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Thursday, November 16, 2006

...stick a tail on it and call it a weasel

According to Mannekin Pis cunning EU leaders are planning to include large chunks of the EU Constitution in the Berlin Declaration next March.

The idea is that EU leaders will pay lip service to the "largely rhetorical" preamble to the Constitution and its other "declaratory flourishes". This would then clear the way to push through the more "practical" changes - such as creating an EU Foregin Minister and EU President - in a mini-treaty.

They basically think voters are like tiny children - they hope that if they cut it up into small enough pieces we'll swallow it.


Anonymous said...

Let them beware...tiny children often throw their food back up.

T said...

It is important to understand that Europe will integrate closer regardless whether there is any mini-treaty or not; nothing can stop the march towards a federal united Europe.

Yes, it is true that there should be mechanisms for employing participatory democracy. However, it is the current institutional settlement which only enables referendum action in a distorted form: there is no institution of simultaneously held pan-Union referendum, which would need to get a majority in the whole of the Union 65% of member states. But without the Constitution, there is not even possibility to petition at European level, although the European Citizens Initiative (and with it Europe United) is trying to overturn.

The European leaders first need to create a space where European democracy could flourish, like the Founding Fathers of the USA. Bold and temporarily unpopular decisions must be taken if the EU is to move forward.