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Let me toss out the first draft of a translation. Not to worry, it is mostly a Google operation, though I did make some changes to awkward wording. But this little translator tool is getting increasingly good! (At least french->english) Perhaps we are approaching the viability of a multi-lingual ET heavily reliant on auto translation?

Pétition contre la nomination de Tony Blair comme Président de l'Union Européenne. Petition against the nomination of Tony Blair as President of the European Union.
Nous, citoyens européens de toutes origines et de toutes tendances souhaitons exprimer notre totale opposition à la nomination de Tony Blair à la présidence de l'Union Européenne.We, European citizens of all origins and of all political persuasions wish to express our total opposition to the nomination of Tony Blair to the presidency of the European Union.
Dans le cadre de la mise en oeuvre du traité de Lisbonne, il est prévu la création du poste de président du Conseil de l'Union Européenne élu par le Conseil pour une durée de deux ans et demi, renouvelable une fois. Selon les termes du traité : « Le président assure la préparation et la continuité des travaux du Conseil européen » et « Le président préside et anime les travaux du Conseil européen ». De même, « le président du Conseil européen assure, à son niveau et en sa qualité, la représentation extérieure de l'Union pour les matières relevant de la politique étrangère et de sécurité commune ».With the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon the post of president of the Council of the European Union will be created. The president is elected by the Council for a period of two and a half years, renewable once. Under the terms of the treaty: "The President shall ensure the preparation and continuity of the work of the European Council" and "The President shall chair it and drive forward its work. Additionally, "The President of the European Council shall, at his level and in that capacity, ensure the external representation of the Union on issues concerning its common foreign and security policy."

This is the English bit from the Treaty of Lisbon, which I ended up quoting. Perhaps the quotes should be rearranged to be more direct? I.e.
Under the terms of the treaty, the President of the European Council: "shall ensure the preparation and continuity of the work of the European Council[...]" and "shall chair it and drive forward its work."

6. The President of the European Council:
(a)shall chair it and drive forward its work;
(b)shall ensure the preparation and continuity of the work of the European Council in cooperation with the President of the Commission, and on the basis of the work of the General Affairs Council;
(c)shall endeavour to facilitate cohesion and consensus within the European Council;
(d)shall present a report to the European Parliament after each of the meetings of the European Council.

The President of the European Council shall, at his level and in that capacity, ensure the external representation of the Union on issues concerning its common foreign and security policy, without prejudice to the powers o The President of the European Council shall not hold a national office.'.

