. They cannot enter the offices or apartments of diplomats to evict them because the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act says that “the property in the United States of a foreign state shall be immune from attachment, arrest and execution” (28 U.S.C.A. § 1609).
Maybe it is time to revisit this policy if the EU wants to play “hard ball” with us!