Coffee House

Viviane Reding’s next trick

15 March 2014

Viviane Reding is a bit of a favourite among UK ministers. The European Commissioner for Justice has a knack of making such a good case for reform of Europe with her interviews and policies that Conservatives – and indeed Ukippers – are quite content for her to intervene as often as possible. This week, she’s got another cunning plan that eloquently makes the case for reform of Europe – and ministers will be standing up to her again.

Reding is expected to publish the second annual EU Justice Scoreboard on Monday:  it’s a league table of all the EU member states’ justice systems. At first glance, this sounds like a nice idea: compare the independence and efficiency of different justice systems to encourage under performing countries to improve. But it has an ulterior motive: to create a uniform EU justice system across all member states (more on that here), and because Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is rather suspicious of this motive, to put it mildly, he continued to refuse to provide any data or co-operate with the Scoreboard process at all in its second year. Grayling thinks it is for member states and their judiciaries to work on improving their own justice systems, not the Commission, which is seeking to monitor and make recommendations on something outside its remit.

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Grayling tells Coffee House:

‘We have no intention of the UK becoming part of a one-size-fits-all EU justice system, and it is just this kind of meddling that really irks the public. The Commission claims the Scoreboard is a tool for promoting effective justice and growth. I do not believe that the Commission has any role in the detailed monitoring or assessment of the justice systems of Member States to secure this goal.’

As useful as Reding is in showing voters what the Commission’s ambitions are, there’s also a warning here for David Cameron as he seeks to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with Europe. Eurocrats like Reding are not sailing with the winds of change that Cameron likes to talk about: they’re sailing towards greater powers and union within Europe. Other member states have expressed their frustration with Reding’s activities: the challenge for Cameron is to take those frustrated countries with him.

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Show comments
  • Richard N

    The Council of Ministers has representatives of all EU national
    governments on it – and is supposed to be the reassurance that the
    unelected EU Commission, who actually rules the EU, will be restrained
    by some sort of vaguely democratic means.

    The only trouble is that the EU’s national governments are all, due
    to the EU Treaties, largely under the control of the EU Commission.

    But in addition, every single EU national government (and almost
    every mainstream national political party across the EU) is led by EU
    puppets – place men, if you prefer, who owe their positions to the EU,
    and in return, swear their obedience to them.

    So it is a closed circle: the EU Commission controls the puppet
    heads of EU countries’ governments, and tell them who to put into the
    Council of Ministers – the body which is supposed to lend some
    democratic control over the EU Commission!

    The result, of course, is that there is absolutely nothing that is
    democratic about either the EU Commission or the Council of Ministers,
    who are supposed to control the EU Commission, but who actually are
    chosen or approved – and therefore controlled by – the EU Commission.

    Yet this bunch of wholly appointed – not elected by anybody – people totally run the entire EU!

    And the only body that can propose new laws in the EU is… you’ve
    guessed it – the unelected EU Commission. And with that monopoly over
    what new laws can be created, they control everything.

    The EU is a totally unaccountable totalitarian state run by the
    totally unelected EU Commission, who control everything, and are
    accountable to NOBODY.

    They are – as Gorbochev said many years ago – the new Soviet Union in Western Europe.

    And of course they retain the virtually powerless ‘EU Parliament’ to
    give them the window-dressing appearance of democracy – without any of
    the reality of democracy.

    Just as did the Soviet Union when they existed, with their fake ‘Parliament’.

  • Richard N

    This power-hungry woman said publicly recently that the unelected but all-powerful EU Commission must be given legal supremacy over all democratically elected European national governments.

    And after she made this incredible statement of the EU Commission’s intent, the response from our government, and the leaders of the other two parties was….

    Nothing. Not a word of dissent, or outrage.

    The Conservative party, which told the British people at the time of the only referendum we have been allowed on Britain being in the EU, told the British people that there was no question of this causing any undermining of our national sovereignty at all.

    And here we are, decades of betrayals by all three liblabcon parties later, with the unelected EU Commission saying that must be legally supreme over all national governments – including ours.

    And the utter traitor, the EU puppet Camerr, from the very same Conservative party that sold us out in Heath’s time with that blatent lie to the British people, and has signed every EU Treaty since then when in government, said in response to this:


  • Mike

    As the EU press release claims “they still face some practical and legal difficulties when they try to exercise the rights they have at home in another Member State”

    Perhaps Eurocrats like Viviane Reding should start addressing the property rights abuses that Spanish town halls, their provinces and even central government have enacted against home owners. For a decade at least the EU has failed to bring Spain into line and no penalties have been made against them, so its business as usual for corrupt town halls.

