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The EU Constitution

Discussion in 'News' started by H. Lecter, May 28, 2005.

  1. H. Lecter

    H. Lecter Senior Member

    Joined: Sep 15, 2004 Messages: 1,844 Likes Received: 4
    Sorry about the last one,
    I've never made a poll..


    Comments...
     
  2. isor357

    isor357 Senior Member

    Joined: Oct 8, 2004 Messages: 2,491 Likes Received: 3
  3. I deleted the other one for your convenience.

    You might want to be a little more specific on what you want people to vote about.
     
  4. nome_415

    nome_415 New Jack

    Joined: May 8, 2005 Messages: 3 Likes Received: 0
    what is this about??? :what:
     
  5. goojapan

    goojapan New Jack

    Joined: May 15, 2005 Messages: 1 Likes Received: 0
    Not to sound like a dick, but if you don't immediately understand what the vote is about then this poll was'nt made for you and you should'nt be voting.


    For the record,

    This is a poll concerning The Ratifacation of the European Union Constitution.


    Yes- for it
    No - against it

    Please Only Vote if you are an EU CITIZEN
    otherwise the whole purpose is defeated..
    if you've an opinion but are'nt an EU citizen, feel free to post comments...

    thanks all..
     
  6. H. Lecter

    H. Lecter Senior Member

    Joined: Sep 15, 2004 Messages: 1,844 Likes Received: 4
    From BBCnews.co.uk....


    Constitution full text (1MB)
    Constitution in full (PDF link)

    The constitution brings together for the first time the many treaties and agreements on which the EU is based. It defines the powers of the EU, stating where it can and act and where the member states retain their right of veto.

    It also defines the role of the EU institutions.

    Click on the headings below to find out the constitution says, and what it means:

    Powers of the EU
    Division of responsibilities
    Decision making
    Qualified majority voting
    President
    Foreign Minister

    Foreign and defence policy
    Reform of the Commission
    European Parliament
    Fundamental Rights
    Legal Supremacy
    Leaving the EU

    POWERS OF THE EU

    What the constitution says:

    The Union is said to be subsidiary to member states and can act only in those areas where "the objectives of the intended action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the member states but can rather... be better achieved at Union level." The principle is established that the Union derives its powers from the member states.

    What it means:

    The idea is to stop the Union from encroaching on the rights of member states other than in areas where the members have given them away. Critics say that the EU can act in so many areas that this clause does not mean much but supporters say it will act as a brake and is an important constitutional principle.

    Back to top

    DIVISION OF RESPONSIBILITIES

    What the constitution says:

    The EU already has rights to legislate over external trade and customs policy, the internal market, the monetary policy of countries in the eurozone, agriculture and fisheries and many areas of domestic law including the environment and health and safety at work.

    The constitution will extend its rights into some new areas, perhaps most importantly into justice policy, especially asylum and immigration. It does away with the old structure of pillars under which some policies came under the EU and some under "inter-governmental" arrangements.

    What it means:

    It means a greater role for the EU in more aspects of life. In some areas, the EU will have exclusive competence, in others a shared competence and in yet more, only supporting role.

    Back to top

    DECISION MAKING

    What the constitution says:

    The principle of voting by qualified majority will be generally applied. It is felt that otherwise getting the agreement of all 25 members would be a recipe for inaction. There will however be a veto for members in foreign policy, defence and taxation. And there is to be what's called an "emergency brake" in which a country outvoted on an issue can take its case to the European Council, though it can still be outvoted there. The European Parliament will have an equal say on decisions requiring majority voting.

    Back to top

    QUALIFIED MAJORITY VOTING (QMV)

    What the constitution says:

    "A qualified majority shall be defined as at least 55% of the members of the Council, comprising at least 15 of them and representing Member States comprising at least 65% of the population of the Union."

    What it means:

    This system replaces the old one under which countries got specific numbers of votes. There were objections that Spain and Poland had too many votes and this methods is felt to represent a fairer balance between large and small countries. The new one will still lead to complicated permutations of voting but the final results of the "double majority" should command more general respect.

    An amendment does away with a proposed procedure under which the European Council could have changed an area of policy to QMV. Now such a proposal will have to go before national parliaments and if one objects the measure fails.

    Back to top

    PRESIDENT

    What the constitution says:

    The European Council, that is the heads of state or government of the member states, "shall elect its President, by qualified majority, for a term of two and a half years, renewable once." The candidate will then have to be approved by the European Parliament. The President will "chair (the Council) and drive its work forward and ensure, at his level, the external representation of the Union."

    What it means:

    This is a new post. At the moment, the Council presidency rotates through the member states every six months, so continuity is lost. The new President will therefore be a permanent figure with much greater influence and symbolism. But since he or she will be subject to the Council, the powers of the post are limited.

    Back to top

    FOREIGN MINISTER

    What the constitution says:

    "The European Council, deciding by qualified majority, with the agreement of the president of the Commission, shall appoint the Union Minister of Foreign Affairs... [who] shall conduct the Union's common foreign and security policy."

    What it means:

    It sounds grand, but the minister will only be able to speak on the EU's behalf when there is an agreed or common policy, for example over the Middle East roadmap which members have accepted. The post will combine the present roles of the external affairs member of the Commission with the High Representative on foreign policy so it will be more prominent, especially in negotiating trade and aid agreements. The EU is also to set up its diplomatic service which will strengthen the Minister's hand.

