Fainting in Coyles An occasional letter from the
Heart of Euroville
Friday, July 04, 2003
Quick, while nobody is looking....
While everybody is enjoying the end of the pier show of Berlesconi and his amazing gaffes, I have a confession to make. And this hurts. The European Voice, (pay only sadly) one of the dullest rags ever to call itself a paper has a much more important story on its front page. An interview with Jean-Luc Dehane, former Belgian PM and member of the Troika on the European Constitutional Convention has blown the gaff on the Convention and its rolling revolutionary aspect.
Le Vicmote Giscard has been rushing around calming nerves (particularly British nerves) that once the Constitution is signed off then there will be no more tinkering and it will last for “50 years without amendment”. Dehane refutes this and suggests that it will be amended before 2006. Only two years after its prospective ratification. This will be due to the invidious escalator clause not being enough to guarantee the Eus ability to get what it wants. Given that this clause is designed solely to override national vetoes, Dehanes vision is particularly worrying. The Constitution draft as it stands takes away veto rights in 38 new areas. One begins to wonder what more is left. The purpose of the Convention has moved from an attempt to bring the citizen closer to the decision making and has become more a definition of the centres rights vis-à-vis the those of the Nation States. One member of the Convention told me last night (with what was meant, I think to be irony) that once the sovereignty of the Nation States has been passed wholesale to the EU apparatchiks then the only way to go is to concentrate on the citizen, thus placing greater and greater obligations on the citizen in reference to the EU.
The EU has been eroding the sovereign rights of the nation states like soap in the bath. Today the first bar of soap has washed away. It seems that it is now looking around for another bar of soap to use, and that bar is us, as individuals and our sovereign rights as individuals. Yes he meant it as a joke, but it was one of those jokes that leave a taste of sulphur in the mouth.