    Thousands of property owners in Spain have had their land stolen, properties bulldozed, fines issued and demands for infrastructure costs despite the owners following the rules. Illegal builds are allowed if the right palm is greased whilst others playing by the rules find the rules change when different political parties come into power.

    If the likes of Ms. Reding spent a fraction of her time stopping this sort of bureaucratic abuse and corruption compared to crafting a political empire, EU citizens would benefit. Perhaps withholding EU funds from states that wont play fair might work as an incentive rather than volumes of useless legislation that cant be applied.

  • evad666

    In December 2012, in an interview to the Daily Telegraph[42] Mrs Reding dubbed as “crazy” the plans of United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron to opt out from EU co-operation mechanisms such as Europol, Eurojust and the European Arrest Warrant.
    Such move would leave the UK without access to important EU police and
    criminal justice databases which would risk transforming the UK into a
    safe haven for major criminals including pedophiles and drug
    Perhaps she has not noted the fact but EU regulations and Laws have now made the UK a haven for Pedophiles, Criminals and Terrorists and will continue to do so while the UK bends the knee in obeisance to the EU commission with its poorly defined competencies.

  • global city

    Two seconds after the UK’s ‘reforms’ have been granted, the onward march, or ‘interference’ will be in full force to win it all back.

    The vital question that must be put to all europhiles is where is the end of ‘ever closer union’… and what would European democracy look like when it (the closer union) is substantially gained

    The other one is ‘how far is enough’ on this path for them?

    Good piece Isabel… keep it up. There is a whole world of massive stories of fundamental relevance in the EU story mine.

  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    “Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is rather suspicious of this motive, to put it mildly, he continued to refuse to provide any data or co-operate with the Scoreboard process at all in its second year.”

    I understand the Arabs won’t let anybody measure how much oil they’ve got, either.

  • James Allen


  • Alexsandr

    let these euro-muppets keep spouting their b0110cks. every one of their useless witterings is more votes for UKIP in May.

  • Pip

    She is nothing more than a Apparatchik paid to further the Marxist Agenda of the EU and those who control it. The fact that she is a poor communicator and comes across as arrogant and disingenuous is a bonus for those who seek to open the eyes of the dim and apathetic to the danger the EU poses to our Democracy and Liberty. If those who control the EU were smarter and less arrogant then their true agenda would be less transparent, fortunately for us Marxists/Socialists share these common traits which will be there downfall one day soon.

    • rtj1211

      I think you’ll find that the USA has an integrated system of justice although State Law allows variation across the 50 states of the union.

      Are you saying that the USA is Marxist because a bunch of Supreme Court Justices can rule over cases brought from any of the 50 States of the Union??

      I”m not arguing in favour or against what this article is discussing, but you really must do better than descending to this pathetic labelling of everything in the EU as marxist when similar structures exist in the USA, who you would never dare to refer to in similar terms……….

      • global city

        if the judiciary and the law makers were often Marxists then it would be.

        That’s the thing about the EU… ideologically driven on the principles of another elitist continental dogma.

      • Wessex Man

        since when did we the British Electorate vote to form a United States of Europe. Europe is not a country it’s a Continent that’s been the cause of the two world wars, three if you include the Napoleonic War the was worldwide. It wasn’t the EU that gave us seventy years of peace, itwas American Armour. It will be the EU that will cause the next one as well, continually seeking confrontation with Russia.

        Lord help us, vote UKip!

        • Tom Tom

          Some say the Seven Years War was the real First world war

      • Tom Tom

        The Supreme Court went mad under Felix Frankfurter usurping the Constitution by creating spurious constitutional issues. The Warren Court was not a lot better. The abuse of power by the Supreme Court replaced the Legislature with the Judiciary creating an Oligarchic Rule of Unelected Judges

      • Tom Tom

        Texas and Florida use Spanish Law which is why there is no alimony……

  • Denis_Cooper

    “Viviane Reding is a bit of a favourite among UK ministers.”

    If that is the case then clearly we need to remove the present UK ministers and replace them with a new set of ministers who would not look upon her in such a favourable light.

    Let’s quickly pass over her decision to press ahead with proposals for an EU public prosecutor even though enough national parliaments, including our own, lodged objections to trigger a so-called “yellow card”:

    and instead recall that what she recently said she wanted for the future of the EU is exactly the same as Delors said he wanted a generation ago, which caused Margaret Thatcher to issue her famous “No. No. No.”

    Margaret Thatcher speaking in the Commons on October 30th 1990, Column 873 here:

    “The President of the Commission, Mr. Delors, said at a press conference the other day that he wanted the European Parliament to be the democratic body of the Community, he wanted the Commission to be the Executive and he wanted the Council of Ministers to be the Senate. No. No. No.”

