German requiem on Europe
For several years, regionalism and identities movements prosper in Europe. Bombs put by the ETA, the privileges granted to Corsica in the political, cultural, educational domains, the League of Savoy of Patrice Abeille, a wide autonomy granted to Scotland and Wales by the government of Prime minister Blair, the increasing antagonism between Walloon and Flemish underline that Europe is shaken with a multitude of ethnic demands which worsen national States. Within the framework of the European construction, these regionalists find an favorable echo to their demands. Indeed, European authorities set up and in all the levels of the federal structures which allow these identities movements really to bloom. We can raise essentially five documents which are capable of remodeling the European structure: The Charter of regional or minority languages, the Outline agreement for the protection of the minorities, the Charters of the local and regional autonomy and the Outline agreement on the cross-border cooperation (called also Charter of Madrid). These events are not the fruit of the hazard. Better to seize the turnovers, which are about to modify profoundly the organization of States within the European Union and, afterward, better to understand the original role-played by Germany, we have to proceed to a review. History is, according to the statement of Paul Valéry, " this big often silent underlying movement and sense of which shows itself only if one embraces wide periods of time ".
In Regionalism and protection of the ethnic groups until 1789
The principle of the political, administrative, legal, educational autonomy is not new in the European history. Indeed, we meet these measures essentially in the German history. This phenomenon takes its development in the colonization of central then oriental Europe from the 12-th century. Because of the increase of the German population which gone up from 2,5 or 3 million inhabitants in the 9-th century to 7 or 8 millions in the middle of the 13-th century, lands which were little populated in the East offered a possibility of release and economic outlets of these populations. This Germanic migration made of different manners: the military way (especially from 1125 with Lothario of Supplimburg ), the religious way due to the action of German evangelicals (Benedictines, Cistercians) Whom creating abbeys and diocese in Slavic countries launched an appeal to their co-religionists to highlight the territories recently acquired. However, this migration was also made in a most natural way, possible, by the appeal of Polish noblemen of Bohemia ( the Premyslides) and of Hungary ( the Arpad). These last ones, worried to benefit from a Germanic immigrant labor strong of technical knowledge superior to the Slavic peoples, called up these new migrants to take advantage of their knowledge and, consequently , to increase afterward their incomes.
It is the case of the king of Hungary Geisa II who, by 1150 , invited 2 to 3000 Germans to settle down in Transylvania (Siebenbürgen). The economic and demographic weight of this community was such as Andrea II granted, in 1224 , the big charter of liberties and privileges, called Andreanum ( the goldene Freibrief). This document allowed this Germanic group to elect its own judges, to be supervised by a German clergy and to set up the first step favorable toward a political, administrative and legal autonomy. These measures took root so well that the king Matthias Corvinus confirmed, in 1486 , the goldene Freibrief " to all our Saxons of Transylvania ".
The example of the Transylvania is a case among the others of the Germanic influence in all the European East. Phenomenon repeated in a wider scale with the Teutonic knights who shone from the oriental Prussia to Bay of Finland. These knights favored a Germanic emigration which, at the time of the Tannenberg's fatal blow in 1410, allowed the birth of a State of Germanic population which was estimated at 400 000 inhabitants. Reformation, wars of Charles the Fifth in West to establish one imperialism hegemony on all Europe and the war of Thirty years ( 1618-1648 ) which eliminates about half of the German population did not allow the reflation of the Germanic populating in Eastern Europe. Phenomenon reassumes colors again from the 18-th century.
Indeed, the Austrians and the Russians are confronted with a common enemy: the Turks. Repressing gradually the Ottomans from the Balkans and the circumference of Black Sea, the governments of Vienna and Saint Petersburg invited German populations to settle down in the recovered but laid waste and depopulated territories. The common objective of these two countries consisted in boosting the economy of these regions, but also, in setting up military borders controlled by these populations.
In the Austrian case, under the administrations of Charles VI, Maria-Theresa and Joseph II, three successive waves of German colonists, appointed under Schwabenzug's term (literally " convoy of Swabian ". One estimates that about 150 000 Germans migrated in the 18-th century to the Hungarian territory) populated the Banat, the Swabian Turkey, the Sathmar and the Batschka. Benefiting from multiple advantages (tax exemption, administrative, judicial autonomy), these communities prospered and remained very alive until the tragedy of 1945.