    Back to top

    FOREIGN AND DEFENCE POLICY

    What the constitution says:

    "The Union shall have competence to define and implement a common foreign and security policy, including the progressive framing of a common defence policy."

    What it means:

    It does not mean that a common foreign or defence policy will be imposed on member states. Each one will retain a right of veto and can go its own way. There is nothing that could stop divisions over Iraq for example. The aim however is to agree on as much as possible. Defence is even more sensitive and has been ring-fenced by references to the primacy of Nato for relevant members.

    Back to top

    REFORM OF THE COMMISSION

    What it says:

    The Commission, the body which proposes and executes EU laws, "will consist of one national from each Member State" for its first term of five years starting in November 2004. After that it will be slimmed down to "a number of members... corresponding to two thirds of the number of Member States, unless the European Council, acting unanimously, decides to alter this figure."

    What it means:

    As a transitional measure to reduce the fears of small states that they will be ignored, each member state will have a Commissioner (only one each) from November. The idea after five years is to slim down the Commission from 25 to 18 (or one or two more if there are more member states by then). It is felt that the current Commission is too big with not enough jobs to go round.



    EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

    What the constitution says:

    The European Parliament is to have powers of "co-decision" with the Council of Ministers for those policies requiring a decision by qualified majority.

    What it means:

    The European Parliament has over the years acquired real power and the constitution confirms this. If the parliament does not agree to a piece of relevant legislation, it will not pass. This idea is to strengthen democracy because the parliament is the only EU institution in which voters have a direct say.



    CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

    What the constitution says:

    It sets out "rights, freedoms and principles." These include a whole list from the right to life and the right to liberty down to the right to strike.

    What it means:

    The Charter is wide-ranging but has to be tested in the courts before its exact status is established. The British government says that rules for interpreting the Charter mean, for example, that national laws on industrial relations will not be affected.



    LEGAL SUPREMACY

    What the constitution says:

    The EU will for the first time have a "legal personality" and its laws will trump those of national parliaments: "The Constitution and law adopted by the Union institutions in exercising competence conferred upon it by the Constitution shall have primacy over the law of the member states."

    What it means:

    This really just confirms the status quo, which is that if the EU is allowed to legislate in an area of policy, its law will overtake any national laws. Equally in areas where it does not legislate, national law prevails.

    By having a "legal personality", the EU will be able, as an organisation, to enter into international agreements. The old European Community had this right but the EU as a whole did not so its status in world diplomacy increases.


    LEAVING THE EU

    What the constitution says:

    A new procedure describes how a member would leave the EU: " A member state which decides to withdraw shall notify the Council of its intention... The Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that state, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal."

    What it means:

    It was always the case that a member state could leave by simply repealing its own legislation. Now there is a formal procedure designed to show that the EU is a voluntary association. However a departing member would have to agree terms so there is an implied threat that it would not be that easy.

    This clause is presumably designed never to be used










    --------------------------------------------------
    The arguements lay between those who truely want a unifed Europe and those who prefer extended sovreignty...
    and those who support a free-market system and those who support protectionist markets.



    please only vote if you are an EU citizen,
    otherwise feel free to post comments...
     
  7. sneak

    sneak Guest

    im an EU citizen, and i have heard about this.
    france are at the polls today right??

    other than that i know fuck all about it. and i pride myself on being one of those people who are usually abreast of these things. i blame the govt. for not telling me more!
     
  8. tsuifuku

    tsuifuku Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 19, 2005 Messages: 204 Likes Received: 0
  9. H. Lecter

    H. Lecter Senior Member

    Joined: Sep 15, 2004 Messages: 1,844 Likes Received: 4
  10. H. Lecter

    H. Lecter Senior Member

    Joined: Sep 15, 2004 Messages: 1,844 Likes Received: 4
  11. H. Lecter

    H. Lecter Senior Member

    Joined: Sep 15, 2004 Messages: 1,844 Likes Received: 4
    I have to say the amount of interest that this subject got it disappointing...
     
  12. Shain Caw

    Shain Caw Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 29, 2004 Messages: 100 Likes Received: 0
    I voted No, not sure why as I'm already disillusioned with England as it is.
     
  13. KaBar2

    KaBar2 Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 27, 2003 Messages: 2,122 Likes Received: 60
    I'm not in Europe, but my newspaper says that France and the Netherlands voted "No thanks." Who knows, they still might create an EU at some point, but to me it looks like some of the populations of some major players are not too happy with the loss of national sovereignity and LOCAL CONTROL. And the Euro took a plunge against the dollar when the vote came in. Has it recovered yet?
     
  14. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
  15. EUROne

    EUROne Senior Member

    Joined: Jan 28, 2005 Messages: 1,635 Likes Received: 0
    FRANCE is really stupid to say no to the constitution, they are going to be isolate in Europe,
    I think E.U MUST work and have a constitution together, to be a stronger force.
    I am french and I am very dissapointed because I know most of the NO are against the president Chirac who supported it...It was a way to contest and critict the actual government.
    UNE SEULE SOLUTION LA REVOLUTION :hatred:
     
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