EU Constitution a go

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EU Constitution a go

Post by Surlethe » 2009-10-03 02:25pm

WSJ news alert wrote:Irish voters approved the European Union's Lisbon Treaty, which will establish a permanent president and foreign minister for the EU, by a nearly 2-to-1 margin Saturday.

The final tally, with 67% voting in favor, marked a substantial shift of sentiment after the treaty was defeated last June. Irish government leaders, who strongly supported the treaty in a campaign that closely tied Ireland's economic future to the EU, were aided by strong voter turnout across the country. Finance minister Brian Lenihan said the "yes" vote is a "first step" toward economic recovery.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1254561 ... malertNEWS
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Dartzap » 2009-10-03 04:07pm

If Blair gets the presidency, Brown is going to blow a fuse and then slump over, sobbing into a scotch. It would be nice to know if we get a vote on the matter.... Labour and the Tories seem remarkably quiet on that issue these days.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Teebs » 2009-10-03 05:49pm

Dartzap wrote:If Blair gets the presidency, Brown is going to blow a fuse and then slump over, sobbing into a scotch. It would be nice to know if we get a vote on the matter.... Labour and the Tories seem remarkably quiet on that issue these days.
The Tories have been pretty clear I thought. If the constitution has not been ratified by the time they get into power then you get a vote (now it's just the Czechs that haven't ratified). If it has been then there will be no vote because the only way to get out of the treaty since Labour signed it would be to withdraw from the EU.

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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Captain Seafort » 2009-10-03 05:53pm

Teebs wrote:If it has been then there will be no vote
Not quite - they've said they "will not let matters rest there". Whatever the fuck that means
the only way to get out of the treaty since Labour signed it would be to withdraw from the EU.
Good. Bug out, renegotiate on the grounds of the old EEC (which, IIRC, is effectively the status the Swiss have got) and start running the country from Westminster for a change.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Teebs » 2009-10-03 06:21pm

Captain Seafort wrote:
Teebs wrote:If it has been then there will be no vote
Not quite - they've said they "will not let matters rest there". Whatever the fuck that means
That they won't do anything.
the only way to get out of the treaty since Labour signed it would be to withdraw from the EU.
Good. Bug out, renegotiate on the grounds of the old EEC (which, IIRC, is effectively the status the Swiss have got) and start running the country from Westminster for a change.[/quote]

Or as another way of looking at it, have to continue paying large fees to the EU and having to follow most of their laws anyway if we want to keep selling to them while losing out on our ability to wield massive influence within it by being one of the biggest countries by both economy and population.

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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Crown » 2009-10-03 07:06pm

Dartzap wrote:If Blair gets the presidency, Brown is going to blow a fuse and then slump over, sobbing into a scotch. It would be nice to know if we get a vote on the matter.... Labour and the Tories seem remarkably quiet on that issue these days.
If Blair does get the Presidency it just means that the rest of Europe want to make sure that the position;
  1. Fails
  2. Becomes a joke
Seriously, they guy is a joke since Iraq.

Although was it Cameron who did that parody of Gordon Brown's internal monologue at the thought of Blair getting the Presidency in the House of Commons? Because it was utterly childish, churlish, petulant, infantile and demeaning. Or to put it another way; class in the Westminster form of governance! :mrgreen:
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Thanas » 2009-10-03 07:13pm

Captain Seafort wrote:Good. Bug out, renegotiate on the grounds of the old EEC (which, IIRC, is effectively the status the Swiss have got) and start running the country from Westminster for a change.
The EU is not running Westminster, nor Britain. And anyone who believes so can kindly look at the law in question instead of swallowing the latest anti-EU propaganda hook, line and sinker.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Kane Starkiller » 2009-10-03 08:31pm

UK was always worried about loosing sovereignty to the EU. Imagine the complications if Washington had to go through Brussels the next time it was time for UK to follow US on some military adventure in the Middle East.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Thanas » 2009-10-03 08:33pm

Kane Starkiller wrote:UK was always worried about loosing sovereignty to the EU. Imagine the complications if Washington had to go through Brussels the next time it was time for UK to follow US on some military adventure in the Middle East.
Wow. Someone who did not read the constitution either.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Kane Starkiller » 2009-10-03 08:37pm

That was actually a joke directed at the British who are always concerned about the evil EU taking away their sovereignty while at the same time meekly following US around.
I know that the treaty itself is hardly a creation of a unified country or anything.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Straha » 2009-10-03 11:28pm