We find the same phenomenon in the Russian case. The czarina Catherine II (originally German princess: Anhalt Zerbst) appealed to Germans native of Hesse by the Manifesto of July 22, 1763. As in the previous cases, inciting measures were presented to the migrants: freedom of religion, auto-administration of the municipalities and schools, free purchase for every family from 30 to 80 desjatines of lands . following, the successors of Catherine II prolonged this politics of Germanic populating in Russia until the middle of the 19-th century and under the same conditions. One estimates that about 100 000 Germans became established during this period in Russia.
As we can notice it, the phenomenon of autonomy granted to all the degrees concerns only the German populations. French Revolution and napoleon wars wake-up nationalities in Europe and in particular the Germanic world. From the 19-th century, this principle of autonomy, which in the beginning was purely German, started to become Europeanized.
B Regionalism and protection of the ethnic groups, German concepts for all Europe until 1945
The wills of unification of Germany in first half of the 19-th century collide in numerous obstacles (Austria-Prussian rivalries, hesitance about political system to be adopted). However, another problem (and of size) appears: where does one have to establish the border of Germanism? Indeed, a German compact block exists in the heart of Europe; but the existence of a multitude of German communities spread in central and oriental Europe since the Middle-Age incites the German intellectuals to want to integrate them " as far where one hears German language ", as suggests it from 1813 the nationalist poet Ernst Moritz Arndt (so weit die deutsche Sprache zu hören ist). The events of 1848 try to create a German Unitarian State containing the Slavic and Magyar provinces of the Austrian Empire of Habsburg where live at the same time German populations. These attempts end in the constitution of March, 1849 which, for the first time in the European history, grants advantages as political and cultural autonomy to the non-German populations. As stipulates it, the article XIII § 188 of the constitution of March 28, 1849: " In the populations of Germany which do not speak German, is guaranteed a development of their appropriate characteristics, notably equality as regards to their languages on all the area of their territories, in the church, in the education, within the administration and within the justice ". This article is the ancestor of all the texts in favor of the protection of the minorities and the ethnic groups in Europe.
However, this characteristic comes along with two inextricable elements on behalf of these German democratic nationalists: the creation of a European economic entity capable of opposing to the dominant power of time, Great Britain, and the federalization of all Europe, first and foremost France. This last one is federalized due to the emergence of municipalities, cantons and provinces which have in their heads elected members which divide into five groups:
1. " The 'oriental' group: Alsace, Lorraine, Burgundy.
2. The alpine group and rhodanian.
3. The provinces of the Garonne or the language of oc.
4. The provinces of the Loire or the language of oïl.
5. The group of the Seine and the North ".
This German hegemonic will and ethnicity on Europe is translated by comments which do not suffer any ambiguity as vouched by this document from the 19-th century: " The principle of the nationality, the autonomy and the decentralization, Self-government of all the communities and political communities is a general war cry of the present. Ethnic group ( Völkerschaften) completely ignored or forgotten up until then appears in Europe, exploits their nationality and wins in importance. It is necessary to free the ethnic substratum of the state gangue before proceeding to new combinations ".
This complete revision of Europe comes along with the institution of a federal system concepts of which oppose completely to the French case, the type of Etat-nation, as underlines it by Julius Fröbel, leader of the German big party based in 1862: " If Germany abandons federative system and looks for its safety in the centralism, then it will not be Germany, but France, big mistress of the centralization, which will make reappear on the scene of the universe the Roman Empire of the West. The safety of Europe depends on the possibility to make prevail the federative system. All Reich is a sort of union and any union deserves Reich's name ".
These principles are rejected by the only German politician - Chancellor Bismarck - to have understood that only the politics of " true force is to know how to limit itself ", authorizes the emergence of a German State respectful of the European balance. The departure of the chancellery in 1890 removes any restraint on behalf of the political authorities of the II REICH.
Indeed, pan-German leagues of little importance but very influential - because members belongs to high-ranking posts (manufacturers, members of parliament, academics) - incite Germany of Willem II to realize the projects temporarily stopped by Bismarck. On the eve of first world war, one of the figureheads, Otto-Richard Tannenberg, summarizes in 1911 in his work ' Big Germany ' the German ethnic politics: " unification inside German ethnic borders, here is a task of twentieth century. There would be no more either Romans or Slavs, if all the German tribes existed today and had the force of the lower - Saxon. The borders of Europe would be the borders of Germany in Europe ".
This ambition seems to become a reality with Brest-Litovsk's treaty (in March 3, 1918) when Germany controls henceforth Russian, Poland, the Baltic States and Ukraine. However, defeat on the Occidental front led a collapse of German ambitions. These last ones however start again , by the politico-legal way, due to the action of the chancellor Gustav Stresemann.
