Fruitful conference in Brussels on Reason of State, starting from Iraq 2003



In Iraq, February ended with its increasingly heavy and tragic load of blood. According to Iraq Body Count 930 people were killed in the 28 days of February, and over 2,000 since the beginning of 2014. As we write, armed militants stormed the municipal Council and the Court of the northern city of Samarra, taking several employees as hostages.

In the UK, where the final report of the Chilcot Inquiry is expected by mid-2014, Tony Blair is under attack for his role in the phone-hacking scandal, which involved the journal News of the World, and in the negotiations that resulted in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. In the first case, Blair offered his help, as “informal adviser” to the editor of News of the Worlds, Rebekah Brooks, and owner Rupert Murdoch, the day after the outbreak of the scandal that revealed the shocking scale of interceptions carried out by the journal. In the second case, the former British Prime Minister allegedly promised amnesty to some Republican on-the-run members of the IRA without informing the opponents, the Ulster Unionists. In particular, Peter Robinson current First Minister of Northern Ireland, who was among the signatories of the 1998 agreement which led to the formation of the first government in power-sharing, said that this is “a very sad day” for Northern Ireland.

On 18 and 19 February the conference “Rule of Law v. Raison d’Etat”, organized by the Radical Party along with No Peace Without Justice and Hands Off Cain took place in Brussels. On Tuesday 18 the event was held at the European Parliament with the support of the ALDE Group (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) in the European Parliament and of Niccolò Rinaldi MEP. Wednesday 19, the conference moved to the Berlaymont building, the headquarters of the European Commission, thanks to the sponsorship of the Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, who also participated in the two-day meeting.

With the support of Elio Di Rupo, Emma Bonino and Mairead Maguire, the Conference hosted numerous speeches of politicians, academics and activists, including Guy Verhofstadt MEP, Struan Stevenson MEP, Louis Michel MEP, Bakhtiar Amin, Fausto Bertinotti, Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, Marco Pannella, Saumura Tioulong MP, Kok Ksor, Cesare Salvi, professors Maria Rosaria Ferrarese, Mauro Bussani, Yves Charles Zarka, Otto von PfersmannMichel Troper, and also Owen Thomas, Esther Beceiro, Stephen Plowden, Dara Thong and many others, who for the first time agreed to tackle such issue in two European seats.

This conference is supposed to be the beginning of a work, which consists of bringing to the attention of a growing number of lawmakers the central problem that we have attempted to raise in the conference, namely the deterioration of democracy into “real democracy” with the institutional consequences that this implies locally, nationally and globally.

In the next few days we should be able to publish the proceedings related to the conference. The video footage is already available on the website of the Radical Party (in English, Italian and French).

Matteo Angioli