Dartzap wrote:If Blair gets the presidency, Brown is going to blow a fuse and then slump over, sobbing into a scotch. It would be nice to know if we get a vote on the matter.... Labour and the Tories seem remarkably quiet on that issue these days.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Simon_Jester » 2009-10-04 01:01am

I really hope this constitution works. I don't particularly doubt it will work, but Murphy's Law happens.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Aaron » 2009-10-04 02:37pm

I wonder how many more times they would have held a referendum before the EU finally gave up, provided the Irish had voted this down again.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Thanas » 2009-10-04 03:07pm

Not again. What would most likely have happened is that the sensible countries would have gone ahead on their own and left Ireland and the others to rot, aka the "don't want to be partners of it, fine, make do without our money. Oh, and how much influence did you want to have in European affairs again? Sorry, can't hear you over the sound of how poor you suddenly are." strategy often used by schoolchildren and superpowers.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Kane Starkiller » 2009-10-04 03:46pm

I doubt it. If the Ireland rejected it the treaty would be dead. If the willing countries went ahead EU would probably start fragmenting more and more with various countries adopting more and more "opt outs" and special arrangements. For example, had the Irish said no the opposition in UK, Poland and Czech Republic would have much stronger backing and there is no telling how many other countries might decide to change their minds.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Colonel Olrik » 2009-10-04 04:03pm

Kane Starkiller wrote:I doubt it. If the Ireland rejected it the treaty would be dead. If the willing countries went ahead EU would probably start fragmenting more and more with various countries adopting more and more "opt outs" and special arrangements. For example, had the Irish said no the opposition in UK, Poland and Czech Republic would have much stronger backing and there is no telling how many other countries might decide to change their minds.
I think that France, Germany, Italy, the BENELUX and Spain would/will push for further integration, and between these with a few go-along countries like Portugal, Greece, etc there's a very powerful block in the European playing field.

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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Thanas » 2009-10-04 04:13pm

Kane Starkiller wrote:I doubt it. If the Ireland rejected it the treaty would be dead. If the willing countries went ahead EU would probably start fragmenting more and more with various countries adopting more and more "opt outs" and special arrangements. For example, had the Irish said no the opposition in UK, Poland and Czech Republic would have much stronger backing and there is no telling how many other countries might decide to change their minds.

And then the block of the willing would simply say "thanks for playing, now sod off" and develop their own plans of the treaty, as has been several times announced by german, french and other nation's leaders and diplomats.

In short, what would have happened is that the old EU members, who first founded the EC would have gone ahead and left all the other countries that have no interest in the EU despite getting money behind. Let's see how Ireland likes state bankruptcy when the next wave of the financial crisis hits them. Let's see how the Czech deal with not having political representation in the commission anymore. You're either a part of the European community or you are not. There is no longer the option of receiving free handouts while giving nothing in return or blockading european initiatives. Poland's childish tantrums under Kaczysnki were bad enough and I for one do not have any more patience dealing with such idiots. Thankfully, at least Tusk keeps his promises.

As for the Czech, they hardly matter in the grand scheme of things. And since their president is one of those global-warming denying, right wing neoliberals Bush-friendly retards, they do not really look like sane opponents of the treaty anymore.
Colonel Olrik wrote:I think that France, Germany, Italy, the BENELUX and Spain would/will push for further integration, and between these with a few go-along countries like Portugal, Greece, etc there's a very powerful block.
And Olrik get it right.


There is no denying that there are problems with the EU when it comes to democractic representation. But sabotaging the first treaty that would give the EU anything that comes close to that is not the answer.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Kane Starkiller » 2009-10-04 04:41pm

So EU is an alliance you get kicked out of if you don't agree with the majority? Now, don't get me wrong, I support the deeper integration of the EU but if EU is going to dump members every time a member doesn't want to continue with deeper integration it isn't going to get very far.
Remember that Netherlands and France rejected EU constitution at a referendum. Are you so certain they would accept the new treaty if Ireland, UK, Poland and Czech Republic bailed out?
Not to mention that your statement about how "[Czech] hardly matter in the grand scheme of things" precisely embodies the fears of smaller members like Netherlands, Denmark, Slovakia etc. of being pushed around and pressured by the big members.
Again, I support the EU, my own country is a candidate but this kind of "you're welcome as long as you sit in a corner and do as you're told" attitude is precisely what could spell the demise of the Union regardless of whether current leaders of Poland and Czech Republic really are idiots.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Thanas » 2009-10-04 05:00pm

Kane Starkiller wrote:So EU is an alliance you get kicked out of if you don't agree with the majority?
Oh, a lovely strawman. No, you do get left behind if you act like a spoilt child and if you demand more than your fair share. But please, tell me what good rational argument is there against signing the treaty?

