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> The European Constitution, A chance or a bane?
What do you think the European Constitution will bring?
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Total Votes: 38
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Horyok
post Apr 15 2005, 11:11 AM
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The adoption of the Constitution is currently at the heart of the European debate. Its main purpose (to put it very roughly) is to display a common set of ideals and rules that apply for all European citizens within the E.U. Some countries will adopt it through a vote in their national parliaments, while others (like France, Netherlands, Portugal and Britain for instance) are going for a referendum.

1. As a European or outsider, what do you think of the E.U. Constitution? (benefits, inconveniences, gut feeling)

2. Do you think the Constitution can actually help member countries and inhabitants to grow a European identity?

3. Do you think the Constitution is designed to identify and defend the European social and trade model?

4. Feel free to give more comments about your vote too! smile.gif
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moif
post Apr 15 2005, 11:54 AM
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1. As a European or outsider, what do you think of the E.U. Constitution? (benefits, inconveniences, gut feeling)

I think its too much too fast. As a union we are still in a state of embryonic development with almost half the union still in a transfer period. This is not the right time for a consitution because there has been no constitutional debate.

There is a gap between the politicians and the population with regards to Europe and that gap needs to be addressed lest we end up being governed by laws that have no popular support.

Also, many European nations already have constitutions and what is to become of these? Again, there has been no debate to clarify just what exactly this new constitution will mean.


2. Do you think the Constitution can actually help member countries and inhabitants to grow a European identity?

I doubt it. People in Europe identify with tradition and culture, not laws or politicians. This is not America.

Also, there is a great scepticism in Europe with regards to the EU. Almost 90% or more of our politicians are in favour of the union, but in the general population the divide is closer to 50/50.


3. Do you think the Constitution is designed to identify and defend the European social and trade model?

Not really. I think the constitution is just a way of establishing a solid legal foundation for the federal super government that has queitly been under construction these last few decades with the implied cause of bringing a European counter weight to US global domination.


4. Feel free to give more comments about your vote too! smile.gif

I shall be voting no to the constitution. Mostly this is because I don't trust the people who wrote it. I don't know them and I heard nothing about what went into the creation of the constitution. If I am to vote for a law which will govern the rest of my life and that of my children, then I want to know more about that law than just reading it after it is a fact.

Also, I don't trust any base law that is so verbose. The US constitution is effective because it is concise. There is far less room for misunderstanding and fewer loop holes for clever individuals to take advantage of the law. At 800 odd pages the EU constitution is far to long and far to difficult to read and understand for most people.

It is a constitution written by lawyers.


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Ptarmigan
post Apr 15 2005, 04:05 PM
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1. As a European or outsider, what do you think of the E.U. Constitution? (benefits, inconveniences, gut feeling)

I feel that there is a lack of democratic participation within the EU as a whole and that the EU Parliament (the really accountable body) is far too weak in comparison to the Commission (or the Council) - which is (are) largely unaccountable to the population of the EU as a whole. I believe that this generally lack of accountability has led to the formation of a constitution that does not really take into account the views of the majority of the population of the EU.
Secondly, the EU contains countries with differing social and economic models. The only way a constitution could succesfully work for everyone is by being extremely concise, rather thatn the enormous sprawling mess which we are presented with.

2. Do you think the Constitution can actually help member countries and inhabitants to grow a European identity?

'A' Constitution certainly could, if it was limited in scope, rather than trying to prescribe everything. This one won't. Most countries within the EU already have a 'European' identity - and those that don't are developing one. Increasing economic interactions are also blurring the lines between cultures and nationalities - although the process has a long way to go before we have anything apporaching the common American identity.

3. Do you think the Constitution is designed to identify and defend the European social and trade model?

Well, there is no 'European' social and trade model. There is a Western European social democratic model, there is a British and Eastern European liberal economic model and attitudes on trade range from the uber-liberal free traders, to the protectionists.
I think part of the problem with the constitution is that it ignores these differences. As a result, the French fear the intrusion of Anglo-Saxon economics, the British fear the intrusion of French social democracy. (I'm deliberately trying not to argue for the superiority of one model over another - merely I'm arguing that economic and social models vary hugely throughout Europe).
Obviously there are many more different models to look at. I picked two that were easy to contrast. (IMO we should all be looking at Scandinavia a bit more, they seem to combine healthy economic growth and provide a high level of social welfare)

4. Feel free to give more comments about your vote too!

Its tricky if you are in Britain. I am very pro-European, but I believe that the EU needs to make some fundamental changes before it can work, for pragmatic reasons. I support the inclusion of Turkey, but I also support greater integration within the EU and I think it needs greater economic liberalisation. However, if there is a strong 'No' vote in the UK, then increasingly politicians will clamour for the UK to leave the EU altogether, which is not something I want to see at all. On the other hand, I do not support the consititution as it stands, so do not want to vote 'Yes'!

However, assuming the French don't scupper it first, I will vote 'Yes' - but purely to play my part in ensuring that the UK continues to play a role in the EU and its development.








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Horyok
post Apr 15 2005, 10:35 PM
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Thanks to both of you for replying! smile.gif

1. As a European or outsider, what do you think of the E.U. Constitution? (benefits, inconveniences, gut feeling)

Moif, I agree with you that the European process is going too fast. That's actually what's gotten many French people scared - they feel that Europe is a nice project in the mind, but it's run completely out of control... their control. Democratic control is far, so far from us... sad.gif

About the Constitution now, it's in fact another treaty. It doesn't supercede (sp?) or replace the national Constitutions of EU members which are meant to stay. Again, many people in France (including me) thought that it designed to replace our Cnstitution! That shows how little we actually know about the way the EU works. unsure.gif

Ptarmigan, I share a common point of view about the consultation process. Ideally, I think it is our national parliaments that should have in charge of the project of making propositions to go into the Constitution. However, it would appear that the group that reflected on it was actually quite big already (several hundred people) and contained people from various domains (political or not) and more important, from all the countries of the EU. I am not sure that the current project is worse than if it had been done by national bodies instead. What it lacks though is a public credibility, because nobody voted for the guys who created the Constitution.

The EU Constitution (EUC) is a text based on a compromise, where 25 nations put their wills and values. It cannot be compared with the American Constitution per se because it's related to only one nation, the US. With all due respect, forget about simplicity and concision here! If you read the treaty (I did myself), you'll notice that it's loaded with juridic gibberish, yet it's organized somehow. You can check it here : European Constitution

Parts III, IV and the Final Act have already been okayed by the 25 nations, as they are indeed the transfer of past treaties into the EUC. Only Parts I & II should be of some interest to you. They are actually the closest matches to our national Constitutions or Bill of Rights. For the record, I have read parts III and IV, so I'll be glad to discuss them with you if you like.