Le futur président aura donc un rôle essentiel dans la détermination des politiques de l'Union et dans ses relations avec le reste du monde. Cette première présidence aura aussi un poids symbolique majeur aussi bien pour les citoyens de l'Union Européenne que pour l'image de l'Union dans le reste du monde. Dans cette perspective, il nous paraît essentiel que le premier président incarne l'esprit et les valeurs du projet européen.The next president will have a key role in determining the policies of the Union and our relations with the rest of the world. This first presidency will also have a major symbolic weight for both citizens of the European Union and for the image of the Union in the rest of the world. In this perspective, we believe it is essential that the first president embodies the spirit and values of the European project.
Depuis quelques temps, des rumeurs de plus en plus insistantes évoquent le souhait de certains de faire de Tony Blair le premier président de l'Union Européenne. Cette nomination, si elle devait advenir, serait en totale contradiction avec les valeurs portées par le projet européen.For some time now, increasingly insistent rumors speak of the desire some have to make Tony Blair the first president of the European Union. This appointment, were it to happen, would be in total contradiction with the values professed by the European project.
En violation du droit international, Tony Blair a engagé son pays dans une guerre à laquelle une vaste majorité des citoyens européens étaient opposés. Cette guerre a entraîné des centaines de milliers de victimes, contribué à déstabiliser le Moyen-Orient et fait reculer la sécurité dans le monde. Pour entraîner son pays dans la guerre, il a utilisé de manière systématique le mensonge et la manipulation de l'information. Son rôle dans la guerre en Irak pèserait lourdement sur l'image de l'Union dans le monde s'il advenait qu'il en soit nommé présidentIn violation of international law, Tony Blair committed his country in a war to which a large majority of European citizens were opposed. This war has killed hundreds of thousands, helped to destabilize the Middle East and eroded the security of the world. In order to lead his country into war, he made systematic use of lies and the manipulation of information. His role in the war in Iraq would weigh heavily on the image of the Union in the world should he happen to be named its president
Les mesures que le gouvernement de Tony Blair a prises et sa complicité avec l'administration Bush dans le programme illégal « extraordinary renditions » ont amené un recul sans précédent des libertés civiles en contradiction avec les termes de la Convention Européenne des Droits de l'Homme qui fait partie intégrante du traité.The actions taken by the government of Tony Blair, and his complicity with the Bush administration in the illegal program of "extraordinary renditions" have led to an unprecedented decline in civil liberties. This is inconsistent with the terms of the European Convention of Human Rights which is an integral part of the treaty.
La Charte Européenne des Droits Fondamentaux formalise les valeurs fondatrices du projet européen et constitue un des piliers du nouveau traité. Tony Blair en a combattu l'intégration dans le traité de Lisbonne pour finalement obtenir que la Charte ne s'applique pas au Royaume-Uni.The European Charter of Fundamental Rights formalizes the founding values of the European project and is one of the pillars of the new treaty. Tony Blair has fought its integration in the Treaty of Lisbon, and eventually managed to secure an exemption for the UK.
Enfin, il nous paraît inenvisageable que le premier président de l'Union Européenne soit l'ancien chef d'un gouvernement qui a maintenu son pays en dehors de deux éléments clefs de la construction de l'Europe : la zone Schengen de libre circulation des personnes et la zone Euro.Finally, it seems unthinkable that the first president of the European Union should be the former head of a government that kept its country out of two key elements of the construction of Europe: the Schengen area of free movement of people and the Euro zone.
A l'heure où l'une des priorités des institutions européennes est de renouer avec ses citoyens, il nous paraît essentiel que celui-ci soit une personnalité en qui une majorité de citoyens puissent se  reconnaître. C'est pourquoi nous affirmons notre totale opposition à cette nomination.At a time when one of the priorities of the European institutions is to reconnect with its citizens, we believe it is essential that its president is a person with which a majority of citizens can identify. Therefore, we declare our total opposition to this nomination.
Signatures :Signatures:
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 09:32:42 AM EST
Great! Thanks a lot, someone!

I put excerpts of the treaty because I thought it was more "readable" than the formal text.


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 10:04:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you also want to mention his role with the island of Diego Garcia?

Smaller potatoes, but there are two relevant issues:

I believe that there is current court action on this issue over the expulsion of the islanders.

Tony Blair invoked an ancient and archaic "royal prerogative" to strike down their claims once more.

http://www.counterpunch.org/worthington10202007.html

The issue of torture being allowed on British soil.

Human Rights Watch


aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 10:16:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lemme insert my proposals for addition into someone's translation:

...Tony Blair has fought its integration in the Treaty of Lisbon, and eventually managed to secure an exemption for the UK.

Instead of moving European integration forward, the former British Prime Minister has set a series of so-called red lines during the Lisbon negotiations, which also involved the intent to block any advances in tax harmonisation, defense and foreign policy harmonisation.

Furthermore, it seems unthinkable that the first president of the European Union should be the former head of a government that kept its country out of two key elements of the construction of Europe: the Schengen area of free movement of people and the Euro zone.

Finally, by selecting Tony Blair for President, the European Council wouldn't just damage the image of the EU abroad, but at home, too: it would be the selection of someone rejected by wide majorities of the population of EU member countries, as shown in a recent FT/Harris poll.

At a time when one of the priorities of the European institutions is to reconnect with its citizens, we believe it is essential that its president is a person with which a majority of citizens can identify. Therefore, we declare our total opposition to this nomination.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 01:00:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with your additions, except I'm not sure about the reference to the poll: We oppose Tony Blair on the basis of values, not because the majority is against him.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 01:06:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Correct. But surely choosing someone opposed by the majority of the populace is also anti-democratic when we want the EU to turn more democratic, and goes right against reconnecting with the citizens. Maybe it should be re-worked for more coherence.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 02:49:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We can say he would be a divisive figure, and quote the poll - is he even opposed in Britain?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 02:58:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Follow the link, yes he is. He is least disliked in Italy.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 03:01:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great work, someone!

I haven't been able to look in much today, and I've got a thick head that tells me some bug has grabbed me, but I'll make some suggestions on the English text tomorrow morning.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 03:50:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's my editing of the English text, incorporating DoDo's suggestions:

The Treaty of Lisbon provides for the new post of President of the Council of the European Union, to be elected by the Council for a mandate, renewable once only, of two and a half years. Under the terms of the treaty: "The President shall ensure the preparation and continuity of the work of the European Council" and "The President shall chair it and drive forward its work". Further, "The President of the European Council shall, at his level and in that capacity, ensure the external representation of the Union on issues concerning its common foreign and security policy."

