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Monday, September 08, 2008

Beckett bounces back

A new Brussels campaign: "Send2women" calls for the new jobs which will be set up by the Lisbon Treaty (er...?) to be given to women.

Leaving aside the wee technical detail that the Treaty has now been rejected by France, the Netherlands and Ireland... the goal of more women in politics is obviously laudable.

However the campaign seems to have hit an instant snag - one of the people they are promoting is the ill-fated former Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett.

They'll not be attracting much a support from the Foreign Office then...


Ralf Grahn said...

Well, for a purported expert think tank, the fundamentals seem to be lost, when the Constitutional Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty are treated as one.

Open Europe blog team said...

Oh Ralf... where to begin.

We can put it no better than Valery Giscard d'Estaing did yestersday when he said it:

“is purely a legal re-writing – incidentally unreadable – of the draft Constitutional Treaty.”

“It is the same text apart from some minor changes", he said, reminding us that following the French and Dutch ‘no’ votes, it had been deliberately left to the “Council legal experts” to “coat the text in legalese,” because “we said to ourselves we cannot present the same text” to the electorate.

Give up - it's over.

And anyway, surely you should be working on explaining why the forthcoming Treaty of Dublin (or whatever)is going to be "completely different" to the Treaty of Lisbon, or something...?

Nice to hear from you again though. Stay in touch.

Ralf Grahn said...

You may not be able to put it better than Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, but as purported experts you should.

I have tracked a substantial part of the new Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Lisbon Treaty), and compared the differences as well as similarities between the current treaties, the draft Constitution and the Constitutional Treaty, Article by Article, without receiving any comments concerning inaccuracies, so I suppose that my descriptions can be said to be fairly accurate.

It would be interesting to know what you mean by 'it's over', 'it' being as lacking in precision as your references to the different treaties.

Open Europe blog team said...

We also produced, as you know, a point by point analysis of the text. We simply don't agree about this.

By "it's over", we mean the debate on this point. The UK Government and others argued (implausibly) that the two documents were "completely different". We, in contrast, argued that they were basically the same.

You might be interested to know that a Yougov poll taken in the UK found that 94% agreed with us... so that is some kind of verdict about which argument is more convincing.

Ralf Grahn said...

You are missing the point (on purpose?). The substantial similarities between the different treaty reform stages are obvious, although there are differences.

You write as if I had defended the UK governments position on major differences, although it managed to dilute the latest treaty, too.

But the different documents are still separate.

Anonymous said...

Grahnlaw - by descibing the similarities as "substantial", rather than the differences, I think you have strengthened OE's point.

It only seems to be those with anti-democratic motivations in favour of denying repeat or promised referendums who seek to quibble over the insubstantial.

Anyone without this driving outdated ideological motivation has indeed long given up trying to persuade us that the differences are significant.

So, how instructive it is to see that you're still at it.