European Commission should not be over zealous
Here is an interesting article by Peter Sain ley Berry, editor of EuropaWorld, about the current struggle in the EU regarding the adoption of an EU constitution and the many nation-specific issues which get in the way.
For those who are not aware, each of the 25 EU member States is going to one by one say "yes" or "no" through national referendums. But acceptance of the EU constitution is not a "majority" thing, it has to be "absolute", i.e. every single member must have had a national "yes". If only one member rejects it, then it all falls through.
Spain has already voted, and it was a "yes". France is to come soon, and is one of the more problematic ones, along with UK, Poland, Sweden, and Denmark - the rest is nearly certain to vote "yes".
I agree with Peter that the EU commission should tread softly. Most of the ppl here in France have little idea of what's going on, and tend to confuse (and assimilate and even blame) the EU concept with our nation's economic problems and our government gross ineptitude. Only last night on TV, I saw something about right wing parties talks mentioning that maybe Rafarrin should retire because "his failing to achieve any of the promised results, together with his call for a "yes" vote to the EU constitution results in a great fear and discredit of the latter because of the former".
Anyway, this is quite a long article, which I'm sure will bore our American friends to tears, so I'll only quote the first 4 paragraphs + a link to the original for the brave ones :-)
|"If the Commission brought forward|
not a single new economic initiative
for the next two years it is unlikely
that any voter would complain, or
even notice" (Photo: EuropaWorld)
25.03.2005 - 12:07 CET | By Peter Sain ley Berry
EUOBSERVER / COMMENT
A story that did the rounds some years ago concerned a young woman whose car had stalled at a road junction. In vain, she tried to restart the engine while the line of vehicles grew longer behind her. When one particularly impatient and choleric man started blowing his horn and shouting abuse, the woman suggested that if he would only have the kindness to attempt to start her car, she would sit in his and manage the horn blowing operations. Thus could they best make progress satisfactory to both parties.
I was reminded of this story by the recent ill-tempered exchanges between the President of the European Commission and the President of France on the eve of this week's European Council. The latter finds himself with a stalled car, or rather a stalled referendum campaign, or rather still a referendum campaign that is now rolling backwards. For after a progressively steady decline in support for the 'yes' camp, the two latest polls have suggested that French voters will actually reject the European Constitution on 29th May.
The reasons for this haemorrhage of support - only a few weeks ago many were expecting a 60-40 vote in favour - have been well rehearsed and need not detain us: the Constitution is seen as being overly Anglo-Saxon in tone; the French have fears about accommodating Turkey and other potential candidates within the Union and latterly the Commission's proposal to resurrect the plan to liberalise the services market is seen as a threat to social protection. Of these, only the first is strictly a constitutional matter, as the horn-blowing Mr Barroso was quick to point out.
"If there's total confusion in the minds of the French public between the Constitution, Turkey and the Services Directive, it is not the Commission's fault," he thundered. "It's up to French politicians to explain what's involved in this vote, to clear up the misunderstanding. The Commission…….can't do the job of French politicians. It's for them to take responsibility."
... full article here