More and more politicians are raising their voices against parliament-only ratification of the renamed EU constitution. These surely are brave and honest steps towards true democracy exercised close to the people. On the other hand it reveals how far political elites have already strayed away in last decade or two which is also closely intertwined with the growth of the whole EU system.
Today politicians of Ireland and Great Britain displayed renewal of belief in basic democratic values.
After the 9 days of pressure from the NGO Association Hervardi one political group in the Parliament (Slovenian National Pary, SNS) has decided to file a demand for a debate and vote on calling a referendum in accordance with the Law on referendum, chapter on ratification of international treaties.
This move might delay the ratification planned on 29th of January since there will have to be at least one parliamentary debate before the ratification itself.
In many European countries much is going on. It seems as the ratification process will once for all create a razor sharp cut between political realists and political illusionists.
List has been refreshed on May 25th 2008
ratified in Parliament —————-Hungary (325 yes, 5 no, 14 abstained)
ratified in Parliament —————-Slovenia (74 yes, 6 no) - Constitutional Court case ratified in Parliament —————-Malta (unanimous…)
ratified in Parliament —————-Romania (387 yes, 1 no, 1 abstained)
ratified in Parliament —————-France (332 yes, 52 no)
ratified in Parliament —————-Bulgaria (195 yes, 15 no, 1 abstained)
ratified in Parliament —————-Poland (384 yes, 56 no, 12 abstained) - not signed by the President yet
ratified in Parliament —————-Austria (155 yes, 28 no)
ratified in Parliament —————-Slovakia (103 yes, 5 no, 1 abstained)
ratified in Parliament —————-Portugal (208 yes, 21 no)
ratified in Parliament —————-Denmark (90 yes, 25 no) Constitutional Court case
ratified in Parliament —————-Germany (515 yes, 58 no, 1 abstained) - not signed by the President yet
ratified in Parliament —————-Latvia (83 yes, 23 no)
ratified in Parliament —————-Lithuania (70 yes, 3 no, 1 abstained)
Estimated dates of ratification procedures:
on 12th of June —————————Ireland => RR **
The rest is up to the results of the Irish Referendum.
“After all the elected representatives have gathered together in the assembly room, the next step is to somehow produce results which express the collective will of the assembled representatives. This is the job of Parliamentary Procedure. A roomfull of people, ungoverned by Parliamentary Procedure, is not much better than a mob. Thomas Jefferson said that the particular details of the rules are not nearly as important as the fact that some sort of rules exist, and that everybody follows them.” About this and similar political wisdom you can read at The Institute For Democratic Procedures.
However according to the recent notice from MEP Jens Peter Bonde the European Parliament doesn’t follow these basic guidelines:
According to x09.eu referendum campaign website there are currently in total 24 initatives up and running across our continent.
ERC2 website reports on total of 18 campaigns from around Europe.
Exclusively for TEAM we are proud to report that yesterday a new initiative started this time in Slovenia where EU-critical thinking is gaining new grounds with current media overload on account of the presidency theater.
How far can one stray away from the basic lessons of history and from reality? Obviously quite a lot as the following article from Le Monde shows:
It has also been noticed and translated into English in The Brussels Journal:
Besides referendums there exists a variety of political and legal tools to prevent unitaristic and homogeneous Europe to emerge. TEAM will try to collect and present some examples of the struggle against enforced political unification. First examples will be mainly describing legal aspects but we are always interested in learning new ways. You are invited to apply any of them or shape new ones within the practice of your national frameworks and then share your experience with us.
First story: Denmark and the ratification of the renamed EU-constitution
Denmark has had so far six referendums on EEC/EU of which the first was in 1972 when a majority voted in favor of joining the EEC.
This is very interesting news from another continent in face of all nationalism-is-passée europhiles.
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Dakota Territory Reverts back to Lakota Control According to U.S., International Law
The Renamed Constitutional Treaty of EU has been signed on December 13th 2007.
In just four days Hungarian MPs have read it through, got acquainted with all hundreds of legal trickeries hidden within and voted for a ratification with a majority that resembled times when the country has been behind the so-called Iron Curtain.
325 votes were cast in favour, 005 votes were against and 014 abstained from this theatre.
There has been no public debate nor a referendum.
News source EUobserver.
December 12th 2007
Roughly 50 MEPs have put on black T-shirts with large white letters that spelled
R E F E R E N D U M !
However they have been noticed by some blogs:
by Anthony Coughlan
1. It would give the EU a Federal State Constitution:
The Treaty would establish a legally new European Union, quite different from what we call the EU at present, in the constitutional form of a supranational Federal State which would be separate from and superior to its Member States, just as Federal Germany is separate from and superior to Bavaria, or the USA to California. The new Union would sign treaties with other States in all areas of its competence. It would have most of the features of a fully-developed State. The Treaty would make this change by means of three key legal steps:
by Anthony Coughlan
… - the MOST IMPORTANT thing the Lisbon Treaty would do
LEGAL ARTICLE WHICH HAS BEEN CHECKED WITH AUTHORITIES ON EU AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
“The Constitution is the capstone of a European Federal State” - Guy Verhofstadt, Belgian Prime Minister, Financial Times, 21 June 2004
“From the inside it looks like an arrangement based on Treaties between States. From the outside it looks like a State itself.” - Jens-Peter Bonde MEP, New Name, Same Content: The Lisbon Treaty - Is it also an EU Constitution?, www.bonde.com
1. The Lisbon Treaty would establish a legally quite new European Union. This would be a Union in the constitutional form of a supranational European State:
The Treaty would give this new Union a State Constitution which would be identical in its legal effects to the EU Constitution that French and Dutch voters rejected in their 2005 referendums.
