[pp.int.general] Lissabon Treaty: very bad news

Reinier Bakels r.bakels at planet.nl
Wed Apr 23 14:19:20 CEST 2008

> 2008/4/23 Arend Lammertink <lamare at tuks.nl>:
>>  First of all, we're gonna have to stop this new treaty, which means
>>  minimally *one* EU country will have to reject the ratification of this.
>>  Best changes would be Ireland, because these at least have a referendum,
>>  but in other countries there's always the parliament. Second best
>>  chances would be The Netherlands and France, since their population
>>  already said "No" to basically the exact same shit.
> Too late for us :(
> (who said "democracy?)
It is very confusing. There is actually no reason whatsoever to be opposed 
against ANY constitution for the EU (as the Dutch thought): a constitution 
is similar to the statutes of a club: it regulates the internal 

Due to the incorrect focus, no attention was paid to the content of the 
proposed constititution. But given the complexicty of any constitution, 
could the citizens be expect to have a proper judgement about its contents? 
Well, no politician will ever say that citizens lack the knowledge to judge. 
But I do. I am a lawyer and even I find it utterly complicated. How to solve 
such a problem? The standard solution is *representative democacy*: elected 
politicians are supposed to digest law proposals and to pinpoint problems in 
the publica debate.

Still I am no an unconditional supporter of the EU, far from that. Yes, I 
acknowledge the need for more cooperation between EU member states. I am 
strongly opposed against the return of nationalism. History has shown than 
nationalism is bad. It is a reason to make war. Still there is no reason to 
oppose against a federal Europe per se. Federal states like Germany and the 
US ae characterised by loose rather than strong ties between their 
(internal) member states, as opposed to non-federal states such as The 
Netherlands or France. Belgium and Spain have become federal states fairly 
recently in order to solve internal problems, by giving more power to their 
internal member states.

For the EU, the devil is in the details, not in the principles. The European 
Parliament is disfunctional: it is invisible, no one knows hat they are 
doing, and media coverage is minimal. This leads to the "democatic deficit" 
problem. And the sensitivity of the EU to lobbyists. Another issue is the 
Commission which is a kind of government that is no government. Those 
problems must be attacked.


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