Indeed, steer being to foresee, G. Stresemann drafts a report on January 13, 1925 from which the title is already a whole program: " necessity in foreign policy of a regulation of the right of the minorities inside Reich corresponding to the necessities of the German minorities in Europe ". Subdividing the German minorities into four groups: Germans of borders (Sudetes, Germans of Poland) Germans of the Baltic, German States of the banks of the Danube, Germans of Russia, the chancellor Stresemann attributes to them economic, political and cultural missions to be filled within the States in which they live to favor a seizure of Reich in central and oriental Europe. Final the goal consists, for the chancellor, in reuniting all these "tribes" German ( Stämme) within the same State. But their unification would lead automatically to the annexation of the vast Slavic and Magyar populations. To by-pass this problem, G. Stresemann suggests granting them a cultural autonomy as he clarifies it in the following comments: " The creation of a State political border of which would include all the constituents of the alive German people inside territories of German populating in central Europe and which wish annexation to the Reich, is the distant purpose of German expectations; progressive, political and economic revision of clauses, indefensible of the border zone of the Dictate (Polish corridor, High-Silesia); the first purpose of German foreign policy. The mixture of nationalities in central Europe has for result that none of these close or distant objectives can come true without next to our own fellow countrymen, join individuals of foreign nationalities under German sovereign power. It is evident that obstacles in a revision of the Dictate would show themselves, therefore as minors, when world public opinion and individuals belonging to a foreign minority, included during the annexation, would feel convinced that any national minority inside the borders of Reich, see each other guaranteed and granted, actually, the most total cultural freedom ".
The sights of G. Stresemann is deep, because he wishes to strengthen the authority of the LEAGUE OF NATIONS ( supranational entity) and to allow so the creation of a " Permanent commission of the minorities " - held account as the Treaty of Versailles included in its texts obligation for all the States of central Europe to protect their minorities (initiative wanted by the American Jewish franc - masonry or B nai B rith) - of which role would be to watch strictly the European States in their politics towards the minorities. The secret hope of the chancellor consists in spreading this concept to all the Occidental States. However, the rough death of the chancellor and the crisis of 1929 prevent the fulfillment of these intentions. Hitler's come to power in 1933 is a pursuit of the politics of Weimar, but by the military way.
The unification of Austria, Sudetes and Dantzig by Hitler was already foreseen by the leaders of the Republic of Weimar, as underlined it the historian François-Georges Dreyfus. It is only the brutality with which Hitler proceeds that cuts with the previous years. From the victory of Germany on Poland in 1939, it is decided to grant the German nationality according to four criteria (degree of knowledge of the German language,) to the Germanic populations living in this country. This principle underlines the character strongly ethnic of Nazi authorities. However, it is not necessary to believe that this racist approach stayed only in the German frame. Indeed, during Second World War, Germany tries to create an Europe united under its ferule and take a first step in the perspective of the final victory. Numerous collaborator, stemming from defeated countries join the German enterprise. In the case of France, we can raise the names of Jacques de Lesdain, member of the a collaborationist group and chairman of an exhibition hold to the Grand Palais (in June, 1941) entitled " European France ". But the most illuminating phenomenon in this Europeanization of German concepts is translated at the level of Waffen SS Indeed, this armed with elite, exclusively German at the beginning of the conflict, Europeanizes in the point to collect in the end of the war an actual of 600 000 people and 38 divisions. One finds 19 divide SS composites for the greater part of foreigners: Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Flemish, Walloon, French, Croatian, Albanian (division SS Moslem), Ukrainian, and Hungarian. It is not necessary to see the WAFFEN SS only under the military angle. Indeed, real State in the State, it controlled vast sectors of the German economy and had to the end soak the spirits of the ideal of National Socialist in all Europe. The French SS Joseph Darnand summarized it so in February, 1944 in the collaborationist review " To become" run by the SS Marc Augier (this last one used as pen name that of the Holy Wolf in its works): " spirit of the SS is not German any more; it is the new common soul of European youths ".
These will to create Europe became a reality in the drafting of a map of federal Europe of regions of which one finds a prototype in the work of Holy Wolf " SS of the Golden fleece ". To observe it closer, one notices that the European State forms a compound block only of regions. These last ones benefit from a total regional and cultural autonomy. important subjects (diplomacy, policy of defense, big economic problems) are treated at the top of this federal European State of regions. This ideal to be achieved had been conceived by the leaders of theWaffen SS The defeat of 1945 puts down these projects. They resume an unexpected power within the framework of the European Union.