The future president will therefore have a key role in determining the policies of the Union and its relations with the rest of the world. This first presidency will also have a major symbolic weight for both citizens of the European Union and for the image of the Union in the rest of the world. In this perspective, we believe it is essential that the first president embodies the spirit and values of the European project.

For some time now, increasingly insistent rumours have instanced a wish, in some quarters, to see Tony Blair appointed the first president of the European Union. This appointment, were it to take place, would be in total contradiction with the values professed by the European project.

In violation of international law, Tony Blair committed his country to a war in Iraq that a large majority of European citizens opposed. This war has claimed hundreds of thousands of victims, contributed to destabilising the Middle East, and eroded world security. In order to lead his country into war, he made systematic use of lies and the manipulation of information. His role in the Iraq war would weigh heavily on the image of the Union in the world should he in fact be named its president.

The steps taken by Tony Blair's government, and his complicity with the Bush administration in the illegal programme of "extraordinary renditions", have led to an unprecedented decline in civil liberties. This is in contradiction with the terms of the European Convention of Human Rights which is an integral part of the treaty.

The European Charter of Fundamental Rights formalizes the founding values of the European project and is one of the pillars of the new treaty. Tony Blair fought its inclusion in the Treaty of Lisbon, and eventually managed to secure an exemption for the UK.

Rather than move European integration forward, the former British Prime Minister set a series of so-called red lines during the Lisbon negotiations, with the intent of blocking any progress in tax or defence and foreign policy harmonisation.

Furthermore, it seems unthinkable that the first president of the European Union should be the former head of a government that kept its country out of two key elements of the construction of Europe: the Schengen area of free movement of people and the Euro zone.

Finally, a recent Financial Times/Harris poll showed that Tony Blair is rejected by wide majorities of the population of EU member countries. At a time when one of the priorities of the European institutions is to reconnect with its citizens, we believe it is essential that its president should be a person with which a majority of citizens can identify. Therefore, we declare our total opposition to this nomination.


by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 05:07:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I like this one, however I have one problem: I agree we should mention he is a divisive person, but I'm still unsure about the reference to a specific poll. What will we do if a new poll - manipulated or not - shows a different result?  It could weaken our position. A solution could be not to put it in the text of the petition and to mention the poll on the web page hosting it.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 05:43:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I agree. This was just an attempt to work it in to the first draft. It's easy enough to edit out!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 05:56:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What about the part: "We, European citizens of all origins and of all political persuasions..." ?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 06:00:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it translates the French. Though you could say "nationalities" rather than "origins".

My thoughts: is the petition restricted to EU citizens? Or citizens of Europe in a wider sense?

Why not just say: "We, European citizens"? ("Nous, citoyens de l'Europe")?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 07:16:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it's OK. You just forgot to put at the top of your text.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 07:43:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So I did. I'm a bit buggy at the moment.

I didn't have any changes to make to someone's first paragraph and forgot to copy it in.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 07:47:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I added something:
"Cette guerre a fait des centaines de milliers de victimes et entraîné le déplacement de millions de réfugiés. Elle a contribué à déstabiliser gravement le Moyen-Orient et fait reculer la sécurité dans le monde."

How would you put it in English?

I also think we should mention social issues:
"Rather than move European integration forward, the former British Prime Minister set a series of so-called red lines during the Lisbon negotiations, with the intent of blocking any progress in <b<social issues and tax harmonisation as well as common defence and foreign policy.</b>"

What do you think?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 09:32:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"and turned millions into refugees"...

I'd also give gravement as "deeply" or just "seriously".

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 10:33:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"...and displaced millions of refugees."

Yes to the social issues and that drafting of it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 11:04:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You could put the specific poll reference into a footnote. That's good because then you can also footnote a reference to the quoted passage of the Treaty.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 10:51:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you accept that version (you as principal author have the last word), I will also do a Hungarian translation. It would also be nice if Torres or other Portuguese readers would do that version, and maybe Barbara (if we can steal her time for free) a Czech version?

Also, I don't think that not having all small languages should be seen as a problem: if this thing will gather steam, surely there will be people who volunteer to do the rest.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 12:30:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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