Question. When is it possible to break the rules of an EU Treaty?
Answer. When the EU says so.

Graham Charles Lear
5 min readAug 3, 2019

More skulduggery from the EU.

Bulgarian chosen as EU candidate for IMF Chief, despite failing to get enough votes. This is an example from yesterday of how the EU ignores its own rules when it chooses.

Readers will have heard many times from Remain MPs in the Commons that such-and-such a course of action for Brexit is not possible under EU rules.

Frequently these MPs are merely parroting something said by the EU which isn’t even a rule at all, but something plucked out of the air in Brussels and then repeated in the House of Commons. In doing this, British Remain MPs always side with the EU rather than with their own country, the United Kingdom.

What happened yesterday?

Yesterday there was a meeting of EU finance ministers in Paris. It was not announced in the published lists of meetings from the EU Council, nor from the EU Commission, This where it pays to not just look at our British media but to also look at other media outlets such as the German media because it was the German that broke this news.

The EU has chosen its candidate to replace Christine Lagarde as IMF Managing Director when she steps down on 12 September. Ms Lagarde is leaving the IMF as she has been selected by the EU Council to become the new President of the European Central Bank.

The candidate the EU has chosen to replace Christine Lagarde is Кристалина Георгиева from EU member state Bulgaria. For those readers whose Bulgarian is a little rusty, the anglicised version of her name is Kristalina Georgieva.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker with EU’s Bulgarian nominee for IMF Chief

This time there is an EU rule, but you won’t hear Remain MPs talk about it

In the voting for the EU’s official candidate for the role of IMF Managing Director, the system used yesterday was what is known as “Qualified Majority Voting” (QMV). This is a system that has been introduced more and moreover the past two decades, and it means that there is an increasing number of areas of EU business where an individual member state no longer has a veto. Who knew about this system in the EU?

For a vote to pass under QMV it is required to pass two main tests:

  1. A majority of member states (which means 16 out of 28) must vote for it, and
  2. These member states must represent at least 65% of the total EU population

According to EU officials reported in the German and French media, Ms. Georgieva failed to get the required majority required under the EU Treaty.

Fortunately, that wasn’t a problem for the EU
they announced her appointment as official EU candidate anyway.

Who else was in the frame for the top job?

A number of candidates had been put forward by member states. At one stage it looked as if the Dutch former President of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, would triumph.

Sadly for him, his past comments about troubled southern EU countries counted against him. In an interview with a major German newspaper a couple of years ago, he said about the supplicant countries: “I cannot spend all my money on drink and women and then ask for help.” This did not go down well with the EU economies needing financial support — especially the Greeks.

Also in the frame were Finnish central bank governor Olli Rehn and Spanish economics minister Nadia Calvino. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney was also reported to be in the running. As a Canadian with an Irish passport, Brexit would not necessarily have precluded him.

About Bulgaria and Кристалина Георгиева (Kristalina Georgieva)

Bulgaria became a member of the EU in 2007.

Its population is just 7 million and its economy is ranked 74th in the World. (I used the IMF’s classification for this, as it seemed appropriate given the job Ms. Georgieva is going for.) Bulgaria’s economy is just 2.3% of the size of the UK economy.

It is not generally known by British politicians or the British public that Bulgarians use the Cyrillic script. The Cyrillic script is a writing system used for various alphabets across Eurasia and is used as the national script in various Slavic-, Turkic- and Persian-speaking countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and North Asia.

Ms. Georgieva was EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid, and Crisis Response in the previous EU Commission. Subsequently, she has worked at the World Bank and is an economist by training.

What's the relevance to Brexit?

WEL.

Once again yesterday, the EU found itself to be fundamentally divided, despite the EU’s continued claims about “unity”.

In the end, an agreement could not be reached. This resulted in the EU choosing to ignore the rules of the EU Treaty on majority voting, and simply declaring Ms. Georgieva the winner anyway.

One key factor in all this is the fact that Ms. Georgieva is from one of the smaller and newer member states. The EU has a job of work to do after it appointed a German as EU Commission President, a Belgian as EU Council President, a French woman as President of the ECB, and after it proposed an Italian as President of the EU Parliament.

This did not go down well with the former Eastern bloc states. Cynics might suggest that politics was at play in the EU again…

The EU.

If the rules suit it they are followed. If not then they are ignored.

We should strongly recommend that Remain MPs inform themselves far more about the workings of the EU. They will find that the reality is very different from what they imagine.

When it comes to Brexit, the EU will do what suits them. They will also lie, as we have seen many times. Their agenda is political and ideological. The UK must be punished, and be seen to be punished.

Despite organs like the anti-Brexit BBC, we should be optimistic that the British public as a whole is now beginning to see the true nature of the EU. Events such as those yesterday in Paris will only reinforce this if we can get the information about them spread widely.

Please note: This is an ‘opinion’ article because the EU has yet to publish any definitive information on what took place yesterday. All we have is Jean-Claude Juncker’s tweet — which seems categorical in relation to the outcome — and the reports in German and French media reporting on what officials have said. Based on past experience, however, I believe the reports and they certainly haven’t been denied by the EU. I expect in the coming week we should see a small article in our own media which no one will take any notice of dismissing it as irrelevant. YOU dear readers now know different.

[ Sources: IMF | Juncker Tweet account | German, French and Dutch media ]

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Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.