Lisbon Treaty is Deception of Angela Merkel

Autor: Jens-Peter Bonde | Publikováno: 3.6.2008 | Rubrika: English
EU da ruda

The Constitutional Committee of the European Parliament has just had a delegation in Berlin to follow the negotiations on resurrecting the rejected EU Constitution.

The German presidency has sent twelve questions to the Member states and has received an answer from all 27 of them. The presidency now knows which countries can accept the whole constitution and which countries will ask for what changes in order to adopt the text without a referendum.

The exercise has one overriding agenda: avoid referenda. It is stated quite clearly during meetings that the French and the Dutch voted the wrong way. Now we must rescue as much as possible of the rejected text in a new packaging.

The British government is the most restrictive and wants visible changes which do not change too much. Which changes is not important. The important thing is for Mr. Blair to justify cancelling the referendum in the UK without his successor being thrashed by the electorate.

Denmark can obtain exemptions where necessary to avoid a Danish referendum which might give other countries the idea that they might have a referendum as well.

One and a half Member states do not want to make the charter on joint fundamental rights legally binding. Other countries will not give up on this obligation. The solution may be a protocol which is binding only for the countries signing it.

It is all without any importance as the Court of Justice already has made it legally binding.

The Court of Justice has also declared that all the EU-Treaties form a constitutional system having primacy over Member States' constitutions. The express reference to primacy of EU legislation can therefore be deleted without is having any effect on content.

The EU flag, the EU hymn and the EU national day can also be maintained without being mentioned. The EU foreign minister will get a different name but have the same powers.

The core part with 59 new areas with qualified majority will be mainly maintained, perhaps with a few limitations for presentational reasons in the UK and perhaps with exemptions for countries that need it.

There is talk about flexibility through opt outs and opt ins where countries can chose not to participate in co-operation or chose to participate in areas where not all countries participate.

Troublesome countries will not be allowed to block the constitution. They will only be allowed to change their own status according to the plans hatched in Berlin. If a country still tries to block, the presidency threatens to use the articles in the Nice Treaty on reinforced co-operation. Then a Union within the Union will be created.

The whole exercise is planned to be terminated on 22 June at the summit in Brussels. Here the political compromises will be adopted and it will also be decided what is still open to negotiations during a so-called intergovernmental conference.

The Conference will not be given any political tasks but will only be charged with putting words to the compromises and with playing to the gallery in those countries where this is necessary.

The German negotiators are very understanding, very helpful and very creative, as long as obstacles are being removed. They will under no circumstances open up for negotiations on the institutional package in the constitution. The system of double majority which gives Germany the biggest weighting in the EU is not open for negotiation.

Poland may fight for its much more logical and fair square root voting system. It is complicated and without a chance of being accepted.

The Germans have made other countries tell Poland that this is non-negotiable. The German Chancellor and her aides are in complete control of the whole process. They keep all the cards very close to their chest and insist on confidentiality in all countries.

Mrs. Merkel plans to lead the summit by asking for all reservations to be put on the table and to wear down the insubordinate countries by refuting their reservations point by point. On the Charter, she will say that 25 1/2 countries want to make it legally binding whereas 1 1/2 countries would prefer to wait. There is therefore consensus to make it legally binding but we may do it by inserting a reference or a particular protocol which some countries can then omit to print in their version of the constitution, sorry the Mini Treaty.

This is the way she will proceed. After a few hours all conclusions will have been drawn. The rest are technical mattes that can be terminated during the Portuguese presidency and ratified during the Slovenian and French presidencies and then enter into force before the European elections in June 2009.

Mrs Merkel has already made a deal with the new French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair. There is also a fat job for Mr. Blair as a reward for dropping the British referendum. He may become the permanent chairman, President, of the European Council. Or president of the next Commission - as Mr. Sarkozy has suggested to the present president Mr. Barroso - much to his surprise.

My concurrent rumours are strong but not necessarily precise because negotiations are still going on in the corridors. There is agreement, however, on avoiding all referenda apart from Ireland, where it is unavoidable. Poland and the Czech Republic have accepted to participate in the intergovernmental conference even if it may be decided on the 22 June against their public votes.

The participants talk about avoiding referenda and subjugating the uncooperative Member States in such a cynical way that it is hard to believe that we live in parliamentary democracies.

Maybe this Machiavellian road is passable for some time. But it also involves the risk of political disillusionment at a level never seen before and at any rate, it will not create the public backing which we need for the necessary European and international co-operation.

 

http://www.bonde.com/

 

Irsko a Lisabon

 

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