    Which can be seen here:

    Viviane Reding, vice president of the European Commission as reported on January 8th 2014:

    “”We need to build a United States of Europe with the Commission as government
    and two chambers – the European Parliament and a “Senate” of Member States,” she said.”

    And yet apparently she’s “a bit of a favourite among UK ministers”?

    • Conway

      Because she keeps spelling out all the reasons why it is imperative that we leave the EU, she’s a bit of a poster girl for UKIP.

    • Wessex Man

      well she’s one of my favourites, her outbursts are better than a prime time political party broadcast for my party!

    • monty61

      Cloud cuckoo land though. It’s not just the Brits that will ensure this never happens.

      She’s a favourite yes … the premise of the original piece is spot on. A cartoon baddie like this is just too much fun to go to waste.

  • MirthaTidville

    Another overpaid and under worked political pygmy..Lets just get out and leave these fools to play by themselves

    • rtj1211

      I doubt very much she is under-worked although some would argue she is overpaid. Whether all her hard work is focussed on things that people wish to occur is another question……

  • Terence Hale

    Viviane Reding’s next trick. Dancing on every wedding Madame Reding selling refrigerators to the Eskom’s on most European televisions it’s difficult to pin her down on basics. From Luxembourg a land if driving too fast in Europe you will miss it, educated at the Paris Sorbonne Madame Reding has over proportional representation in her office. Personally having dealings with her department which I found Shody, to use a polite word for crap.

  • Colonel Mustard

    She was/is elected as an MEP but ‘elevated’ into her present position – that curious euphemism for ‘appointed’ that the EC favours. Do such appointees retain their MEP status? And if so how is their representation of those who voted for them in one country reconciled with their interference in the lives of those in another country who did not get to vote at all? Can my MEP veto Viviane Reding?

    • Wessex Man

      very good question Colonel perhaps our resident EU expert Mr Hooky can let us kbow.

      • telemachus

        MEP’s, many of whom are crackpots like Farage and Hannan, can only singly and corporately proffer non binding votes. They do not have the power of veto

        • McClane

          Much like you then. Thankfully.

        • global city

          which is the fundamental problem that they raise!

          The Commission is the government of the EU… most of the legislation moved through the Commission stems from the highest and most secret permanent secretariat. You have no democratic input into the system…. and yet you support it in some cause of solidarity and the collective…or something.

          • telemachus

            For the Eurosceptics we have something much more important than that
            The Council of Ministers

            • global city

              That is not the most important group. You only have to follow the workings in Brussels to see that.

              The Council gives long term aspiration, but this is ALWAYS in the context of advancing the project. There has never been a single Council decision that has reversed a previous move to centralisation, even when it has been shown to be calamitous.

            • Richard N

              The Council of Ministers has representatives of all EU national governments on it – and is supposed to be the reassurance that the unelected EU Commission, who actually rules the EU, will be restrained by some sort of vaguely democratic means.

              The only trouble is that the EU’s national governments are all led by EU puppets – so it is a closed circle: the EU Commission controls the heads of EU countries’ governments, and tell them who to put into the Council of Ministers.

              The result, of course, is that there is absolutely NOTHING that is democratic about either the EU Commission or the Council of Ministers, who are supposed to control the EU Commission, but who actually are indirectly controlled by the EU Commission.

              In other words, the EU is a totally unaccountable totalitarian state run by the totally unelected EU Commission, who control everything, and are accountable to NOBODY.

    • Frank

      If memory serves, she was elected in Luxembourg, so an electorate about the same size as Tunbridge Wells! Luxembourg survives thanks to the EU gravy train so no Luxembourger will ever do anything that might endanger this precious flow of income.

  • HookesLaw

    As soon as you create an EU justice commissioner you create something for her to do. Of course in this instance she is confusing the laudable aim of setting standards (which any Brition working abroad in Europe would or should welcome) with creating a framework of regulations and control.
    Far from Reding being a problem for Cameron, the article’s conclusion actually shows the opportunities that are available.

    • Pip

      Only a lefty could twist the reality in such a way. The EU is finished, get used to it.

    • Wessex Man

      oh dear, Hooky.

  • Tom Tom

    Wasn’t she a journalist before she entered the lunatic world of political self-righteousness ?

    • telemachus

      Tom Tom
      She took a doctorate in Human Sciences at the Sorbonne
      She is one bright cookie
      Grayling is stuck in the last century
      There needs to be universal justice across Europe in these days of hyper mobility
      There is also the fact that oversight of each countries’ justice prevents the kind of excess that I suspect an untrammelled Grayling would initiate

      • Wessex Man

        oh go away and get an education.