Now, don't get me wrong, I support the deeper integration of the EU but if EU is going to dump members every time a member doesn't want to continue with deeper integration it isn't going to get very far.
Another strawman to boot. You know as well as I do that 99% of the arguments against the treaty is simply scaremongering and groundless fears.
Remember that Netherlands and France rejected EU constitution at a referendum.
Which was a vote on national politics instead of a vote on the EU. The EU constitution was rejected because the french wanted to vote against Chirac, not against the EU.
Are you so certain they would accept the new treaty if Ireland, UK, Poland and Czech Republic bailed out?
Yes. And what is your evidence of Ireland, UK, Poland and the Czech bailing? Ireland is not going to bail, Poland likewise will not and as for the UK and the Czech, nobody knows at the moment.
Not to mention that your statement about how "[Czech] hardly matter in the grand scheme of things" precisely embodies the fears of smaller members like Netherlands, Denmark, Slovakia etc. of being pushed around and pressured by the big members.
Sod off. Nobody is pushing the Netherlands, Denmark or Slovakia around currently. Define being pushed around. If being pushed around means that the vote of every of your citizens counts a multitude more than the vote of a german or french citizen, then oh no, so sorry for them.
Again, I support the EU, my own country is a candidate
Which country is that?
but this kind of "you're welcome as long as you sit in a corner and do as you're told" attitude is precisely what could spell the demise of the Union regardless of whether current leaders of Poland and Czech Republic really are idiots.
And you are an idiot if you really think this is what happened. "You're welcome as long as you sit in a corner and do as you're told" has never been employed in the history of the European Union and you should know that.

But quite frankly, arguing with you is a waste of time. You clearly think the EU is a huge giant monster dominated by the eeevil french and germans who want to have all of Europe to do their bidding. Yeah, right. Too bad that is not reflected in any way by reality. Ireland, for example, has received more than 50 billions in subsidies. And what have they brought to the table in return?

This is not being pushed around. This is biting the hand that feeds them. The EU can do very well without Ireland. The opposite is clearly not the case.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Colonel Olrik » 2009-10-04 05:03pm

Kane Starkiller wrote:So EU is an alliance you get kicked out of if you don't agree with the majority? Now, don't get me wrong, I support the deeper integration of the EU but if EU is going to dump members every time a member doesn't want to continue with deeper integration it isn't going to get very far.

Not kick out, but in case of (possibly temporary) major differences countries are at times left behind. It has happened with the Euro currency and with the Schengen space. Now, there are advantages and disadvantages of being part of the Euro zone, but nobody cares too much about the, say, Danish Krona besides the Danes and the volatility of the the Pound affects British individuals and businesses around the World. Flying between Munich and Lisbon is a much more pleasant and faster experience than passing through multiple border checks in a Munich-London flight. Yet, all these countries remain in the EU.

In the case of Britain, there's a curious, widespread mentality of blaming the continent for all their problems. Funny that it's their own politicians that are hopelessly corrupt, and that the quality of life is increasingly better in the EU friendlier France and Germany than there.

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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Crown » 2009-10-04 05:04pm

Kane Starkiller wrote:So EU is an alliance you get kicked out of if you don't agree with the majority? Now, don't get me wrong, I support the deeper integration of the EU but if EU is going to dump members every time a member doesn't want to continue with deeper integration it isn't going to get very far.
Remember that Netherlands and France rejected EU constitution at a referendum. Are you so certain they would accept the new treaty if Ireland, UK, Poland and Czech Republic bailed out?
Not to mention that your statement about how "[Czech] hardly matter in the grand scheme of things" precisely embodies the fears of smaller members like Netherlands, Denmark, Slovakia etc. of being pushed around and pressured by the big members.
Again, I support the EU, my own country is a candidate but this kind of "you're welcome as long as you sit in a corner and do as you're told" attitude is precisely what could spell the demise of the Union regardless of whether current leaders of Poland and Czech Republic really are idiots.
I think you're making a very valid argument, but you're missing one salient fact that Thanas is trying to emphasise; Ireland owes it's entire economic success to the EU. Seriously, in the past 2 decades there was such a swing in its finances that it was dubbed 'The Emerald Tiger', simply due to its amazing GDP growth, why? The EU.

