Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
EU Qualified Majority Voting
The Treaty of Amsterdam extended the scope of qualified majority voting to the Council. Since it entered into force on 1 May 1999, the Council has adopted most legislative instruments by qualified majority, in codecision with the European Parliament.
However, the unanimity rule still applies in the case of 73 articles. With a membership of 27 countries after enlargement, this could paralyse the Union, as its greater size and diversity would make unanimity increasingly difficult to achieve. ........... The Nice Treaty introduced qualified majority voting into some 30 provisions.
Note especially this strange reference from the same EU explanation on the Nice Treaty voting changes:
Article 40A - Enhanced cooperation in the area of police and judicial cooperation
The Treaty of Nice maintains qualified majority voting for authorisation by the Council of enhanced cooperation in the area of police and judicial cooperation. The right of veto by a Member State has been dropped.
Unanimity versus Majority Voting
Thursday, May 24, 2007
More haste less sovereignty!
Sarkozy said Wednesday that efforts to build a consensus around a more modest constitutional treaty were "making headway."
"We need to move forward, and a simplified treaty is the way forward," he said.
The simplified treaty he outlined during his election campaign would strip out all the symbolic language from the original charter and retain only major institutional changes aimed at streamlining decision-making, chief among them a stable presidency that would replace the current rotating one; an EU foreign minister, though possibly with a less contentious title; and an extension of qualified majority voting to areas like immigration, where unanimity rules often block decisions.
Crucially, Sarkozy has pledged to ratify the new treaty in a parliamentary vote rather than by referendum.
Sarkozy's spokesman, David Martinon, said: "A simplified treaty is the most credible working hypothesis. It's the only solution that can deal with the institutional crisis swiftly."So far, the EU remains split on the matter. France's idea of a bare-bones document is shared by the Netherlands, which also rejected the constitution in a referendum two years ago. The need for speed is highly suspect and indicates a drive to complete the sovereignty sell-out while the departing Blair can shoulder any subsequent blame without crippling future Labour Party electability. The response to the question about Gordon Brown attending the Berlin meeting quoted in the post below, adds support to that theory.
Britain and Sarkozy's fast-tracked simplified constitution
Andrew Mackinlay (Thurrock) (Lab): Will the Prime Minister invite the Chancellor of the Exchequer to accompany him to the European Union summit? Does he realise that not to do so would appear churlish and discourteous and that the British people require that the Prime Minister-elect be there, accompanying him and sharing in decisions that cannot be reversed?
The Prime Minister: I assure my hon. Friend that the position that is taken in the European summit will be the position of the Government. We have already set out that position: we do not want a constitutional treaty; we want a simplifying amending treaty, and I am sure that we will manage to get it.
================================================The following is the opening of the latest electronic newsletter from Brussels by Roger Helmer MEP:
Angela Merkel and the Constitution
The German Presidency has sent out an interrogatory to member states about reintroducing the EU Constitution. It proposes "using different terminology without changing the legal substance, for example with regard to the title, the denomination of legal acts and the Minister for Foreign Affairs", and also "replacing the Charter of Fundamental Rights with a short cross reference having the same legal value" (my emphasis).
This is dishonest. It is downright deliberate deceit. They will tell us that it is a new, less threatening "treaty" when they know that the legal effect is unchanged. They will subvert the independence of our country with a lie. Words fail me. But to be forewarned is to be forearmed.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Sarkozy's mini-Treaty ploughs on
Sarkozy's inaugural visit to EU headquarters was part of an accelerating drive led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to seek a deal at the June 21-22 Brussels summit.
Barroso told reporters a consensus was emerging among EU leaders in support of Sarkozy's idea of a simplified treaty.
Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, whose country also voted against the constitution in 2005, told the European Parliament he was sure a compromise on a slimmed-down treaty was possible, provided national parliaments were given more say.
In another sign of improving prospects for an agreement, Poland's Eurosceptical foreign minister, Anna Fotyga, said she was "moderately optimistic" a deal could be reached next month.
Sarkozy said the treaty should contain core reforms in the defunct constitution, such as a long-term president of the EU, a foreign minister and a streamlined voting system. France would ratify it by parliament rather than risking another referendum.
Strengthening signs for a Sovereignty Sellout
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Constitutional Treaty Chaos
Monday, May 14, 2007
No Intergovernmental Conference on Constitution replacement?
Ms Merkel, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency, spent the weekend in talks with her Portuguese and Slovenian counterparts – next in line for the hot seat – as well as José Manuel Barroso, European Commission president, and Hans-Gert Pottering, European parliament president.
Already the strategy is clear. Ms Merkel wants the June summit to agree all but the finest details of a new treaty to replace the constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005, focusing on modernising EU rules and institutions.
The deal would be done at the first European summit attended by Nicolas Sarkozy, incoming French president, and the last attended by Tony Blair, UK prime minister. Crucially for Ms Merkel, the sceptical Gordon Brown, Mr Blair’s presumed successor, would still be in the wings.
“Sarkozy is the best outcome for Merkel because of speed,” says a Berlin-based diplomat. “He’s committed to agreeing a new treaty quickly and to have it ratified quickly in parliament.”José Socrates, Portuguese prime minister, told the Financial Times he was “confident” of a positive outcome at the June summit. Although refusing to set out a timetable for the subsequent Intergovernmental Conference under his presidency, he said: “I would prefer it to be done in a rapid way.”Maybe the new procedures to speed and ease EU administration will simply be agreed within the European Council and implemented without the wider public ever knowing exactlywhat they might be?
Labels: EU Constitution
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Waiting for Gordon
Labels: Union Jack
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Blair meets Sarkozy
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Blair - Britain's last Prime Minister
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Metric Martyr Victory - BBC Shame
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Blair's final treachery
The latter will see Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, put forward a new set of proposals for a Brussels power-grab which would not need to be endorsed by referendums in member states.
Two years ago, a formal EU constitution, signed by all member states, was scrapped after "No" votes in referendums in France and Germany. (Editors note - actually it was Holland, so much for the accuracy of modern journalism and Patrick Hennessy Political Editor of the Sunday Telegraph in particular!)
Civil servants fear Mr Blair will sign up to moves extending the 48-hour maximum working week to more people, which business believes could cost £9 billion, and plans to give European judges greater say over Britain's criminal law.The proposals would also lead to a permanent and powerful EU president and a "foreign minister" with a seat on the UN Security Council. None of this should come as a surprise. Indeed Nicolas Sarkozy in his televised debate this week spelt out precisely what was about to occur as this blog reported here AND indeed has been warning over many months. Sarkozy by announcing his intention to sign up to such arrangements in advance of his election has at a stroke negated the earlier French rejection of the Constitution, the Dutch are small enough to be ignored, the Germans were never going to be asked and Britain as usual will be kept in the dark by its treacherous leaders, bought and cowed MPs and supine media. Leading civil servants and Whitehall officials, courtesy of the Sunday Telegraph, might at last have summoned the courage to warn of what is afoot, but where is a leader of any opposition who is ready to fight by any means to prevent such an unconstitutional betrayal?