Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

That damn constitution

I was going to do something on the EU constitution again the other day, as Angela Merkel’s recently reiterated her intention to use the German presidency of the EU to kick-start the stalled talks when she takes over the reigns on 1st January. (Not that this means anything much, mind – that’s what every incoming EU president’s said since the “no” votes in the French and Dutch referenda last year…)

In the end, I honestly couldn’t be bothered. Luckily, now Richard Corbett’s come out with the most succinct explanation of why the constitution was important that I’ve seen in quite a while:

“The EU’s machinery has not yet been adapted to having nearly 30 Member States. The constitutional treaty was intended to do that… It is in Britain’s interest to support changes such as streamlining the size of the European Commission, re-weighting the votes in the Council of Ministers better to reflect the size of each country, enhancing parliamentary scrutiny, and many other of the useful reforms contained in the constitutional treaty.”

It doesn’t have to be that constitution but – as unweildy and tedious as it may have been – the constitution rejected by France and the Netherlands did, at least, suggest (moderately) sensible solutions to a lot of the problems. Corbett may be a Labour MEP, and the site he links to giving a run-down of the possible ways forward may be from the Labour Movement for Europe, but this is all sensible stuff.


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