2. Do you think the Constitution can actually help member countries and inhabitants to grow a European identity?

It seems that all three of us agree that there is first a national identity, our "blueprint", before any European feelings. Like in Denmark, French people have very mixed feelings about Europe (50/50 too).

Personally, I'm still wondering if the Constitution should be the foundation of European identity, or its crown. At least, I suggest it should be the guidelines to our European behaviors within our borders, and beyond. Maybe it will result in a more unified Europe, with great expense of efforts and time indeed!...


3. Do you think the Constitution is designed to identify and defend the European social and trade model?

QUOTE
Moif
Not really. I think the constitution is just a way of establishing a solid legal foundation for the federal super government that has queitly been under construction these last few decades with the implied cause of bringing a European counter weight to US global domination.


Your reaction is interesting in various ways. I am very much in favor of a global federal government of Europe myself, and I believe the EUC could be THE tool that would finally start the process. Becoming united as one nation just for being the counterweight of the US is not something I would approve though. I believe there could be other, European-made, benefits to merging into a single country.

People like Chirac see the US as a behemoth to dominate and counter, and they hope the EUC will give them the power to do just that. While I believe in fair trade more than free trade to an extent, I don't like the idea that my vote for a better Union is going to be used to cause possible trade harm to our American friends.

QUOTE
Ptarmigan
Well, there is no 'European' social and trade model. There is a Western European social democratic model, there is a British and Eastern European liberal economic model and attitudes on trade range from the uber-liberal free traders, to the protectionists.
I think part of the problem with the constitution is that it ignores these differences. As a result, the French fear the intrusion of Anglo-Saxon economics, the British fear the intrusion of French social democracy. (I'm deliberately trying not to argue for the superiority of one model over another - merely I'm arguing that economic and social models vary hugely throughout Europe).
Obviously there are many more different models to look at. I picked two that were easy to contrast. (IMO we should all be looking at Scandinavia a bit more, they seem to combine healthy economic growth and provide a high level of social welfare)


Maybe I should have preferred the word ‘tradition’ to ‘model’ when referring to the EU. My various journeys and stays in different countries of the continent have told me that there is indeed an European tradition, or heritage, whether it was in France, U.K, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium or Italy. All our cultures are different, yet they have something in common that the American culture doesn’t have for instance. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is indeed a European essence somehow.

The mutual fear between France and the U.K. over the EUC is a symbol in itself of its misinterpretation. It’s true that many in France fear that the EUC is ‘liberal’ while just as many of their British counterparts think the exact opposite. Actually, the EUC is to neither liberal or social and it doesn’t seek to favour any camp over another.

The EUC is a set of rules, like they exist in football for instance; these rules don’t say which team is going to win, but they tell both how to play the game.

4. Feel free to give more comments about your vote too!

I vote Yes to the EUC. I believe it will bring greater stability and efficiency within the Union. The part I'm afraid of is "How are we going to make the EU more democratic?"

This post has been edited by Horyok: Apr 15 2005, 10:42 PM
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Sevac
post Apr 16 2005, 11:09 AM
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*Uh uh uh* Finally a topic I am anxious to discuss.
First of all, for I am German, I have no possibility to vote for or against the constitution, however I am glad the German Bundestag and the Bundesrat are going to approve the constitutional treaty.

1. As a European or outsider, what do you think of the E.U. Constitution? (benefits, inconveniences, gut feeling)

Stating the obvious, I reckon it is apparent to most people that the EU as it exists now is too technocratic and not democratical enough. So all people who disapprove of this fact should vote yes to the new constitution, because it provides the EU Parliament a lot more power and the people some direct-democratic elements.
Furthermore it helps to overcome the extreme veto-power dilemma. If any of the 25 members does not agree with something, it can block any legislation. That is going to change with the constitution treaty, for it will "only" need a doubly majority on many topics except of course military and foreign policy and such.

I think it is time for a constitution for another reason. Moif mentioned, that he felt the constitution came to soon and was written by people he doesn't know. That is true, however most "Americans" didn't know any of the founding fathers. Granted, not too many of them were lawyers, and I agree with Moif that the constitution is not well-written. But I believe in that case that the spirit of the constitution is what counts, not the words. The general public in Europe is divided 50/50 about the constitution and the EU in general. I blame the absence of a constitution and the lack of democratic elements in the legislative process for that. Many people don't approve it because the EU is not transparent enough, they don't see who is doing what and why. That has to change and it will with the new constitution treaty.

Maybe Horyok can support me when I say that in the preceding time of the referendum the media in France has been debating the constitution, it's pros and cons and kept the French very informed about the EU-constitution. Maybe the same will happen in Denmark as well and Moif might change his opinion towards the constitution.

2. Do you think the Constitution can actually help member countries and inhabitants to grow a European identity?
I do believe and I hope so. There already is a European identity, it is the knowledge of past common sins and hatred towards each other that led to virtually total destruction and the loss of hundred of million lives. Probably every family living in the EU now has lost loved ones in the last hundred years due to wars fought because of nationalist propaganda and totalitarian visions of a supremacy over others.

I am pro-European for the reason that in a Unified Europe there is little chance of pointless war and hatred towards a neighbor. Furthermore, from an entirely German perspective, it gives especially Germans a way to be proud to be something without raising any eyebrows.
If I would say "I am proud to be a German", I would be immediately considered to be extreme-right. Yet "I am proud to be a European" is different, to be European to be a part of this, is worth to be proud of. For me, and respectively for many Germans it is a way to find a grip or an identity that National Socialism has misused and that has been washed away in it's process.

In addition to that I have to point out that the essence of Europe is more than common experience. There have been intense trade relations with people in Europe for more than 5000 years. Vast migrations have kept the continent inter-cultural. Ideas have spread over borders and changed entire societies, and the enlightenment has been experienced by every single European nation. That is the common heritage of Europe, that is it's essence.

3. Do you think the Constitution is designed to identify and defend the European social and trade model?
No. A constitution would not be necessary to defend any trade or social model, plus there is no "European" model. United through diversity.