C The germanization of the European institutions
Numerous personalities in the political, economic, journalistic domains often ask the following question: Which face Europe it is going to set? They seem to ignore that all the texts which have to model the European body exist. It is enough so to gather them to obtain a precise sight of what waits for us. But it is necessary also to go farther to the inventory of all these European texts. Indeed, any document is the fruit of an elaboration which very often spreads out over numerous years. So, it is necessary to be interested in the previous history of these texts, in other words, it turns out major to take charge of the principle of causality. For it, we shall determine two axes: the one concerning the protection of the minorities, then to occupy us with the political frame which accompanies this legislation.
1) The Charter of regional or minority languages and the Outline agreement for the protection of the minorities.
These two documents in favour of the minorities and ethnic groups are the outcome of a long process. They are the result of an European institute which really is German: UFCE (The Union federalist of the European ethnic Communities; the German abbreviation is FUEV: Föderalistische Union Europäischen Volksgruppen). Based in 1949, it has the financial support of the Land of Carinthia ( Austria), the autonomous Region of Trentin South-Tyrol, Hermann Niermann foundation (Düsseldorf) and of the Home Office of the Federal Republic of Germany. The genesis of these documents, begun already in 1956, takes form in 1967 during 17-th congress of the UFCE in Denmark. It continues due to the action of numerous German and Austrian jurists working in contact with the UFCE as well as with the Austrian Foreign Ministry and the Home Office of the Federal Republic of Germany. All these texts are codified in a work Ethnos 46 where are listed all the actors having worked in favour of the elaboration.
First attempts in favour of the creation of a whole code dedicated to the protection of the minorities begin in 1984. Indeed, the Minister - president of Bavaria, Alfons Goppel, presents to this time a series of measures directly resulting from the program of the UFCE. However, because of the strongly innovative character of the program, it fails. It is resumed in 1988 by the count von Stauffenberg. This last one works in direct contact with the UFCE and presents, during its congress in 1990 in Munich, new program (slightly reshaped). But as in the previous case, it fails because of the opposition of numerous European members of parliament frightened by the enormous modifications which bring these texts within the States of the European Union. Project is resumed in 1993 by another German, lawyer of the state, Siegbert Alber. But, during the Summit of Vienna in October, 1993 and to facilitate the broadcasting in the European legislation, this program bursts into four elements: a) An European Charter of regional or minority languages, b) an Outline agreement for the protection of the minorities, c) an additional protocol in the European Agreement of human rights, d) a special Agreement for rights for the autonomy. We retain only points A and b. Indeed, the last two points do not succeed (for the moment).
The Charter of regional or minority languages is launched by the resolution 192 ( 1988 ) supervised by the German reporter Herbert Kohn, member of the legal committee of the UFCE. During the congress of this institute held in October, 1988 in Antwerp, H. Kohn summarizes this politics towards minority languages by the following comments: " protection, elaboration and promotion of regional and minority languages is a central question of politics in Europe and for Europe. The recognition of the right of all the Europeans to use their own language, the guarantee of this right in various sectors of the life due to an European Charter can lead to the fact that the speakers of regional and minority languages ( ... ) Feel at home in their country and in the European house as the loyal members of a whole ". This resolution is adopted during the session of March 15 and 17, 1988. Accepted by the Committee of the Ministers on June 25, 1992 and requiring five ratification, it comes into effect on March 1-st, 1998. This Charter presents a range of measures in favour of the protection of minority languages in all the domains (education, justice, administration, and in particular the improvement of exchanges in the border zone).
The Outline agreement for the protection of the minorities develops during 1994 within the framework of the ' Committee ad hoc for the protection of the national minorities ' ( the CAHMIN). Finished in October, 1994, this Outline agreement is adopted by the committee of the Ministers of the Council of Europe on November 10, 1994. Requiring twelve ratifications, it comes into effect on February 1-st, 1998. This document benefits from the support of numerous documents, in particular the chapter IV of the Document of Copenhagen (in June, 1990), the European Commission for the Democracy by the right (called also commission of Venice) and the recommendation 1201. These texts arise directly from the legal science of the countries of German language. After the division of the program of the UFCE by the Summit of Vienna in October, 1993, the Outline agreement takes shape during 1994. We had the occasion to quote the Home Office of Federal Republic of Germany among supports in the UFCE. This support becomes a reality by the presence of a high-ranking servant of the German Home Office: Rolf Gossmann. It is the same high-ranking servant who participating in the sessions of the CAHMIN allows to manage to get the main thing of the program of the UFCE in this European document legally binding.
