EU May Suspend Nations With Secret Prisons
The European Union’s Justice Commissioner warned today that EU countries who operated secret CIA prisons could be stripped of their voting rights.
EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini warned Monday any EU nation found to have operated secret CIA prisons could have their EU voting rights suspended. “I would be obliged to propose to the Council (of EU Ministers) serious consequences, including the suspension of voting rights in the Council,” Frattini said at a counter-terrorism conference.
Such a move would, instantaneously, destroy the EU–especially if one of the more powerful states were so sanctioned. The idea that a sovereign state’s national security decisions would be punished by a pseudo-government is as dangerous as it is laughable.
Update (11/29 0655): Henry Farrell reveals that Poland and Romania are the offenders. A snippet from his lengthy analysis:
This could prove to be an important catalyst. While the relationship between the EU and US is less overtly confrontational than it was a year ago, the US actually has less European friends than it did back then. ThereÃ¢€™s a general feeling of disgust among European political elites (including those who are usually pro-US) for AmericaÃ¢€™s involvement in torture, extraordinary renditions and human rights abuses. Important allies of the US such as Blair and Berlusconi have been weakened, and likely arenÃ¢€™t around for too much longer. Not only that, but there are internal European politics too. ThereÃ¢€™s suspicion and dislike of the new Polish government in other EU capitals; while it certainly didnÃ¢€™t set up the putative prisons, it does have a distinct whiff of populist authoritarianism, and black prisons may prove to be a convenient excuse for taking action to clip its wings. Nor is there much appetite for RomaniaÃ¢€™s imminent membership of the EU either. Finally, action would be a very attractive way for EU officials to improve the European UnionÃ¢€™s image with voters in France, Holland and elsewhere, by showing that the EU is about more than free trade and agriculture subsidies.
An excellent discussion in the comments as well about the political implications.