4. Feel free to give more comments about your vote too!
With 25 members and 2 more in 2007 Europe will become an even greater body, a body that needs to be efficient and powerful. The constitution may provide the first, I hope for a movement that will successfully accomplish the second. The "Common Foreign and Security Policy" could be a first step toward a European Military and a unification of the military. The expenses of the 25 EU-members on defense are about the same as the US-American budget. Yet there are 25 hierarchies to maintain, and there are a lot more chiefs than warriors to pay. Europe doesn't need an army like the US, but by combining its forces it can bring the synergies to far better use.
I am glad to live in a time when nations come together in common cause with a vision for something better.
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Horyok
post Apr 16 2005, 09:12 PM
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Thanks for joining our conversation Sevac!

QUOTE
Sevac
If any of the 25 members does not agree with something, it can block any legislation. That is going to change with the constitution treaty, for it will "only" need a doubly majority on many topics except of course military and foreign policy and such.


As much as I agree with you on the efficiency of the Union with the adoption of the EUC, I worry somehow about our smaller countries' power of representation. They don't have many representatives in Parliament as major countries. Germany, U.K. and France have 78 representatives each when Danemark (hello Moif) has only 14 for instance. This is indeed in proportion of the actual population of each member country, but I'm afraid the small countries will feel left out by the European construction and will be reduced to mere satellites. unsure.gif

QUOTE
Maybe Horyok can support me when I say that in the preceding time of the referendum the media in France has been debating the constitution, it's pros and cons and kept the French very informed about the EU-constitution. Maybe the same will happen in Denmark as well and Moif might change his opinion towards the constitution.


Well, this time, people and the media are complaining of the lack of information! Books from politicians from all sides and political analysts from the media are blosoming everywhere : people have a dtrong thirst for understanding the EUC. Since they don't put much trust in the politicians, there are many private discussions and public meetings taking place at the moment all over the country. People want to decide for their destiny themselves this time. thumbsup.gif

The current poll indicates 56% for the NO and 44% for the YES. But half of the population hasn't made up its mind yet... Chirac held a public debate with 80 young French people from all parts of the country. It was his first public stand in favor of the EUC... as a result, the NO has increased!!! wacko.gif
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crashfourit
post Apr 17 2005, 04:31 AM
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1. As a European or outsider, what do you think of the E.U. Constitution? (benefits, inconveniences, gut feeling)
Well, as an outsider, the EU constitution is a bit verbose.
QUOTE(moif)
Also, I don't trust any base law that is so verbose. The US constitution is effective because it is concise. There is far less room for misunderstanding and fewer loop holes for clever individuals to take advantage of the law. At 800 odd pages the EU constitution is far to long and far to difficult to read and understand for most people.

The US Constitution has about 11-13 pages including amendments. This compared to the approximately 800 pages of the proposed EU Constitution tells me that it is just plain too verbose. Trying to fix most issues with the Base Law of the Land is not wise; it needs to be flexible (to a point). I understand the need for "Checks and Balances" in the constitution, but there comes a point when the Law of Diminishing Returns comes and bites you.

We American's constantly argue on what our constitution means with only 11-13 pages; what could happen with inside Europe with the proposed constitution (~800 pages) when it comes to interpretation?

My gut feeling says this: "Bad Road". If it starts to exceed 25 pages, I start to worry.

My rule of thumb: A constitution needs enough complexity for checks and Balances, but needs to simple enough to be read and understood by the common man.

2. Do you think the Constitution can actually help member countries and inhabitants to grow a European identity?
It took aproximnetely 70+ years for the US to start on this path (a few years before the Revolutionary War to the end of Reconstitution, in my opinion), and we are in an on going prosses in doing so. It will be a prosses; time is needed; and it should not be rushed. A constitution is a tool (an extremely important one at that) to that end and it needs to be flexible (to a point). Being that it is very verbose, it has more of a chance of "Murphy's Law" to come to play.

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Horyok
post Apr 17 2005, 01:41 PM
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QUOTE
crashfourit

The US Constitution has about 11-13 pages including amendments. This compared to the approximately 800 pages of the proposed EU Constitution tells me that it is just plain too verbose. Trying to fix most issues with the Base Law of the Land is not wise; it needs to be flexible (to a point). I understand the need for "Checks and Balances" in the constitution, but there comes a point when the Law of Diminishing Returns comes and bites you.

We American's constantly argue on what our constitution means with only 11-13 pages; what could happen with inside Europe with the proposed constitution (~800 pages) when it comes to interpretation?


A great deal of the EUC consists in a repetition of earlier treaties (parts III and IV). The Final Statement is only here to indicate and specify specific understandings and conditions put by some states regarding some of the articles presented in previous parts.

The core of the EUC, its specific addition comes with parts I and II. It is still a big load to read, too big perhaps. However, the EUC reflects the complexity of our European Alliance : we are 25 countries, 25 states, 25 nations. The EUC spends great caution and care to precise each point carefully so that all EU members can understand and ratify it. There is still room for interpretation of course, but most articles are quite self explanatory (I'm talking about parts I & II).

I wonder if the American Constitution would have been so short if History had had a different twist. Imagine for instance, the creation of a constitution that represents independent settlers from England (the new 'Americans') and from the Netherlands living in the East; add to them the subjects of the crown of Spain to the South and West; include the subjects of the crown of France living between the two; finally, integrate all the native American tribes... sounds complex, doesn't it?Well, this is comparable to what the EU is facing at the moment! wink.gif

QUOTE
My gut feeling says this: "Bad Road". If it starts to exceed 25 pages, I start to worry.

My rule of thumb: A constitution needs enough complexity for checks and Balances, but needs to simple enough to be read and understood by the common man.


I agree with you : simplicity is the key. But don't forget the context.


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moif
post Apr 17 2005, 02:37 PM
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QUOTE(Horyok)
Moif, I agree with you that the European process is going too fast. That's actually what's gotten many French people scared - they feel that Europe is a nice project in the mind, but it's run completely out of control... their control. Democratic control is far, so far from us...  sad.gif
Indeed, but there is more to it than just a lack of control. There is also no consensus on purpose either.

Just what is the purpose of the EU? Originally it was for greater trade and a freedom of mobility for European citizens. Now we are being presented with a document refered to as a constitution. To me, a constitution is a legal foundation for a state.

Are we creating a federal European super state or not? The issue is completely clouded. And if we are creating such an entity... why?

What do I gain as a citizen of Denmark from this union? What will this constitution give me that I don't already have? As far as I can see, nothing what so ever. Quite the opposite in fact, I am being asked to dillute the democratic power I have to control the politicians who run my country.

