Thursday, June 21, 2007


EU constitution nearly dead?

My hostility towards the European Union is no secret to long-term readers of this site. I believe the European Union poses a grave danger to the sovereignty of nation-states and that there is a very real threat of the Republic of Ireland being swallowed up by a European Superstate.

These fears of mine are embodied in the form of one wretched document - the EU constitution. Two years ago I laid out my objections to this horrid scrap of paper which you can read here. With that being said my spirits were lifted considerably when I learned of plans by the Germans to propose scrapping the idea of a constitution, when state leaders meet at a summit in Brussels today and tomorrow.

The "constitutional concept... is abandoned", says a paper circulated by Germany, which will chair the summit.

The British and the Polish are most unhappy with the "concept". The former object to the potential for a European Superstate and the latter object to the voting system which works against smaller countries.

The German paper proposes that the new treaty is called "The Reform Treaty", accepts that the EU will not have a "foreign minister", and provides countries with a chance to opt out of EU policies in the area of policing and criminal law. The voting system would remain unchanged however.

I like the idea of an opt out on policing and criminal law but I strongly object to the retention of the farcical voting system (which the Poles quite rightly object to).

While I like the idea of the EU constitution dying, this means little if we will simply see the same sovereignty-stealing policies but under a new name. It is in the German interest to keep the ideas behind the EU constitution alive since it will give them increased power - at the expense of smaller nations like mine.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has already backed the dodgy constitution describing it as "the right choice for Ireland" and saying it would "enable the EU to function more efficiently, more democratically, in a way that is easier to understand". This is no surprise as Ahern has bent over backwards for his bureaucratic masters in Brussels on numerous occasions. Luckily for us we are the only country in the EU where the only way of ratifying our constitution or a successor treaty is by referendum. Several countries have ratified the EU constitution through parliament but Ahern is not allowed to. I've no doubt he would if he could.

A referendum on the EU constitution would be difficult here as I imagine most Irish parties would campaign heavily for a Yes vote as they did for the 2nd Nice Treaty vote - after the first one was rejected by the Irish people. For that reason I would not welcome such a scrap and I'm hoping the EU constitution dies its death over the next few days.

Unfortunately the EU constitution has had an awful habit of rising from the dead like the bad guy in a horror movie. I hope today or tomorrow we get to witness its final demise. If so, please don't let there be any sequels.


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