Frankly they received a lot from being members, and if they start to stall other members, then the EU will have to come to a crossroads;
  1. The majority bullying the minority in moving forward with greater integration.
  2. The minority checking the majority from greater integration.
  3. Fragmentation of the EU.
I would have to agree that C would be the 'fairest' outcome for all concerned, so what right do those that do not want integration have to whine about being left on the sidelines? They had a chance to join, they will still have a chance to join later, so where's the problem? It's not as if the Constitution is like a new thing.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Kane Starkiller » 2009-10-04 05:42pm

Thanas wrote:Oh, a lovely strawman. No, you do get left behind if you act like a spoilt child and if you demand more than your fair share. But please, tell me what good rational argument is there against signing the treaty?
What fair share? Countries joined the EU which had a certain nature. Now some want to change that nature but others don't. Why are those not wanting the change being "spoiled children"?
Thanas wrote:Another strawman to boot. You know as well as I do that 99% of the arguments against the treaty is simply scaremongering and groundless fears.
One of the changes is the switch from unanimity to qualified majority. A major sovereignty concession which I support but don't expect others to automatically support. I also think that it's up to the proposers to justify and clearly explain the benefits their countries get at the cost of certain degree of autonomy.
Thanas wrote:Which was a vote on national politics instead of a vote on the EU. The EU constitution was rejected because the french wanted to vote against Chirac, not against the EU.
They voted NO and I won't presume to read their thoughts and neither should you. The point is the issue is not as cut and dried for Netherlands and France as you think.
Thanas wrote:Yes. And what is your evidence of Ireland, UK, Poland and the Czech bailing? Ireland is not going to bail, Poland likewise will not and as for the UK and the Czech, nobody knows at the moment.
You seem intent on generating a conflict in opinion with me where none exists. I said, as you can see for yourself in previous posts, that HAD the Irish rejected the treaty the opposition in those countries would likely be greater thus it would not be as simple as leaving Ireland behind because that would cause the fragmentation of EU.
I do support the EU but I don't think there is a burning rush to revolutionize EU TODAY at the expense of other members. I see nothing wrong with two steps forward one step back approach if it will ultimately result in both current EU intact and deeper integration not today but in 5 years.
Thanas wrote:Sod off. Nobody is pushing the Netherlands, Denmark or Slovakia around currently. Define being pushed around. If being pushed around means that the vote of every of your citizens counts a multitude more than the vote of a german or french citizen, then oh no, so sorry for them.
Are you arguing that many smaller countries don't feel pushed around? I never said that that perception is true merely that it exists and it could undermine the Union. I honestly don't see why you feel the need to attack me personally for pointing out sentiments that are known to exist in smaller countries.
Thanas wrote:Which country is that?
Croatia.
Thanas wrote:And you are an idiot if you really think this is what happened. "You're welcome as long as you sit in a corner and do as you're told" has never been employed in the history of the European Union and you should know that.

But quite frankly, arguing with you is a waste of time. You clearly think the EU is a huge giant monster dominated by the eeevil french and germans who want to have all of Europe to do their bidding. Yeah, right. Too bad that is not reflected in any way by reality. Ireland, for example, has received more than 50 billions in subsidies. And what have they brought to the table in return?

This is not being pushed around. This is biting the hand that feeds them. The EU can do very well without Ireland. The opposite is clearly not the case.
Let me tell you something about my country. As part of the negotiations for EU accession one of the terms was to allow EU firms free movement in our market. One of the consequences of that is that practically the entire banking sector is now owned by Raiffesen bank, Erste Steiermerkishe bank, Hypo Alpe adria bank, Intesa Sanpaolo (Italy), Unicredit Group (Italy) and Societe Generale. Our national telecommunication company was bought by T-Com as an other example. Huge chunks of our country were easily bought off by interests in Germany, France, Italy and Austria directly as a result of relaxation of regulations as terms of entry into EU and this is not unique to our country. The process was previously replicated in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia etc. And you sit there telling me they brought "nothing to the table" because of the piddly subsidies you gave them while buying their entire economies.
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Surlethe » 2009-10-04 05:51pm

Questions: under this constitution, will Europe be a free-trade zone? Is it already?
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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Colonel Olrik » 2009-10-04 06:00pm

The subsidies are huge, not piddly, and if your banking and comunication sectors got bought you could have done something about it. Some smaller countries still have strong central banks, for example. If Portugal can havemajor national banks so can Croatia.

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Re: EU Constitution a go

Post by Kane Starkiller » 2009-10-04 06:01pm

I'm not complaining but saying that BOTH sides have benefited from the EU expansion not just the new entries as Thanas is claiming.
EDIT: Of course Croatia has a National bank, every country does however most of the market was bought off by west since they had far more money and we had to relax national barriers because of EU entry negotiations.
Last edited by Kane Starkiller on 2009-10-04 06:04pm, edited 1 time in total.
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