This text recognizes the existence of ethnic groups to whom is granted a maximum of opportunities in domains as varied as culture, media, education, public affairs and cross-border opportunities when a minority exist on both sides of a border of the State. This recognition of the phenomenon identity obliges the creation within the EU of a political frame which protects all these senses of identity. The federalism, with the principle of autonomy in all the degrees, is the support of it.
2) The political frame in the European Union, a widened German system
The recognition of the ethnic groups in Europe lead to the creation of three European documents that upset completely the structures of nation-state. The Outline agreement on the cross-border cooperation (called also Charter of Madrid), the Charter of the local autonomy and the Charter of the regional autonomy. These texts are originally German and accompany all the European documents (German as us saw it) in favour of the protection of the minorities in Europe.
A) The Outline agreement on the cross-border cooperation
This Agreement is called also Charter of Madrid. It is the result of an European institute, the ARFE (Association of the European Frontier regions). However, 'European' term is misleading. Indeed, this institute is completely German. its founders, his presidents and general secretaries come all of Outer-Rhine. The objective of this institute consists by the creation of a territorial entity on both sides of the border of a State, called European-region, to remove this border with the aim of improving economic exchanges, to assure a better agreement and an understanding between nearby countries etc. Texts founders of this institute stipulate it frankly: " The objective of the action led within the cross-border regions and the purpose pursued through the cross-border cooperation is the abolition of obstacles and factors of distortion existing between these regions, as well as the overtaking of the border, at least the reduction of its importance for a simple administrative border ". This fundamental objective explains why the Basques and the Catalans are the most active adherents within the ARFE. The existence of european-regions along the German-Polish border ( Oder-Neisse) and along the German-Czech border - borders which have to become administrative - explains the support of the German refugees native of Silesia, Pomerania, the country of Sudeten. Indeed, within the framework of the membership of Poland, but also of the Czech Republic in the European Union, it is possible for the German populations expelled after 1945, to return in any legality on the ground of their ancestors, in their " Heimat ". This principle takes all the more value as the article 7 of the Charter of regional or minority languages and the article 17 of the Outline agreement for the protection of the minorities stipulate that the borders of State do not have to pose a problems for the minorities and the exchanges of the border zone. In a certain way, everything adds up.
B) Charter of the local autonomy
This Charter is launched by the resolution 126 ( 1981 ). it consists in granting an autonomy to local level in all the domains: right to adjust and to administer under their own responsibility an important part of public affairs (art. 3), straight ahead to have sufficient appropriate financial resources (art. 9), legal protection of the local autonomy (art. 11). This document is a chance of a lifetime for any minority living on a reduced surfaced and worried to keep intact its sense of identity. But the real genesis of this resolution 126 ( 1981 ) bases on a report, real Magna carta of the local autonomy, " the regional Institutions in Europe " of A. Galette who, in spite of the name typically French, is German. It is this reporter who, leaning on the work, will give the final touch to the Charter of the local autonomy.
C) The Charter of the regional autonomy
This Charter is, if one can say, the last one arisen from the outfit federalist. This document is exact reflection of the German federal thought. It is true that his designers come from Outer-Rhine. It is the recommendation 34 ( 1997 ) which launches the principle of " landerization " of all Europe. The reporter is German Peter Rabe. However, project already had the favors of numerous German leaders. It is necessary to know that it is for the initiative of the government of Land of Bass - Saxony that a first project of Charter was presented in Hanover on March 22, 1996. It is good to remind that his Minister - president of time is the current chancellor Gerhard Schröder. This Charter allows every region a complete autonomy in all the domains (administrative, educational, financial) Towards central power. But especially, it includes in the internal functioning all the legislation in favour of the protection of the minorities. Consequently, we attend the emergence of provinces politically autonomous and strongly tinged with opposite linguistic and cultural characteristics in those of Etat-nation; this last one recognizing only a single language (article 2 of V-th République: the language of the Republic is French) and a single authority, itself.
If France undertakes in this way, it is simply return in feudal Europe, return in Europe of the year thousand. The ratification of these documents means its death sentence. After so many surmounted tests, it would be very sad that a so beautiful old civilization of more than twenty centuries disappears in the sound of an European hymn which even there is German ( the Ode of the enjoyment) and whose accents would rather make think of a Requiem for a dead nation.