Sunday, May 16, 2010

European Union

The European Union has become an entity of global importance. In 60 years, it has grown from an idea to a union of 27 sovereign European states. Despite its progress, its development has been characterised by setbacks and a sense of weakness. More recently, the global banking crisis of 2007-2008, has adversely affected the public finances of many EU states. In the absence of a common government, the situation has revealed limits to the financial cooperation of member states. In turn, this has cast doubt about the viability of the common currency, the euro, and the political union itself. In an effort to narrow the search for an authentic horoscope for the EU, the major milestones in the union are evaluated, also in terms of significant events. An exploratory chart is presented and its future described.

Search for authentic birth chart
The search for an authentic birth chart for the EU is complicated by the many treaties signed and ratified in the process of forming a union. The overview that follows offers an evaluation of the uniqueness of each treaty.

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1. Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community
The Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which was signed on 18 April 1951 in Paris, entered into force on 23 July 1952.
Assessment: This treaty represents the first step on the path to European integration. Its importance lies in subjugating the Europan defense industry under regional control with supra-national bodies. Arguably, it is too limited scope, covering only economic cooperation in the fields of coal and steel production, to represent a new entity. Moreover, the treaty was set to expire in 50 years, on 23 July 2002, which undermines its significance.

2. Treaty of Rome
The Treaty of Rome, establishing the European Economic Community (EEC), was signed in Rome on 25 March 1957 and entered into force on 1 January 1958. It created the legal basis for further economic integration.
Assessment: While this treaty represents a fundamental step forward, it is still too limited in scope, providing only for expanded economic cooperation.

3.
Merger Treaty
The Merger Treaty, signed in Brussels on 8 April 1965 and in force since 1 July 1967, which provided for a Single Commission and a Single Council of the then three European Communities.
Assessment: This treaty only provides for more centralised apparatus in economic cooperation.

4.
Single European Act
The Single European Act (SEA), signed in Luxembourg and the Hague, and entered into force on 1 July 1987, provided for the adaptations required for the achievement of the Internal Market.
Assessment: This treaty represents further advances in economic cooperation.

5. Treaty on European Union (Maastricht Treaty)
The Treaty on European Union was signed in Maastricht on 7 February 1992. The ratification process was either through parliamentary approval or national referendum. The last country to ratify was Denmark, through a referendum on 18 May 1993, with the addition of the Edinburgh Agreement which lists four Danish exceptions. The treaty entered into force on 1 November 1993. The Maastricht Treaty changed the name of the European Economic Community to simply "the European Community". It also introduced new forms of co-operation between the Member State governments - for example on defence, and in the area of "justice and home affairs". By adding this inter-governmental co-operation to the existing "Community" system, the Maastricht Treaty created a new structure with three "pillars" which is political as well economic. Even more importantly, the treaty formed the European Union, or EU, introducing the concept of EU citizenship and European parliament. It also contained provisions for a European Central Bank, as part of European Monetary Union (EMU). However, despite such advances, of adding a formal political dimension to the previous economic community, the EU has limited federal powers.

Assessment: The Maastrich Treaty represents a fundamental advance n the integration process, by introducing a political dimension and creating a union with rights of citizenship in the union.

6. Treaty of Amsterdam
The Treaty of Amsterdam, signed on 2 October 1997, entered into force on 1 May 1999. It amended and renumbered the EU and EC Treaties. Consolidated versions of the EU and EC Treaties are attached to it. The Treaty of Amsterdam changed the articles of the Treaty on European Union, identified by letters A to S, into numerical form.
Assessment: This treaty represents more technical changes.

7.
Treaty of Nice
The Treaty of Nice, signed on 26 February 2001, entered into force on 1 February 2003. It dealt mostly with reforming the institutions so that the Union could function efficiently after its enlargement to 25 Member States. The Treaty of Nice, the former Treaty of the EU and the Treaty of the EC have been merged into one consolidated version.
Assessment: This treaty represents ad hoc changes to the existing structure.

