Wednesday, January 12, 2005

EU Constitution vote today

Barring some catastrophe or Act of God, the EU Parliament will today approve the new constitution. Following this, there will be plebiscites in those 9 countries where voters´ wishes on the matter are considered worthwhile. This is going to be a tricky ride.

One of the problems with any discussion on the constitution is that, on the one hand, constitutional questions are a by-word for boredom, whilst on the other, vital interests are at stake. As a result, the whole debate on the constitution has been characterised by deep, sticky fudge:
  • The anti´s say a new centrist superstate will arise, accountable to none, putty in the hands of the non- or anti-democratic Commission;
  • The pro´s say either that the constitution is a "tidying-up" exercise (ie. it just formalises already extant arrangements) or that it is an essential part of the reform the EU´s institutions need.

All of these mutually contradictory positions are true. That is the constitution´s strength and its weakness.

For this draft constitution is a classic bureaucratic masterstroke, to be savoured by connoisseurs - revolutionary changes, potentially inflammatory in their effect, ushered in under the calm, soporific guise of the civil servant.


Licinia d´Este said...

You overdramatise the dangers. The European Commission has the true interests of Europe at heart. We need this constitution because we need a more efficient Europe.

Hero von Esens said...

I wouldn´t be so sure.. The splendidly named "Students for War" has already opened a book giving odds on which countries will be the first to go to war as a result of the new constitution.