[ILUG] EU constitution
colm at tuatha.org
Thu Mar 10 10:30:15 GMT 2005
On 10 Mar 2005, at 10:13, Bryan O'Donoghue wrote:
> Great so Colm... let the Union come up with a document, that fixes,
> it's internal structures... before, it goes asking for any _more_
> influence, over the destinies of it's citizens.
You misunderstand what the Union *is* - how can the Union "fix its
internal structures" without the consent of the nation states? You
speak as though the EU has some sort of independent existence outside
the 25 member countries - it doesn't. All institutions of the EU are
made up of representatives from the member countries, and the Union
operates solely by the consent of these countries.
If there is a genuine will within the member countries to alter the
structure of the Union to make it more democratic, then this is what
will happen. As it turns out, the proposed Constitution is a
significant step in this direction; however the Constitution does *not*
greatly expand the powers of the Union - it is merely an attempt to
codify, clarify and consolidate existing agreements.
It is important to bear in mind that the "brokenness" of the EU's power
balance (in particular, a concentration of authority in the Commission
and Council, both of which are made up of or appointed by national
governments) is there *BECAUSE THAT HAS BEEN THE WILL OF THE MEMBER
STATES*. It is not the Union which is responsible for this power
imbalance, it is the governments of the member countries. If we
genuinely want the Union to address this issue, and for the Union's
institutions to become more democratic, then the obvious way is to
strengthen the European Parliament, which *is* directly elected, and is
also a model of transparency and accountability in the way in which it
conducts its business.
There are many components to the Constitution, of course, and one of
them is to (partially) redress the imbalance of authority. This, in my
opinion, is a good thing.
> Euro-ideologues, seem to have a genuine contempt, for those of us, to
> dare to question their quasi-Orwellian dogma, that if it originates
> from the EU... and distances "Ireland" particularly from the
> bad-old-days... that _whatever_ the failings of European proposal-x...
> those who disagree with it... are suffering from some sort of mental
Frankly, this is nonsense. I'm sure there *are* wide-eyed fanatics
which behave in the way you suggest, but to ascribe this to any sort of
majority is balderdash. The EU has brought to Ireland, and to the
other members, enormous benefits, both infrastructural and social.
This doesn't mean that every EU proposal is an automatic winner. I
refer you to the current debate on patentability of software
inventions, for example, which I vigorously oppose in its current form.
> The notion that voting to give _more_ power, to a European structure,
> that is by the pro-Federalist's own admission, broken, and setup to
> allow continued abuse of power "essentially" apparently _isn't_ any
> kind of shortfall of logic, reason or mental faculty.
> Clearly the lack of ability to countenance one's opinions, with such
> circular logic... _is_ just another mental shortfall...
What are you talking about? The Constitution doesn't give more power
to the Union "against" national governments. It *does* rebalance the
relative authority of the various EU institutions, which should in the
end make the Union as a whole more democratic and accountable. On
balance, I think this is a good thing. The Constitution isn't perfect,
no - but it's better than the current scenario, and better than many of
the proposed alternatives, and CAN BE FURTHER IMPROVED IN FUTURE.
Colm Buckley / colm at tuatha.org / +353 87 2469146 / www.colm.buckley.name
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