Two weeks ago experts and NGO members from 25 countries attended anti-nuclear manifestation in Helsinki. Participants from Finland, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and United States of America met with officials from Ministries and nuclear industry, also with parliamentarians.
This year in Slovenia a new law has been passed on Election and Referendum Campaign (ZVRK). To it’s 4th Article last two small paragraphs (6th and 7th, in connection with the 23rd Article) have been added which put the whole story about referendum fairness in a completely new light.
If the government, state body or local community is the initiator of the referendum than the government or the mayor can freely decide for themselves where the money for “information campaign” will be channelled.
The Norwegian prime minister admits that the people had made the right choice in staying out of the Union, writes Hjörtur J. Guðmundsson, but he is still nostalgic about the idea itself, claiming he would still have liked to join the rest in Berlin to commemmorate the 50th Anniversary of the Treaties of Rome.
Alternative to EU, Finland, invites you to the 10th European Future Conference in Helsinki on 8-9 September 2006.
During the second half of the year, the Finnish EU Presidency is holding many significant meetings concerning important issues for the whole of Europe - enlargement, Common Defence Policy, the Service directive, the EU Constitution, etc. The development of the EU into a strong unitary federation with an own constitution is firmly on its way.
EU accession would be disastrous for Switzerland, not only economically, but also in terms of freedom and liberty. Yet while accession proponents in authority pretend that EU accession is currently not a subject, behind the scenes everything is being done to get Switzerland “ready for accession” by continuously adapting our legislation to EU standards to eliminate all differences, writes Lukas Reimann, TEAM board member and president of the Swiss organisation Young for FUN - Freedom (Freiheit), Independence (Unabhängigkeit) and Neutrality (Neutralität).
‘A few weeks ago there were some discussions in Iceland concerning the possibility of adopting the euro without joining the EU itself. However, these discussions are now as good as dead after the EU confirmed what was previously known, that Iceland could not adopt the euro without joining the EU first. EU membership is not on the agenda for both parties in government in Iceland’, writes Hjörtur J. Guðmundsson.
“There is nothing that actually indicates that Iceland will ever join the EU. The core arguments of the pro-EU movement are not based on telling the people that joining the EU would be good for Iceland – not anymore – but telling them that sooner or later Iceland will be forced to join,” writes Hjörtur J. Guðmundsson, founding member of the political organisation, Heimssýn.
“Despite all the hype by the Spanish government and illegal interference by the Commission, the turnout in the Spanish referendum was only 42%. The government had predicted a 60% turnout, instead nearly 60% did not vote. This means the majority of the peoples in Spain do not support the European Constitution, whatever the Constitutionalists say,” says John Boyd, TEAM Coordinator.
The new EU Constitution Referendum Bill is designed to maximise the government’s capacity to cheat in the run-up to the vote, claims The Democracy Movement (DM) in the UK. “The DM, with the voluntary contributions of the British people, will now be waging a campaign - Stop the Cheating! - to pressure the Electoral Commission into reigning in Tony Blair and making the referendum fair”, says DM’s director Russel Walters.
Read more on The Democracy Movement’s website.
The Spanish TEAM-member Another Democracy is Possible have launched a legal challenge against the government. The group questions that public money is being spend on promoting the EU Constitution. “Contents of the governmental website are flagrantly biased for the ratification of the constitutional treaty”, argues the group.
Read more on Another Democracy is Possible’s website
TEAM Briefing Paper, No 1, 2004. Download in pdf-version here:
Update on EU Constitution negotiations - 27 April 2004
The EU Summit in Brussels on March 25-26 agreed to restart the negotiations on the EU Constitution after the collaps of the talks in December last year. The Heads of Governments have agreed to reach a compromise on the Constitution at the next Summit in Brussels on June 17-18. According to media reports, around 20 to 30 topics remain to be solved before the Summit in June. Here is an attempt to make a general outline of the main topics, its consequences, and the current positions in the negotiation process.
The EU Summit in Brussels on March 25-26 agreed to restart the negotiations on the EU Constitution after the collapse of the talks in December last year. The Heads of Governments have agreed to reach a compromise on the Constitution at the next Summit in Brussels on June 17-18. According to media reports, around 20 to 30 topics remain to be solved before the Summit in June. In this TEAM Briefing Paper a general outline is made of the main topics, its consequences, and the current positions in the negotiation process.
TEAM Briefing Paper, No 1, 2004. Download in pdf-version here: