[ILUG] Software Patents Agreement Adopted
michael.conry at gmail.com
Mon Mar 7 16:00:23 GMT 2005
On Mon, 7 Mar 2005 15:38:51 +0000, Daniel Goldsmith
<daniel.goldsmith at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, 7 Mar 2005 15:27:34 +0000 (GMT), Paul Jakma <paul at clubi.ie> wrote:
> > http://lwn.net/Articles/126513/
> > Seems to hint at what I wanted to know, whether the proposed
> > constitution gives the EP more teeth to carry out its role of
> > oversight: no it doesnt, it gives the council even more power.
> In Europe, power has been sifting upwards to the Council/Commission
> for decades, and the Constitution is just the latest de juris
> recognition of this de facto situation.
I think this comes down to a problem of changing identity/purpose for
the EU. If it's a body representing a collection of nations, then it
makes sense that the member governments appoint people to the
governing/discussing bodies (e.g. Council of Ministers, Commission).
However, if the EU behaves more like a state and regulates/affects
directly people's lives, then it would seem better to have power
exercised through a parliament elected by the people.
At the outset, the EU (or EC, or European Coal and Steel Community)
was definitely and clearly a grouping of member nations with limited
competencies. Over time, it has steadily begun to taken on more of
the characteristics of a state (not yet a state, but looking a little
more like one than before). However, the governing structures don't
seem to have changed sufficiently in response to this, and according
to another contributor in this thread the new Constitution may put
even more power directly in the hands of Commission/Council.
The problem I see with this is the lack of accountability. The
commissioners are nominally apolitical and distant from their
nominating governments. Though the council of ministers has elected
representatives, there is very little feedback between the council and
the disparate national political scenes, and hence few repercussions
for bad judgement. And the one directly elected body, the Parliament,
appears to be relatively impotent... which almost brings me OnTopic as
a case in point of this is the current software patents directive that
Parliament has attempted to reform it, then stop it... but to little
avail (barring a last minute miracle at second reading).
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