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

Reinier Bakels r.bakels at planet.nl
Wed Apr 23 17:41:08 CEST 2008

The Council is democratically controlled as well. We have to blame the 
ministers. In particular in the swpat case you refer to. The minister at the 
time, Brinkhorst, is generally known to be the most arrogant man on earth 
and beyond, especially since his daughter married a son of the queen and 
therefore is now a princess. But he is retired. Incidentally, I have been 
told it always works like this: council meetings are prepared by government 
officials outside the limelights of political scrutiny, and the ministers 
only say "yes" or "no", preferably during nice dinner, drinking lots of 
But effectively, the *national* governments are to blame for this part of 
the democratic deficit.
The Council/Parliament dichotomy was modelled after the German 
Bundestag/Bundesrat scheme, and there it is an effective checks and balances 
machine. Actually it works wo well, that people started complaining that the 
decision making process stalled, in particular in the Schröder era. But the 
German system is designed not to make hasty decisions ... for historic 

Groeten, Grüße, Regards, Cordialement, Hälsningar, Ciao, Saygilar, 
Üdvözlettel, Pozdrowienia, Kumusta, Adios, Oan't sjen, Ave, Doei, Yassou, 
private: Johan Willem Frisostraat 149, 2713 CC Zoetermeer, The Netherlands 
telephone: +31 79 316 3126, GSM ("Handy") +31 6 4988 6490,  fax +31 79 316 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Arend Lammertink" <lamare at tuks.nl>
To: "Pirate Parties International -- General Talk" 
<pp.international.general at lists.pirateweb.net>
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 5:24 PM
Subject: Re: [pp.int.general] Lissabon Treaty: very bad news

Reinier Bakels schreef:
>> 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
> organisation.

No, but it is wrong to adapt a constitution that crosses the rubicon in
the sense that it puts all the legislative power into the hands of three
institutions (Parliament, Council and Commission) of which only one is
effectively democratically controlled *and* at the same time over-rules
the constitutions of the member states. That basically ends democracy in

As we have seen in the softwarepatent debate, the Council has never ever
re-voted on a so-called A-item and in our particular case it simply
ignored the expressly stated wish of two national parliaments at a way
basically breaking about all of their procedures. According to Prof.
Lenz they  even voted without voting!! :


"Of course, maybe Mr. Krecké possesses some extraordinary telepathic
powers we don’t know about. He might be able to read the minds of all
other delegates. In that case, their vote would reach him in this way,
and he was not just stating his personal opinion about the result of a
non-existing vote.

It would also be interesting to find out if at that particular moment
the results of a vote were "indicated by visual means" as required by
Article 8 Paragraph 1 b) of the Rules of Procedure.

If we rule out the telepathy possibility, I would like to ask some
simple questions.

When and how exactly did Spain vote against this proposal in Monday’s
Council session?

When and how exactly did Austria, Belgium and Italy abstain from their
vote in Monday’s Council session?

When and how exactly did Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark
vote for this proposal in Monday’s session?

The answer to these questions does not seem to be easy.

They are crucial however for the further debate in those Member States
where the delegates are counted to have voted against the expressly
stated wish of national Parliaments."

> 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?

Can the members of the Council be expected to have a proper judgement
abouts its contents, when there is no *consolidated* version available
at the time of signing?

The English version is dated april 15, 2008:


"This publication contains the consolidated versions of the Treaty on
European Union and of the Treaty on the
Functioning of the European Union, together with the annexes and
protocols thereto, as they will result from the
amendments introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon, signed on 13 December
2007 in Lisbon. It also contains the
declarations annexed to the Final Act of the Intergovernmental
Conference which adopted the Treaty of Lisbon."

So, at the time of signing, no minister even READ the treaty, because it
couldn't be read at that time, since it consisted of about 300 pages of
amendments to multiple documents totalling over 3000 pages, according to
this video:


> 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.

At least you can make sure to actualle *tell* the public what the
supposed constitution actually *does*, which is to create a European
federation in which democracy is no longer guaranteed, but optional. The
Council and the Commission have the power with this treaty to decide for
themselves wether they want to obey to the wish of the elected
representatives or not. That is not a democracy, that is a dictatorship!

> 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.

Exactly. And as long as the treaty cannot "prove" to experts as Prof.
Anthony Coughlan <http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/2773> that it
guarantees proper democratic principles, the treaty should not be
ratified. Period.

-- Arend --

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