8.
Treaty of Lisbon
The Treaty of Lisbon was signed on 13 December 2007. The treaty required all 27 Member States to ratify before it could enter into force and the Czech Republic was the last to ratify and sign the treaty at 3:00 pm on 3 November 2009 in Prague. On 1 December 2009, the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force, thus ending several years of negotiation about institutional issues. Its main objectives are to make the EU more democratic, meeting the European citizens’ expectations for high standards of accountability, openness, transparency and participation; and to make the EU more efficient and able to tackle today's global challenges such as climate change, security and sustainable development. The agreement on the Treaty of Lisbon followed the discussion about a constitution.
Assessment: The Treaty of Lisbon amends the current EU and EC treaties without replacing them. It provides the Union with the legal framework and tools necessary to meet future challenges and to respond to citizens' demands.

9. Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe
A "Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe" was adopted by the Heads of State and Government at the Brussels European Council on 17 and 18 June 2004 and signed in Rome on 29 October 2004, but it was not ratified in all member states.
Assessment: As this treaty was never ratified, the constitutional basis of the Treaty on European Union (Maastricht Treaty) remains in place.

The overview reveals that each stage was important in its own right, leading to ever closer cooperation. However, only one event can be considered the true birth of any collective entity. The Maastricht Treaty, however, is unique in that it can be said to have truly formed a union. To date, no treaty has transformed the union into a sovereign entity, with powers that match or surpass the sovereign member states.


Exploratory EU horoscope
Out of the events surrounding the Maastricht treaty, the entry into force at midnight on 1 November 1993 seems to have the most potential to explain the EU. A horoscope with 23° 29' Cancer rising seems to give a good fit but shows a rather weak entity, especially when compared to the USA. The same ascendant is found in the SAMVA USA chart, after which the EU is modelled. However, the placements in the EU chart, while revealing some similarities, display important differences and an overall weakness compared to the USA chart, but fewer afflictions. The same ascendant and degree is found in the horoscope of Iran.

The two strongest planets in the EU horoscope are the debilitated 4th lord Venus (most benefic planet) in old age in the Sun-Like 3rd house - giving 62,5% strength at most. Its (mutual) dispositor 3rd lord Mercury is in the 4th house, with the same strength, but its indications are harmed by an aspect from 8th lord Saturn (most malefic planet). Both of these planets are in the most effective points of the houses they occupy and thus aspect those houses as well as the houses opposite to their placement, yielding some benefits for the houses concerned. First lord Moon, while exalted in the 11th house, is in infancy and only has 10% strength. It is aspected by an equally weak 10th lord Mars in the 5th house. This suggests a weak but perhaps a well known entity. This aspect is also similar to a similar placement in the SAMVA USA chart, but which is of considerably greater strength. To this day, the EU has been reluctant to develop a common military force and has been unable to intervene under its own name. Related to this placement, we can note that the EU´s founding documents are mostly legal text freely interspersed with technocratic jargon. While Moon is placed in the 11th house of ideals, the idealism falls far short compared to the inspiring US founding documents. The nodes, while debilitated, are not afflicting in the chart, which is interesting compared to the highly afflicting nodes in the USA. The EU will likely have far less problems in the collective life than what has been seen in the history of the USA. As far as the power of the state and the currency are concerned, the EU would remain weak as 2nd lord Sun is debilitated in the 4th house - taking into consideration also the well placed but weak Moon. These placements suggest the EU will not become a rival to the USA, or the euro become a rival of the dollar. Saturn is in advanced old age in the 7th house, the EU would be vulnerable to setbacks when it comes to leagcies or easy gains. The good placement of 6th lord Jupiter in the 4th house is good for financial stability, such that the EU would not tend to absorb debts that bring it to ruin. However, Jupiter aspects 8th lord Saturn, which suggests there could nonetheless be problems especially when transit afflictions involve these planets, including temporary strains associated with financial stability in the union. The placement of Saturn also suggests obstructions in foreign policy and some tendency for red tape. The aspect from 10th lord Mars to Saturn could give slight benefits concerning legal and administrative efforts.

The Cancer rising chart has all planets placed in good houses with few afflictions. This is consistent with the fact that the EU has had no major problems since its beginnings about 60 years ago and has, in fact, managed to grow over time, both in terms of numbers and to deepen the cooperation. As such it has managed to overcome many obstacles. That said, the EU has become noted for its weaknesses and concerns about the lack of a strong central government. In short, the EU based on this chart would be only be a moderately powerful entity but will likely fulfill those hopes of its founders that it will be a source of peace in the continent. At the same time, it is not likely to develop a central government that will absorb power from the member states, as was the case in the USA. It could also be noted that there are three consecutive periods ahead involving slow moving functional malefic planets, Rahu, Jupiter and Saturn, from 2015 to 2068.

Launch of the euro in 1999
"The euro came into existence on the 1 January 1999, although it has been a goal of the European Union and its predecessors since the 1960s. After tough negotiations, particularly due to opposition from the United Kingdom, the Maastricht Treaty entered into force in 1993 with the goal of creating economic and monetary union by 1999 for all EU states except the UK."[1]

Astrology of the event
The moderately auspicious period of Moon-Mars was operating when the euro was formally launched. The notable placement on that day was the 10th lord Mars being conjunct the MEP of the 3rd house.

European sovereign debt crisis of 2010
The seeds of the European sovereign debt crisis of 2010 were sown innocently enough in October 2009, with the first signs of an isolated fiscal problem of an EU member state, Greece. Soon, it became clear that Greek government had been cooking the books and that the problems were profound and intractable, following years of fiscal profligacy. In early 2010 fears of a sovereign debt crisis developed concerning some countries in Europe including: Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Portugal. This led to a crisis of confidence as well as the widening of bond yield spreads and risk insurance on credit default swaps between these countries and other EU members, most importantly Germany. Concern about rising government deficits and debt levels across the globe together with a wave of downgrading of European Government debt has created alarm on financial markets. The debt crisis has been mostly centred on recent events in Greece, where there is concern about the rising cost of financing government debt. On 2 May 2010, the Eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund agreed to a €110 billion loan for Greece, conditional on the implementation of harsh Greek austerity measures. On 9 May 2010, Europe's Finance Ministers approved a comprehensive rescue package worth almost a trillion dollars aimed at ensuring financial stability across Europe. It reduced the confidence of markets that the heads of other EU states were slow to come around to helping Greece finance its debts, with Germany especially hesitant. The hesitation made other fiscally weak EU member states look vulnerable, as well as the euro. [2] The crisis soon became a test of European political and financial cooperation.[3] While the crisis has subsided in the past week, it is not necessarily over, with many voicing concern about the European integration project.[4][5]

Astrology of the event
Transit nodes were stationary conjunct the 6th and 12th house MEPs. Transit 6th lord Jupiter was in the 8th house in March and April, under aspect from transit Ketu in 12th house. After Jupiter moved into the 9th house in early May 2010, the crisis began to abate, notably on 9 May 2010, when the €1 trillion EU stabilization fund was introduced.
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Looking ahead
An exploratory chart needs to be put to the test with some predictions. The Mars major period is operating. It suggests that legal and adminstrative processes are met with delay. A similar result concerning the EU's efforts to develop its own identity were evident in the preceding Moon period, when the Constitution was rejected and effectively placed on ice. After the Mars-Saturn period begins in late June 2010, both transit 8th lord Saturn and transit 6th lord Jupiter will be in opposition aspect to each other while also mutually afflicting the natal nodes. This will likely be a stressful time in the EU. Another afflicting transit occurs in the summer of 2011, when Rahu becomes stationary at 29° Taurus from where it aspects sub-period lord Saturn. At that time, problems for the economy and working people are to be expected.
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References
[1] Wikipedia: History of the Euro
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_euro
[2] Fears grow over weaker euro, May 14 2010 23:16.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/506635a-5f97-11df-a670-00144feab49a.html
[3] President Nicolas Sarkozy 'threatened to pull France out of euro' , Telegraph - 12:12PM BST 14 May 2010.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatnews/7723782/President-Nicolas-Sarkozy-threatened-to-pull-France-out-of-euro.html
[4] Europe: A pause in the crisis, BBC - Friday, 14 May 2010, 12:18 UK.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/
[5] White House's Volcker: Future of Euro in Doubt, CNBC - Friday, 14 May 2010 3:50 AM ET.
http://www.cnbc.com/id/37144724

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