Frankly, the more I see of the EU, the less I like it. We've seen too many examples of new EU directives and laws that actually lower the standards here in Denmark. We have/had numerous powerful environmental laws here and these are constantly being eroded by the EU due to the concerns of less environmentally friendly EU member states like Italy, Spain, France and Portugal. Now we are being told that the laws we have that govern which chemicals are allowed in food products are to be replaced by EU laws... EU laws that were created with the help of lobby activities by multinational corporations and big business interests.

So, again, I'm left with the question. What do I get from the EU that I don't already have?


QUOTE(Horyok)
Your reaction is interesting in various ways. I am very much in favor of a global federal government of Europe myself, and I believe the EUC could be THE tool that would finally start the process. Becoming united as one nation just for being the counterweight of the US is not something I would approve though. I believe there could be other, European-made, benefits to merging into a single country.
A global federal government would open all of Europe to the same corruption that has crippled the US governemnt allowing large companies and big money interests to simply buy the laws they want. It will enable the lobbying of all of Europe's political power in one geographical location and change forever the political reality of Europe.

Europe is what it is because of what it is. By changing the way we are now, you will change Europe into another version of the USA and it will prove just as impossible to retain individual interests against powerful multinationals here as it has in the USA.

We will become slaves to unchecked capitalism just as the Americans are.


QUOTE(Sevac)
I think it is time for a constitution for another reason. Moif mentioned, that he felt the constitution came to soon and was written by people he doesn't know. That is true, however most "Americans" didn't know any of the founding fathers. Granted, not too many of them were lawyers, and I agree with Moif that the constitution is not well-written. But I believe in that case that the spirit of the constitution is what counts, not the words. The general public in Europe is divided 50/50 about the constitution and the EU in general. I blame the absence of a constitution and the lack of democratic elements in the legislative process for that. Many people don't approve it because the EU is not transparent enough, they don't see who is doing what and why. That has to change and it will with the new constitution treaty.
The 'spirit' of anything canot be determined in advance, and frankly, laws do not have 'spirit'.

When you are standing in a courtroom being judged, it is the letter of the law that counts, not its 'spirit'.

The EU constitution offers us nothing to bind the people of Europe closer together. We are already as close as we are ever going to be unless we disolve our nations and become one single super state.

Which is something that I will never vote for.


QUOTE(Sevac)
Maybe Horyok can support me when I say that in the preceding time of the referendum the media in France has been debating the constitution, it's pros and cons and kept the French very informed about the EU-constitution. Maybe the same will happen in Denmark as well and Moif might change his opinion towards the constitution.
No amount of debate can change the fundamental nature of the constitution. Debate after the ink on the document is dried is pointless, it can't change my perception of what is at stake.

Any debate regarding a constitution should have taken place before such a document was drawn up. In fact, each country ought to have had the option of putting forward their own draft constitution so that we could actually compare what it is we all want from the EU.

Instead we are offered a legal treaty that has no apparent advantage to our lives, quite possibly hides all manner of sins in its convoluted bulk, is barely understandable to those that have even bothered to read it, is being pushed up on us by politicians we can barely trust (given they are so out of step with the general public with regards to the EU) and is one more step in taking away our nations and replacing them with the United States of Europe.

I am not an American, I have no wish to become an American, no wish to emulate America and no desire to provide a 'geopolitical counterweight to America'.

I am a Dane. Happy to be Danish, Proud of Denmark and satisified with my nations laws and culture.

Any EU agreements must support and strengthen Denmark. Not detract from it by catering to outside influences that lower our standards, dillute our democracy and make us vulnerable to mulitnational corporate interests.


QUOTE(Horyok)
As much as I agree with you on the efficiency of the Union with the adoption of the EUC, I worry somehow about our smaller countries' power of representation. They don't have many representatives in Parliament as major countries. Germany, U.K. and France have 78 representatives each when Danemark (hello Moif) has only 14 for instance. This is indeed in proportion of the actual population of each member country, but I'm afraid the small countries will feel left out by the European construction and will be reduced to mere satellites.
The smaller nations of Europe have always been pushed about by the larger. Recent history is all to full of such examples.

Scepticism of the larger EU nations is a driving factor of the Europhobic perspective. After all, its not that long ago that Denmark was invaded by Germany and our foreign policy ditated to us by Germans.

Now we are confronted with the possibility that once again a German, or a Frenchman may be dictating our foreign policy to us.

Of course it could be argued that the reverse is equally so, but in all the years of the EU, I have yet to see any leading EU politican be Danish. We have seen one long string of foreigners with Italian/ French/ German names speaking on our behalf and with the apparent sanction of our politicians, regardless of public opinion.

And now we're asked to adopt a constitution written for us, by yet more foreigners... hmmm.gif

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Horyok
post Apr 18 2005, 12:14 AM
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Quite complicated issues these are!

QUOTE
Indeed, but there is more to it than just a lack of control. There is also no consensus on purpose either.

Just what is the purpose of the EU? Originally it was for greater trade and a freedom of mobility for European citizens. Now we are being presented with a document refered to as a constitution. To me, a constitution is a legal foundation for a state.

Are we creating a federal European super state or not? The issue is completely clouded. And if we are creating such an entity... why?


I don't have any easy answer to give you, Moif. I believe the purpose of the Union can be summarized by its creed: "United in diversity", as Sevac reminded us. That's the all crux of the problem : "How much united can we be while remaining diverse?"

QUOTE
What do I gain as a citizen of Denmark from this union? What will this constitution give me that I don't already have? As far as I can see, nothing what so ever. Quite the opposite in fact, I am being asked to dillute the democratic power I have to control the politicians who run my country.


In all honesty, I could ask the same question myself. The EUC doesn't bring me any better lifestyle on a national scale. The only interest I find is if I live in any other country of the union... then it would mean an equal treatment for me and any national there. I must admit that it's quite a weak argument.

Maybe the EUC serves the purpose of bringing the EU the legitimacy as our future super state. That's a scary perspective, although it makes sense if the union is to grow stronger.

QUOTE
Frankly, the more I see of the EU, the less I like it. We've seen too many examples of new EU directives and laws that actually lower the standards here in Denmark. We have/had numerous powerful environmental laws here and these are constantly being eroded by the EU due to the concerns of less environmentally friendly EU member states like Italy, Spain, France and Portugal. Now we are being told that the laws we have that govern which chemicals are allowed in food products are to be replaced by EU laws... EU laws that were created with the help of lobby activities by multinational corporations and big business interests.

So, again, I'm left with the question. What do I get from the EU that I don't already have?


We can't undo what we did in the last two wars. All of us, whether it's you Moif in Denmark, or Sevac in Germany, or Ptarmigan in the U.K., or me in France, have members of our families that fought or were deported or killed then. We used to be our own worse enemies.

The birth of the EU put the dissent aside and proved to be an efficient tool to build and maintain peace among ourselves. It was not the only way of course, but it was a significant progress. Moreover, it came from Europeans themselves!

Now, I agree that the EU has 'shadowed' some of its original benefits under the cloak of its size, lobbies and distance from Europeans. That's a great shame. People will loose the European dream if it bears no meaning to them. To me, it means that I'm free to visit anyone I know in the U.K. or the Netherlands without having to worry if war is raging somewhere in these countries. It may sound dumb, but this security is a great benefit to me.

QUOTE
A global federal government would open all of Europe to the same corruption that has crippled the US governemnt allowing large companies and big money interests to simply buy the laws they want. It will enable the lobbying of all of Europe's political power in one geographical location and change forever the political reality of Europe.


If corruption is seeping into the system, we must grant the system the means to defend itself and the European citizens. We can't complain about it and do nothing. In other words, the only way to prevent the Union from decaying is to give it more power, more strength, more efficiency. We are not destined to become the United States of Europe. Therefore, we don't have to suffer from their mistakes and flaws.

QUOTE
Europe is what it is because of what it is. By changing the way we are now, you will change Europe into another version of the USA and it will prove just as impossible to retain individual interests against powerful multinationals here as it has in the USA.


We are not the USA. I think all Europeans on AD will agree with you.

Maybe there's a way to go back, and undo the EU. We would turn back to what we were, separated and all standing for ourselves instead of together. I don't think this would bring much good to us with globalization. But it's a choice, a possibility.

But we can't stay as we are now. The Union can't go on like it is, torn between nation-states and a super-national power it has not become yet. If we are to keep the EU, we must go forward and organize it more and better.

If we can benefit from our size to match the power and influence of other superpowers on the planet, at the cost of more integration or the dissolution of our frontiers, then I say : "Be it". I'm not afraid to become European, because I know I'm not going to loose my identity and I know where I come from.

As a summary, here's what I think I'm gaining from the EU :
1. Peace and stability within
2. Power and influence outside

QUOTE
We will become slaves to unchecked capitalism just as the Americans are.


That remains to be seen.

QUOTE
The 'spirit' of anything canot be determined in advance, and frankly, laws do not have 'spirit'.

When you are standing in a courtroom being judged, it is the letter of the law that counts, not its 'spirit'.


It would work if you replace 'spirit' with 'method' or 'principle'.
And when you are standing in a courtroom, the letter of the law counts, but the interpretation of the judge and/or the decision of the jury do too.

I don't mean to bash down your analysis and your feeling; I believe they are both right, although I happen to think differently. In all cases, the EUC can be amended and it will evolve with time.

QUOTE
The EU constitution offers us nothing to bind the people of Europe closer together. We are already as close as we are ever going to be unless we disolve our nations and become one single super state.

Which is something that I will never vote for.


The EUC doesn't make me feel closer to you, or Sevac, or Ptarmigan, as a person. The EUC doesn't build an European identity for us, but a common administrative system for all. The European identity can only be achieved with the efforts of each of us to know his neighbor better. That's the longest road, but it's also the best. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Horyok: Apr 18 2005, 12:19 AM
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moif
post Apr 18 2005, 01:20 AM
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QUOTE(Horyok)
The birth of the EU put the dissent aside and proved to be an efficient tool to build and maintain peace among ourselves. It was not the only way of course, but it was a significant progress. Moreover, it came from Europeans themselves!
Ahh... but is that so? Aren't you forgetting the context? And don't forget that the EU as the political entity we know today did not actually exist during most of the last six decades.

It was not any sense of European fraternity that gave us the last six decades of peace. It was sheer exhaustion from the worst war the world had ever seen, coupled with the need to stand alongside the USA against the threat of the Soviet Union.

The EU would never have existed had it not been for the deep freeze of the cold war. Without the USA we would never have withstood the Soviet Union so any notion that Europe is free due to its internal merits is flawed. Europe is free today because the USA protected it. The EU only exists today because the USA protected it.

The people of Europe have done very little to safe guard their own liberty. Even in recent times the people of Europe watched with lazy eyes as the spectre of the past returned to sneer at us in Bosnia and Kroatia.

Where was the love of freedom in the people of Europe then? Where was our sense of justice? of fraternity? We watched, indifferent, whilst the Serbs and Kroats slaughtered people in death camps and mass graves as if the Holocaust had never taken place.

I'm sorry, but I don't believe that the people of Europe have any cause to celebrate our putting aside of dissent or maintaining peace. So far we have done nothing but sign treaty's and shake hands. At the one moment where we, as Europeans could have proven to ourselves and the world that we really did believe in freedom, peace and liberty, that we could act, on the strength of our own convictions, without being prompted or requested to do so by the USA, then, we did nothing.


QUOTE
If corruption is seeping into the system, we must grant the system the means to defend itself and the European citizens. We can't complain about it and do nothing. In other words, the only way to prevent the Union from decaying is to give it more power, more strength, more efficiency. We are not destined to become the United States of Europe. Therefore, we don't have to suffer from their mistakes and flaws.
What do you mean 'if'?

Have you taken a look at the way the EU is run? At the amount of funds being poured into the European agricultural sector in order to maintain its survival? The EU is corrupt through and through. It has always been corrupt. I seriously doubt that the EU would even be able to function were it not for the corruption that is the traditional way of doing politics in Europe.

And if we allow the EU to become a federal super state, then we will become the United States of Europe... thats what 'EU' actually means, European Union. Its just another way of saying it.

We even have the little stars on the flag to symbolise the individual states.


QUOTE
We are not the USA. I think all Europeans on AD will agree with you.
I didn't say we were. I said we would become another version of the USA.

The USA is already federal super state. The EU is attempting to become another such.


QUOTE
If we can benefit from our size to match the power and influence of other superpowers on the planet, at the cost of more integration or the dissolution of our frontiers, then I say : "Be it". I'm not afraid to become European, because I know I'm not going to loose my identity and I know where I come from.
Yes, but this is not a question of identity. Its a question of controlling my life.

As a Dane I have democratic rights that enable me to exert an influence on my national leaders and my nations laws. I have a greater say in how my nation is run.
Our democratic rights are already under pressure from the EU and from multi national corporate interests, but as a EUropean, I don't have any say in anything. I become reduced to the level of an American, a mere observor of a political process that pays lip service to an ever indifferent population.


QUOTE
As a summary, here's what I think I'm gaining from the EU :
1. Peace and stability within
2. Power and influence outside
We already have Peace and stability within.

So, the only thing you going to get from a federal EU is the latter... which is exactly the geopolitical counter weight to the USA that Jaques Chirac advoocates and which you said earlier you didn't want.


QUOTE
That remains to be seen.
Its already happening. Denmark voted no to the Maastricht treaty, so they rewrote it and called it the Edinburgh treaty and it passed by 2% majority and was adopted.

Denmark voted no to the Euro, but again, this was ignored and they tried a second time to get us to adopt the Euro.

Twice now, on matters pertaining to the EU we have seen our democratic decisions pushed aside in the cause of the EU by unsrupulous politicians.


QUOTE
The EUC doesn't make me feel closer to you, or Sevac, or Ptarmigan, as a person. The EUC doesn't build an European identity for us, but a common administrative system for all. The European identity can only be achieved with the efforts of each of us to know his neighbor better. That's the longest road, but it's also the best.  smile.gif
What is this European identity?

Americans, for example, are Americans because that is their nationality. They share a common language, a common legal system, a common government, a common economy.

If we adopt all of these (as we gradually are doing) then we will become as they are. Citizens of a federal super state.

As we are today, as we have been for the last few thousand years, we are not of one identity. Europeans we may be, but homo sapiens we are equally so. To be 'European' means nothing. There is no such thing as 'European culture'. There is nothing intrinsically European that sets us apart from the Americans or the Africans or the Asians.

I am a human being. My nationality is Danish. My culture is Danish.

Europe has nothing to do with it.

A vote for the constitution of the EU is another step towards the federal European super state that will erase the nation of Denmark as a political entity and which I have no wish to be a citizen of.
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crashfourit
post Apr 18 2005, 09:07 PM
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QUOTE(moif)
Americans, for example, are Americans because that is their nationality. They share a common language, a common legal system, a common government, a common economy.
Americans did go through a prosses to get to this point. We did go through a stage similar to the current EU, the Articles of Confederation. The main problems with the A.C. was that there was not unified currency and individual states could make treaties with separate competing foreign states. The notion of being loyal to your state first and to the U.S. second lasted to about the U.S. Civil War, but Americas still do think of themselves as members of their respective states second to being American, I.E. Arkansan, Texan, etc.

QUOTE(moif)
It was not any sense of European fraternity that gave us the last six decades of peace. It was sheer exhaustion from the worst war the world had ever seen, coupled with the need to stand alongside the USA against the threat of the Soviet Union.
Well, I would say that a simular scenario happened to the U.S.
The former colonies banded together as a Super State to help ward of the threat of English invasion (happened in 1812), the French to the west, and the Spanish to the south. If it wasn't for these threats, the U.S. just might have not existed.

QUOTE(moif)
Frankly, the more I see of the EU, the less I like it. We've seen too many examples of new EU directives and laws that actually lower the standards here in Denmark. We have/had numerous powerful environmental laws here and these are constantly being eroded by the EU due to the concerns of less environmentally friendly EU member states like Italy, Spain, France and Portugal. Now we are being told that the laws we have that govern which chemicals are allowed in food products are to be replaced by EU laws... EU laws that were created with the help of lobby activities by multinational corporations and big business interests.
The individual American states have a simular problem with their federal government. I personally think that such problems are inherent in federal super state political system, but it is ironically one of the best ways to unify several sovereign nations. wacko.gif

I believe it comes down to this:
Are the citizens of the several sovereign states of Europe are ready/willing to lose their national identity or put it second to a single unified European identity under a European federal super state?
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Julian
post Apr 19 2005, 12:56 PM
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1. As a European or outsider, what do you think of the E.U. Constitution? (benefits, inconveniences, gut feeling)
I am a member of a local amatuer dramatics group, and we have a Constitution that ets out how we elect our committee, what we are for, who can or cannot be members, and so on.
I find it risible that many opponents of the proposed draft EU Constitution, especially here in the UK, seem to think that the alternative is not to have a Constitution at all.

I've read the proposed Constitution (I was very bored - even more so by the time I'd finished it) and I couldn't see anything in it that was not already there or thereabouts in the various treaties (Maastrict in particular) that are already in effect, so I don't think it is anything new to be afraid of. Indeed, I think that the unpleasant wordiness stems mainly form the fact that the drafters were not working with a blank sheet of paper, but trying to draw together the threads of past treaties.

2. Do you think the Constitution can actually help member countries and inhabitants to grow a European identity?
I think that will happen whether or not we have a formalised Constitution, written or unwritten. European youth culture is converging already (around music, films, computer games, the internet, etc. - the same things that are driving GLOBAL convergence), and the free movement of labour provided for in the EU - with or without the Constitution - will gradually spread the awareness that despite language and local quirks, we really are not all that different.
I think that as Asian economies (most particularly China and India) become more and more dominant, perhaps in the fullness of time eclipsing the USA and Europe in importance, European convergence, in terms of a regional identity and transnational "consciousness" will continue with a momentum of its own independent of whether a single political entity forms. And I think that such a political entity will, eventually and inevitably, form, whether or not the proposed Constitution is approved.

I do not think that the development of a European identity necessarily means that national identities will be subsumed or lost, if the owners of those identities do not want hem to be. Oddly, Britain (traditionally a most Eurosceptic EU member) is the exemplar of how this can work - we have three distinct nationalities on the mainland that have coexisted more or less peacefully for centuries. (Actually, I think the Celtic experience makes them generally less Eurosceptic than the English, who associate the idea of heirarchical nationalities with the idea of conquest, and the English experience of conquest since 1066 is that it's somehting they do to other people.)

3. Do you think the Constitution is designed to identify and defend the European social and trade model?
Yes, in it's own clumsy and verbose way.
I would say that it can ultimately be traced back to the French revolutionary idea of Liberty Equality & Fraternity, as distinct from the US model that elevates Liberty above the other two. I think this is the root of differences between the European and American ideas of freedom.

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Horyok
post Apr 19 2005, 03:56 PM
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Moif
It was not any sense of European fraternity that gave us the last six decades of peace. It was sheer exhaustion from the worst war the world had ever seen, coupled with the need to stand alongside the USA against the threat of the Soviet Union.


That's why I said it wasn't the only way we had in order to bring and maintain peace, but I insist that it was significant nonetheless.

QUOTE
The EU would never have existed had it not been for the deep freeze of the cold war. Without the USA we would never have withstood the Soviet Union so any notion that Europe is free due to its internal merits is flawed. Europe is free today because the USA protected it. The EU only exists today because the USA protected it.


I don't deny what the USA did and still does today to protect us. But the EU exists because its members wanted to join into the Union, not because they were forced to by America or Russia.

QUOTE
The people of Europe have done very little to safe guard their own liberty. Even in recent times the people of Europe watched with lazy eyes as the spectre of the past returned to sneer at us in Bosnia and Kroatia.


The European discord over former Yugoslavia and the innefficiency that resulted are largely due to the different views and sides of the EU governments. Germany recognized the independance of Croatia for instance, while France was supporting the Serbs in the meantime because of the strong historic ties between the two countries.

QUOTE
Where was the love of freedom in the people of Europe then? Where was our sense of justice? of fraternity? We watched, indifferent, whilst the Serbs and Kroats slaughtered people in death camps and mass graves as if the Holocaust had never taken place.


Indifferent? What about the UN? What about NATO? What about KFOR? What do you make of the efforts made in order to stop the massacres from going on? Maybe the US wouldn't have had to do some of the job themselves, had we been more united and organized ourselves. At this leads to the point I wanted to make : there is no European efficiency if there is no organized Union. The EUC precisely reinforces this organization!

QUOTE
Crashfourit

Are the citizens of the several sovereign states of Europe are ready/willing to lose their national identity or put it second to a single unified European identity under a European federal super state?


Beyond the adoption of the EUC or not, I believe this is the next challenge in sight. That's the whole dilemna. And very much a gut feeling too! If I imagine the EU in 200 years, I think we would benefit from being the same country greatly. By then, there would be more and more free exchanges between the European people, most of us would speak at least two or three languages. Travelling throughout the Union will be the norm and marriages between people from all over Europe will be very frequent. I believe the administration would be simplified somehow, as we would give most state competences to the federal EU.

I repeat what I said to Moif before : I am not scared for myself, or for my country if we all come together and melt as one. First, because my local traditions and cultures won't be lost. Second, because I think that having the courage to open up to our neighbors and consider ourselves all equal in rights is the best way to create a EU identity and peace. People will be happy to say they are Europeans AND that they belong to their state too.

QUOTE
Julian
Indeed, I think that the unpleasant wordiness stems mainly form the fact that the drafters were not working with a blank sheet of paper, but trying to draw together the threads of past treaties.


That's exactly what's happening. Apart from some new concepts presented in parts I & II, the rest has already been said and voted for in past treaties!

QUOTE
I think that such a political entity will, eventually and inevitably, form, whether or not the proposed Constitution is approved. I do not think that the development of a European identity necessarily means that national identities will be subsumed or lost, if the owners of those identities do not want them to be.


I couldn't agree more with you Julian. The EUC is designed to rationalize EU actions, not to cause our frontiers to go away. That's a whole different debate! And you're correct in saying that a European identity can be born and grow while our countries remain nation-states. There's no opposition. We are not destined to follow America's example (even if personally, I wouldn't mind if we did).

QUOTE
I would say that it can ultimately be traced back to the French revolutionary idea of Liberty Equality & Fraternity, as distinct from the US model that elevates Liberty above the other two. I think this is the root of differences between the European and American ideas of freedom.


As a French debater, I agree with you but my opinion is biased of course, as the ideas of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity are engraved in our national constitution. I'd be interested to know what other debaters think of your opinion. Do you share Julian's view?

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Ptarmigan
post Apr 20 2005, 10:07 AM
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I don't deny what the USA did and still does today to protect us. But the EU exists because its members wanted to join into the Union, not because they were forced to by America or Russia.

Horyok

Well the EU grew out of the European Coal and Steel Community - which was founded in 1951 and founded to rebuild Europe. However, America had a huge role in forming the ECSC and did quietly 'force' countries to join (basically the US felt that, as they were largely paying for the reconstruction of Europe, the Europeans were going to join this club to cut out trade barriers and facilitate reconstruction whether they wanted to or not.)

So America forced the original 6 (France, W Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) to form the ECSC, which then became (eventually) the EU. Later companies were under no formal pressure to join, but it soon became apparent that joining was extremely advantageous to everyone.

Incidentally, in order to ensure the formation of the ESCS, America simply said it would withhold funding for European reconstruction if it didn't happen.

QUOTE
The European discord over former Yugoslavia and the innefficiency that resulted are largely due to the different views and sides of the EU governments. Germany recognized the independance of Croatia for instance, while France was supporting the Serbs in the meantime because of the strong historic ties between the two countries.

Which remains a serious problem today - we have no common foreign policy - which strikes me as a huge barrier to the development of a single political entity. It seems very premature to start talking about further integration, without resolving this very fundamental issue.

QUOTE
Beyond the adoption of the EUC or not, I believe this is the next challenge in sight. That's the whole dilemna. And very much a gut feeling too! If I imagine the EU in 200 years, I think we would benefit from being the same country greatly. By then, there would be more and more free exchanges between the European people, most of us would speak at least two or three languages. Travelling throughout the Union will be the norm and marriages between people from all over Europe will be very frequent. I believe the administration would be simplified somehow, as we would give most state competences to the federal EU.

I repeat what I said to Moif before : I am not scared for myself, or for my country if we all come together and melt as one. First, because my local traditions and cultures won't be lost. Second, because I think that having the courage to open up to our neighbors and consider ourselves all equal in rights is the best way to create a EU identity and peace. People will be happy to say they are Europeans AND that they belong to their state too.


I very much hope you are right. National character is increasingly blurred and I believe that we will naturally start to view ourselves as Europeans first and then national identity second. But I think that process can happen without having to all sign up to a beaurocratic mess! Melting together as one is great, but I think the EU in its current form is in some places actually making people more Eurosceptic.

This post has been edited by Ptarmigan: Apr 20 2005, 10:11 AM
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Horyok
post Apr 20 2005, 02:53 PM
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Ptarmigan
So America forced the original 6 (France, W Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) to form the ECSC, which then became (eventually) the EU. Later companies were under no formal pressure to join, but it soon became apparent that joining was extremely advantageous to everyone.

Incidentally, in order to ensure the formation of the ESCS, America simply said it would withhold funding for European reconstruction if it didn't happen.


