Fainting in Coyles
An occasional letter from the Heart of Euroville

Wednesday, August 06, 2003  

Constitutional Points

Now this may be a bit out of date, but I don’t think anybody else really picked it up so I will continue. Just before the Parliamentary recess over here Elmar Brock put out this Press Release on the Constitution of Europe.

Now I want everybody to remember that this chap was the leader of the EPP group on the Convention. That is right the group with which the Conservatives are allied in the European Parliament.

Now please correct me if I am wrong but I suspect the views expressed here on behalf of the EPP are not in fact the views of more than a tiny minority in Britain, lord even most federastic of Lib Dems would recoil at some of this.

"Some of our dreams went unfulfilled”
Not many

”It was positive that the European Foreign Service would now be set up via an inter-institutional agreement between the Council and the Commission, without infringing the rights of the European Parliament”.

Positive that there will be an European Foreign Service – read positive that some unruly nations, Yes that means you Britain, would be progressively hamstrung init’s independent dealings on the worlds stage.

””As far as future changes to the Constitution were concerned, the EP would have to agree in cases where the Council wished to make such changes without using the Convention method”. That was a priority for us in the European People's Party, " said Brok. "It means we've established the basic principle that the parliamentary, democratic Convention will be the rule in any future changes to the Constitution.”

Other than the fact that this is meaningless, if we look between the lines, heads of State, and democratically elected national leaders will be held accountable, and unable to move without the say-so of the one of the least democratically legitimate Parliaments in the free world (remember that huge 26% turnout) institution in Euroville, the European Parliament.

”At the end of the Convention proceedings the Union symbols (flag, anthem, currency, slogan, special holiday) had all - at the insistence of the vast majority of Convention members - been accepted. That made the Union and its constitutional more comprehensible to the European citizen”.

And more recognisably what it is a Super nation, in much the same way that the Travelling Wilburys were a super group, less than the sum of their constituent parts.

”In a real community it's not just a matter of balance - Europe will only hold together if it is united by emotions as well," Brok said”.

Emotions, Ok, how about revulsion, concern, grief?

”Brok said he remained concerned by the fact that there had been no movement at all towards majority voting in foreign policy. Indeed at the last minute France had successfully put pressure on the Convention to re-introduce unanimity for one part of external trade policy (audio-visual and culture), though only where trade agreements in this area might reduce the cultural and linguistic variety of the Union.

At last one of his unfulfilled dreams. He really does want Europe to control everything. Can anybody imagine what it would have been like if France had won that one, everybody in Britain would have had to listen to Jonny Halliday on Radio 1.

”Moreover, foreign trade policy remained an exclusive competency of the Union, and trade agreements would require the agreement of the EP. This would strengthen the Union's hand in foreign trade”.

And ensure that the EU will never repeal the CAP and behave with honour to the Third World, as long as Germany and France stitch up the trading decisions the week before any official decisions are made. Sadly no suggestions that moving to a low restrictions, low regulations, low tax economy – no of course that would lead to a strengthening of Europe’s trading position.

”The new Constitution would guarantee the inter-institutional balance between the EP, the Council, and the Commission. "And it will also bring Europe closer to the citizen," Brok said. "Europe is no longer the Europe of states, but of its people."

Er, has everybody got that – The Nation state no longer exists.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights was now legally binding, and EU citizens could participate via European elections in the choice of who became Commission President, the EU's top job.

He might be getting a bit ahead of himself here, I understood that there was a ratification process to get on with, referenda in some countries, Parliamentariey debates in others. Oh silly me we do not allow the people to interfere once we have decided what is good for them. The arrogance of this man –a nice guy in conversation, one-eyed, smokes a corn-cob pipe and chases after pickpockets – I’ve seen him do it. But with the blithe assurance that he can get away with anything he and his sort wish.

Brok concluded by arguing that the upcoming Intergovernmental Conference should be short and sharp, and not reopen the issues decided by the Convention. "Something which has emerged from the broad consensus of parliamentarians should not be changed by diplomats," he said.

Diplomats.... diplomats.... the political heads of state, diplomats. Coming from an MEP, politics answer to Mr Pooter that is the final insult.

posted by Eliab | 4:10 pm
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