Monday, February 12, 2007

At least they are honest

A story I read about a while ago, but just didn't get round to writing about:

Barroso addressed the Hague last Monday (12th Februrary) and told the Dutch government they had "a responsibility to present a good solution" after the Dutch people said Nee to the EU Constitution. To me, this just indicates that the EU will not be happy until they have a new treaty transferring more powers to the EU, and that the Dutch people have clearly done something wrong by voting No.

He refused to say the Constitution was 'dead' and said "we must continue the institutional reforms as we will not save the EU with instruments of the 1980s'. (the Treaty of Amsterdam was signed in 2002 I think, so not quite the 1980s)

The Dutch agree with London and Paris that a mini treaty would be better, as then they don't think that they would need a referendum. This is even though a mini treaty would at the very least include an EU president and an EU foreign minister.

Barroso said: "Referendums make the process of approval of European treaties much more complicated and less predictable." He said that any government considering a referendum on any new treaty should "think twice" about holding one, just incase one country said no.

When he was Portuguese PM he was pro referenda (knowing that the Portuguese would say yes and he would look democratic, I presume) but since 2005 he has been against them.

"I was in favour of a referendum as Prime Minister, but it does make our lives (sic) with 27 member states in the EU more difficult. If a referendum had been held on the creation of the European Community or the introduction of the Euro, do you think these things would have passed?"

He added, "If you have signed a treaty, you should also ratify it." thus throwing democracy to the wind.

Excuse me whilst I have a short rant..

It seems to me that because JMB realises that some countries will vote no to the treaty, they should not have the opportunity to. He realises that the EC and the Euro are unpopular and that people do not want them, so they should not have the option of having a democratic opinion as it ruins the EU plans. He also is against unanimity in the Council, which is required now, as it means there is less chance of radical transfers of power going to the EU, as happened with Justice and Home Affairs, which would have seen police forces from other countries and EuroPol, who report to the Commission, having powers in other countries.

It's a single minded bureaucratic machine which wants to power on to a political superstate without the inconvenience of asking what the people who pay them think. I tell you, if this goes ahead, I'm emigrating!

As a colleague wrote to me:

"In Denmark, it will be politically impossible to avoid a referendum, but if we vote wrong we are used to being asked to vote again."

That's the tough this about democracy. In referendums, the ballot contains both "yes" and "no" and it is tricky to limit the possibilities on the ballot paper to "yes" and "yes please".

I'm sure they'll manage it, though...maybe by having a Head of State dinner in Brussels where it will be decided whether all 27 heads of state have to sign the Berlin Declaration, or whether the European Commission President, the European Parliament President and the Council President can do it. That means that our future would be decided by a Portuguese Kilroy and two Germans.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Well, I will know before you, but I'll make sure I pass the news on...

See also:

Brussels Journal


Expatica

EU-Serf

1 comment:

james higham said...

Yep, you've covered it here.

...To me, this just indicates that the EU will not be happy until they have a new treaty transferring more powers to the EU, and that the Dutch people have clearly done something wrong by voting No...

To me too.