In all honesty, I did not know these facts. The reason I was wrong, apart from my ignorance, is because our politicians, political historians and political journalists keep on hammering that the EU was our design and that, as Chirac said himself the other day : "Europe is a French ambition". dry.gif Thanks for correcting me!

QUOTE
Which remains a serious problem today - we have no common foreign policy - which strikes me as a huge barrier to the development of a single political entity. It seems very premature to start talking about further integration, without resolving this very fundamental issue.


That's right to the point. The Union's foreign minister, introduced with the EUC, will only have the power the members want to give him. In other words, if we agree unanimously, he will speak for all of the EU. If we don't, then he shall speak for the majority only. If there's no majority, it's all back to the current situation where each country speaks for itself. I don't expect unanimity to be reached very often with 27 members!!! laugh.gif The constitution will need further amendments and changes... when our governments are ready to see them implemented.

Ultimately, in order to form a single political entity, it would take all governments and all the people of Europe to actually believe in Europe. Put it first in their political motives and in their hearts... and believe in it like they do with their own country. thumbsup.gif

This post has been edited by Horyok: Apr 20 2005, 02:57 PM
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Ptarmigan
post Apr 20 2005, 03:01 PM
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QUOTE
In all honesty, I did not know these facts. The reason I was wrong, apart from my ignorance, is because our politicians, political historians and political journalists keep on hammering that the EU was our design and that, as Chirac said himself the other day : "Europe is a French ambition". Thanks for correcting me!


Well, the ESCS was the first of the 'three pillars' on which the EU was founded and is the organisation from which the rest emerged, however, as the title 'European Coal and Steel Community' suggests, it was mainly concerned with the facilitation of free trade of those materials across European borders for reconstruction. Whilst this then expanded to form the Common Market, certainly many other core aspects of the EU (political unity, relaxed border controls, the Euro etc) were not part of the original organisation, so France can certainly take credit for some but definitely not all, aspects of the EU.
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Sevac
post Apr 20 2005, 03:45 PM
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I want to diverge from the who did what posts to bring focus to another topic concerning the EC.
A question I have to add is the following:

A lack of democracy can undoubtedly be seen in the EU. Yet I have to wonder if that may be the primary reason for the success of the EU. While there were ten, twelve, fifteen members, most agreements did not need to be ratified by a referendum. Yet here we are, having a common market, for some a common currency, a parliament, and many more institutions that influence us in many ways.
I doubt that Germany would have voted yes to the EURO to see the strong German Mark be eliminated. But the EURO is as strong as the Mark, and the common currency has worked out so far.

All member states have democratically elected governments, so the decisions they agree upon with others are to a good degree democratically legitimate. Why ask for the public opinion?

So would it not be more efficient to just let the governments sign the Constitution Treaty and let the public see the benefits from it instead of letting the EC fail, because some people had (however reasonable) doubts?

I am just asking this because I don't think the majority of the voters has a good idea of what the EU does now and how it will benefit from the EC.
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Ptarmigan
post Apr 20 2005, 04:05 PM
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A lack of democracy can undoubtedly be seen in the EU. Yet I have to wonder if that may be the primary reason for the success of the EU. While there were ten, twelve, fifteen members, most agreements did not need to be ratified by a referendum. Yet here we are, having a common market, for some a common currency, a parliament, and many more institutions that influence us in many ways.


Okay...but you seem to be presupposing that these institutions are actually beneficial. What does the European Parliament do that our own Parliaments could not do equally well, if not better? Has the single currency actually proven to be an improvement over having national currencies and national central banks?

I would agree that the common market is good, but then the same could be said for the WTO (when people remember not to be protectionist) - and all that requires is an agreement between nations to drop trade barriers, it does not require further social, political and economic integration.


QUOTE
So would it not be more efficient to just let the governments sign the Constitution Treaty and let the public see the benefits from it instead of letting the EC fail, because some people had (however reasonable) doubts?

I am just asking this because I don't think the majority of the voters has a good idea of what the EU does now and how it will benefit from the EC.


Assuming the treaty brings benefits! It may not - a lot of people clearly feel it may not. You can't just assume that the EU will work perfectly - there are a great many legitimate problems with the EU and it is far from clear whether the constitution would fix or exacerbate them.
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rjp2004
post Apr 20 2005, 05:39 PM
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Thanks for your thread on this topic Horyok.

1. What do you think of the EU Constitution?


Major Christian leaders and communities in Europe have asked for a reference to a divine Creator and Europe's Christian history, but have been repeatedly denied by EU leaders in power. But it surprises me little.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union is completely a non-democractic document at its heart. The Declaration of Independance acknowledges that our rights come from a divine Creator, not the whim of a government. It places the government as servant of the people, not master. But the EU charter places itself, the government, in the role of Creator and bestower of rights, which can be whatever they decide.

QUOTE
Article I-7: “These rights shall be exercised in accordance with the conditions and limits defined by this Constitution and by the measures adopted to give it effect.” It adds in Article II-52: “Any limitation on the exercise of the rights and freedoms recognized by this Charter must be provided for by law....” In other words... rights are “recognized” by the “Charter,” meaning they come from government. And, those rights may be limited as the rulers deem necessary.
link

So, a church that preaches against the "right to abortion", the "right to homosexual behavior" or other "rights" defined by this government will find themselves breaking the law of the land - the crime of taking away the rights of others as defined by the government. Throw the pastor/priest in jail. Same with catholic hospitals being forced to perform procedures or else - it all points towards greater persecution of Christianity by the government setting itself up as the supreme arbiter of "rights".

I dont think many realize the extent at which some EU leaders have been pursuing an anti-Christian agenda. For many years the EU has been a principal funder of abortive population control, contraceptive promotion in third world countries. When very Catholic Poland, Ireland and Malta joined, there was a concerted effort to override their national soverignty and force them to change their bans on abortions. Nowhere was the bias more clear when Prof. Rocco Buttiglione was forced out as a Commissioner nominee by the EU leaders becuase of his religious views. Its clear the EU leaders want normalcy of homosexual relations and abortion on demand, etc. to be the supreme law of the land.

I think there are well meaning people working the EU for greater cultural exhange and greater unity among peoples. Horyok your thread itself is sincere expression of that dialogue and collaboration. But foundations being set by EU leaders with power, are clearly opposed to the basic freedom of religious expression, and I think many Europeans will be shocked to see what they've assented to in years to come.

This post has been edited by rjp2004: Apr 20 2005, 07:18 PM
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