      • Colonel Mustard

        You have blind faith in an elite deciding what is good for you but also a rather unhealthy taste for tyrants. She represents a supposedly centre-right party so you ought to have little truck with her. But you like European centralism and power just as you despise English national sovereignty and liberty. You are a creature of extraordinary prejudice and bigotry but above all authoritarian.

        Four legs good. Two legs bad. That’s you. Orwell had you taped.

        • rtj1211

          I don’t have a blind faith in the EU but I certainly don’t trust GCHQ further than I can throw it. Britain has a shadowy elite that operates in the background and attempts as often as possible to operate outwith the normal checks and balances of a modern state.

          By saying that, I am neither authoritarian nor am I prejudiced. I am expressing an oft-expressed view that security services which act on commercial pretexts are an abomination in any civilised society and a country which refuses to outlaw industrial scale electronic surveillance for the purpose of stealing the ideas of the brightest and most innovative by the most ruthless and thick really isn’t superior at all. It’s just unprincipled.

          If you don’t believe in the EU you have to defend the behaviour of the UK institutions and, if you won’t do that thoroughly, comprehensively and with complete disregard for exposure of flagrant abuses of human rights, you will find that your arguments will be met with a level of contempt that they will entirely merit……….

          • Colonel Mustard

            “If you don’t believe in the EU you have to defend the behaviour of the UK institutions . . ”

            Rubbish. I don’t have to do any thing of the sort. They are all an abomination together.

            • telemachus

              I think such blanket comments are now accepted as evidence that the epithet of Makhnovism is correct

              • Colonel Mustard

                You think a lot of things. Makhnovism is a historical reference that has no place here. By your peculiar values anyone who resists your vision of an authoritarian, soviet-style communist Britain would be a Makhnovist.

                NOW GET ORF MY COMMENTS!

                • telemachus

                  Only the few peculiar anarchists around here who have no actual political philosophy other than blanket attack and no moral compass to boot

          • telemachus

            We were talking about the EU
            GCHQ exists to protect you from terrorists and increasingly protect your children from paedophiles

            • James Strong

              The vast majority of child sexual abuse is within the family or close friends of the adult carer of the child.
              I am sure you know this, so I say that your throwing in of the fashionable paedophilia scare to distort the reason for GCHQ’s existence is aan attempt at a dishonest debating trick.
              GCHQ should concern itself with national secirity.

              • telemachus

                We are talking about the heinous individuals who distribute degrading images on the hidden internet who cannot be caught without sophisticated surveillance techniques
                The nicholovian operators of this world do us a great disservice by adhering to snowenian attacks on the proposed data communications bill

                • Wessex Man

                  much abetted by your friends in the Labour Party!

            • Wessex Man

              You are truly one sick headcase, let me guess, you are a personal feriend of Harriett Harperson and worked with her in her illustrious past.

              • telemachus

                We wish to let GCHQ get the true criminals
                Not the Rock protecting Dacre inspired smokescreen

            • Tom Tom

              Get lost you cretin. GCHQ exists because the US pays the bills. It spies on the citizenry and engages in economic espionage. Paedophilia is the same accusation the Nazis used to silence criticism from the Catholic Church when they harassed it for opposing them, just as it is used here……..the perverts are doing the spying just as Laventii Beria head of the NKVD was a total pervert and predator on children

      • Andy

        So there needs to be ‘universal Justice across Europe’
        You will be demanding that every European Country thus adopts the Common Law; trial by jury; the presumption of innocence; habeas corpus etc, etc, etc.
        Thought so.

        • telemachus

          Not system of law
          Grayling despite his grand title understandeth not justice

          • Colonel Mustard

            England’s law was predicated on justice. And a good system of law should deliver justice. What we are getting now is bad, knee-jerk law predicated on disapproval, victimhood and political ideology. Your comrade Starmer has had a far more damaging effect on English justice than Grayling by politicising prosecution.

            • telemachus

              At last I can agree
              However the knee jerkism is that by May and Grayling
              Starmer now sadly gone was a breath of fresh air as DPP
              It is understood that the former Health Secretary Frank Dobson is considering standing down from his Holborn and St Pancras seat and Mr Starmer could be a candidate to replace him. Last night Mr Starmer would not confirm his interest in a seat but said he was “considering” his options after standing down as DPP last month.

              Mr Starmer, 51, was a highly regarded human rights lawyer before taking over the Crown Prosecution Service in 2008.During his time in office he navigated a series of tricky political cases – including the decision to prosecute Chris Huhne, the first cabinet minister in British history to be compelled to resign as a result of criminal proceedings.

