Wednesday, June 01, 2005
  Daily Dose of EU Constitution - The Conclusion
I finally found some good analyses on the voting for the European Constitution at THIS BLOG

"Next Wednesday, June 1st, I will be asked to answer the following question: "Bent u voor of tegen instemming door Nederland met het Verdrag tot vaststelling van een Grondwet voor Europa?"

(Are you pro or contra the ratification by the Netherlands of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe?)

I did three things to answer this question for myself. The first thing was reading the constitution myself. The second thing was to listen carefully to opinions of other people. The third thing was asking myself which criteria I find important for a European Constitution.

My criteria:
If the EU has power, it needs democratic control. The constitution needs to tell how.
The existence of the EU has to add something that individual countries can't reach. The constitution needs to make that clear.
A constitution needs to be political neutral and time resistant (not containing items which will lose meaning in a couple of years).
It's also very important to state that I don't judge this constitution against the current situation. I already concluded that it will be an improvement over the current situation. But that is not what they ask me to vote for.
Before I check the criteria, I'll give the most important good and bad points in this constitution (in my mind).

Good things:
The Objectives of the EU are written down. And I like them, apart from the "competition is free and undistorted" statement.
Human rights are now an integral part.
Environment and sustainability play a role.
We will have a common security, defense and foreign policy. That gives us a better role in the World.
No ability to veto, some form of complex majority voting that’s suitable for this set up.
Solidarity on all kinds of areas.
A common immigration policy.
Open internal borders for work, living and traveling.
A European court with enough power as final judge.
A reasonable social policy.
Stimulation of research on a European level.

Bad things:
The free market principles as an integral part of big parts of this constitution.
No full democratic control on all levels of the EU.
Defense and foreign policy are outside the control of the European Parliament (EP).
The quest for forever increasing production and consumption (III-229).
The amount of detail of some articles (like when to have meeting of a committee)
Having an agriculture policy that only includes Europe, not the rest of the world.
Exceptions on a lot of rules (like rules on transport but not on flying and rules on animal rights but excluding local traditions (bull fighting).

There are loads and loads more remarks to make, be it positive, negative or neutral. But that would only make this a very long post.Now back to my criteria and how this constitution measures up to them.
If the EU has power, it needs democratic control. The constitution needs to tell how." /../

okay, i'll go and vote now...
Tell you new leader Jaques the cock Chirac we said hello! Have fun pulling his knife out of your back.
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