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Monday, October 22, 2007

EU treaty

As you maybe already know, the new EU treaty was signed by the ministers of EU countries and now it's up to every member's government to ratify the new contract! Yay for our new constitution, let's hope this time it all finish well.

I'm offering you a resume of what countries think about the new EU treaty ( taken from different articles for them in EuroAktiv)


Polish President Lech Kaczynski said he was '95-98%' confident that the EU will come to an agreement on the proposed Reform Treaty following a meeting with French President Nicholas Sarkozy, just days ahead of the summit that is set to seal the final accord.

In an attempt to iron out possible last-minute objections to the new EU Reform Treaty - which was unveiled by legal experts last week - French President Nicholas Sarkozy met his Polish counterpart Lech Kaczynski on 8 October in Paris.

Remaining worries include Poland's demand to include the so-called Ioannina compromise in the new EU Treaty text, which is currently not included in the draft, but should figure in a separate text. The Ioannina compromise is a complex system which allows EU decisions to be delayed if a number of member states have grave concerns, even if they do not constitute a blocking minority.


My comment: It sounds ok to be able to delay a decision if you're really pissed by it, but still, I think that the better solution is to delay it say a week and then the decision to pass and you to have the choice to block it in your country for say 3 months. Because otherwise there won't be even one decision made by this parliament. I mean it's not easy to make everyone happy in 27 countries.


Frans Timmermans, Dutch Minister for EU Affairs, is confident that Parliament will support the government's decision to avoid a referendum on the new EU treaty. But at the same time, he concedes that more needs to be done to gain the support of the Dutch public, which he says is currently "quite low".

"I think there is by-and-large support for the amendments to the Constitutional Treaty. There is a general feeling that we have negotiated well, and what came out is better for us," Timmermans said.

But he is also quick to point out that Europe still has work to do if it wants to win over the hearts and minds of the Dutch people, especially after the shock caused by the rejection of the proposed EU Constitution in a referendum in 2005.

"We have to work on public support for Europe, because it is quite low right now," he said.

Timmermans further suggests that the 2004 'big bang' enlargement came at a high political price in terms of public perception of Europe. "In the old member states the enlargement went often too fast for them to keep pace with developments. This also played its role in the referendum campaigns in France and the Netherlands."

"I also believe that globalisation is coming at us with such a speed and such a force that people see Europe as part of the problem rather than part of the solution."


My comment: Well, yeah :) The globalisation comes at high speed and it will become even higher. I mean, face it, the world today is much faster than the one 10 years ago. And anyway, the enlargement had to become a fact. Probably if the governments did some work along with the media to popularize it instead of just picking up their noses people won't feel so fucked up. But it's easier to blame it one EU than to admit to your people that it's not the emigrants that are guilty for the lack of work or whatever but the government that didn't come up with a way to stimulate the business and ensure economical growth.

The Dutch government has ruled out holding a popular vote on the EU's 'Reform Treaty', in order to avert a rerun of the referendum in which Dutch citizens rejected the European Constitution two years ago. However, opposition parties could still oppose the decision in Parliament.

He added: "If the Netherlands would vote 'No' again, what would happen?...You shouldn't take new negotiations for granted." 

The 'normal' procedure, would likely see the Treaty approved as a majority of Parliamentarians are in favour of ratification.

However, the June 2005 scenario, in which 61.8% of Dutch voters rejected the EU's Constitution, sending EU leaders back to the drawing board, could still be repeated. 

Indeed, the Parliament could still demand that a referendum be organised – just as it did the last time. And three opposition parties, including two pro-EU ones (the Greens and the left-liberal D66) and one that is strongly Eurosceptic (Socialist), have already said they plan to propose an own-initiative bill demanding just that. 


United Kindgom

9 October 2007

While Gordon Brown insists that the Reform Treaty should be ratified by Parliament and that it will safeguard Britain's essential 'red lines', such as the national veto over tax, social security and foreign and defence policy, the eurosceptic lobby is campaigning for a referendum on the Treaty, notes the author. 

One argument of the pro-referendum campaigners is that the government should hold a referendum to honour its promise to do so with the Constitutional Treaty, he says. This argument supposes that both the Constitutional Treaty and Reform Treaty would transfer large competences to the EU, notes Brady.

British trade unions are divided on the issue, he says. Some of them ask for a referendum because they believe that opt-outs, in particular the one on the Charter of Fundamental Rights, will hold. Others because they consider that the government's position on the Charter of Fundamental Rights means that UK citizens are being denied the social rights and protections from which other Europeans benefit. 


My comment: If I lived in UK and heard they opted-out of the Charter of Fundamental Rights (you can find a copy here- good stuff btw), I['d be really really scared! I mean, why, why do they want to opt out? Anyone? Scary, indeed, O'Neel!But I liked the part "if we say no, and the other countries say yes, they can just leave us out of the EU":) Oh, yeah!

EU treaty, poland, netherlands, uk

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