              Speaking yesterday, Mr Starmer said he that while he was proud of the progress that had been made in making victims central to the criminal process, more had to be done.

              • Colonel Mustard

                That just shows how little Starmer understands the law and how far from being an impartial civil servant he was. Making “victims” central to the criminal process undermines the very principle of justice because it pre-judges every criminal complaint.

                As we have seen. If every complainant is elevated to “victim” before an accused has even been convicted you might as well dispense with a trial altogether and just lock them up.

                But in Starmer’s world some victims are more equal than others anyway. He was a disaster for British justice and our system of law.

            • rtj1211

              ‘was predicated on’; ‘should deliver’.

              Two expressions of hope and intent, not reality and delivery.

              Are you sure that English law delivers justice?? How well does it bring police officers to book for committing perjury in the most serious trials of this country, which put innocent people in prison for decades?? How impartial is the appointment of judges in the most politically charged cases (try the Ponting trial over Westland papers when the Attorney General was expressing outrageous opinions as to the nature of a suitable judge to try the case) etc etc??

              If you would apply your forensic analysis as critically to the actual machinations of English law and English justice, rather than pontificating about high principles ad nauseam, you might present a more balanced comparison of the two systems, both of which have advantages and disadvantages and may be more- or less distasteful to different groups of people in Europe.

              • Andy

                So you don’t want English Law and the basic principles outlined above ? People like telemachus would love continental systems. His idea of good jurisprudence is Roland Freisler.

                • telemachus

                  Freisler was hot on “defeatism” and “undermining morale” I guess those were reasonable in wartime

                • Wessex Man

                  You and rtj1211 are past masters at fogging the issue, the article is about Viviane Redings and rather than defend her, an imposible task admittedly, you take us off the the rather strange world Liberty!

                  You and ttj1211 both know as do most people that she is one of the gifts that keeps giving to UKip!

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Agreed. Introduce arguments never made by the original poster and then argue against them with scorn and belittlement. Unedifying.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  I’d rather be accused of being Makhnovist than be someone who attempts to justify Freisler as reasonable.

                  What a revelation. Truly modern Labour are the heirs to national socialism.

              • Colonel Mustard

                No thanks. You can keep your European law. No use for it. And don’t blame English law for the way it has been delivered in modern times by politicians and their judicial lackeys. It is lost and the only way the English will regain it now is through rebellion. We are living through cultural revolution, imposed, but few seem to comprehend the fact.

                The custodians have failed to protect the law or deliberately degraded it. Those who might once have considered themselves servants of it now exploit it as a tool for another purpose, mostly common. There are legal champions out there but they are low in the food chain and not many are listening to them.

              • telemachus

                Such is Reding’s point

          • livnletliv

            Justice? This foreign union has no legal mandate over the British people, how just is that?

            • telemachus

              This was about moral pressure

      • Paul Hughes

        Here we see the left’s distaste for democracy when it risks bringing a result of which it disapproves. Far better to give our powers away than allow the people to decide how our justice system should operate…

        • telemachus

          Life moves on
          We were instrumental as a Nation in improving the justice systems of Eastern Europe
          Are you telling me we have nothing to learn from others

          • Paul Hughes

            Perhaps the Eastern Europeans had a choice as to whether or not they would adopt our suggestions. I would rather we learn from others than suffer a system imposed upon us from outside. Wouldn’t you?

            • Colonel Mustard

              telemachus rather likes the idea of imposition from outside. He despises the English and endorses a form of soft genocide for them. His admiration of Stalin gives a clue as to what he is all about.

            • telemachus

              I think you misunderstand Reding
              This is not imposition but moral pressure in the interests of justice

          • livnletliv

            We don’t, you obviously do.

            • telemachus

              It is fundamental arrogance to state there is nothing to learn from others
              This is totalitarian philosophy

              • Colonel Mustard

                You should know being an advocate of it.

      • livnletliv

        Why not take advantage of this hyper mobility yourself and do one to some EU loving super area.

      • Tom Tom

        Human Sciences is Sociology and Anthropology………waffle

        • telemachus

          If it induces you to think about the human condition it has value

      • Tom Tom

        Universal justice blending Roman Law with Case Law ? You want to have Inheritance dictated by statute ? Abolish Habeas Corpus ? Weird

        • telemachus

          We do not to have to have Universal Justice but to apply human rights principles to existing systems and apply them openly and fairly
          I do not hear May or Grayling advocating such

      • evad666

        Ha hyper mobility subsidized by the Commission to massage out unemployment hot spots.

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