Search site
WORKERS RIGHTS
RIGHT TO STRIKE?
MANUFACTURING
DEMOCRACY
PUBLIC SERVICES
HEALTH
PENSIONS
TRANSPORT
CIVIL LIBERTIES
MILITARISATION
 

One of the greatest concerns is that the constitution would effectively turn the EU into a state in its own right, constituting a single legal, economic and military area governed by EU rules. Such moves would fatally undermine democracy in the member states and transfer huge powers to EU institutions.

Labour MP Gisela Stuart was Tony Blair's representative on the Convention which drew up the original Constitution. However, she denounced the Constitution for its lack of democracy when it finally appeared.

She now warns that the new treaty would incorporate the European Council - the summit meetings of EU heads of government - into EU structures for the first time, imposing a legal obligation on EU leaders to "promote its values, advance its objectives, serve its interests" rather than those of member states.

The European Council was originally set up in 1974 as an informal intergovernmental forum for heads of EU member states to meet. Under the Renamed Constitution it will, in effect, become the "Cabinet" of the new government of Europe.

Stuart argues: "It used to be that leaders met in order to co-ordinate the interest of the nation states. Under this new structure, that body where heads of state meet will become subordinate to the Union's interests. "They will now have a duty to represent the interests of the Union, not the interests of the member state. It's a consolidation of the way the Union works into a structure which is much more like a government," she says.

We will all become citizens of the EU state and citizenship of the new EU state would be the higher political and legal authority. EU law would override national law in any case of conflict between the two except, of course, trade union rights which are covered by national laws under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. In other words, draconian Tory anti-union laws would still be in place in the UK.

Gisela Stuart also says that the new treaty is essentially the same as the original EU Constitution. "The main constitutional arrangements, such as giving the union a single legal personality so that it can enter into treaties itself - that's all still there," she says.

The new treaty would hand the EU its own legal personality and distinct corporate existence for the first time. This would enable it to sign treaties with others states and to be different from and superior to its member states, just as the United States is different from and superior to California, Kansas. etc. It would also enable the new EU to have its own foreign minister and diplomatic corps, its own public prosecutor and federal police force and take over all the powers and institutions of the existing European Community.

This will increase the amount of laws that enjoy no electoral mandate within member states. Moreover, infamous undemocratic EU practices, such as the unelected Commission having the monopoly right to initiate new laws, is set in stone under Article 1V-444. As a result, unelected bodies will have control over most aspects of our political, economic and social life and legislative framework.

Article III-188 and Protocol 4, Chapter 3, Article 7 also confirms articles are designed to insulate the European Central Bank and the management of the euro from any democratic pressure. For instance it says "when exercising the powers and carrying out the tasks and duties conferred upon them by the Constitution and this Statute, neither the European Central Bank, nor a national central bank. shall seek or take instructions from Union(EU) institutions, bodies, offices or agencies, from any government of a Member State or from any other body. The Union institutions .. and the governments of the Member States undertake to respect this principle and not seek to influence the members of the decision-making bodies of the European Central Bank".

So even if the policies being pursued by the ECB are having devastating effects in relation to a member states economy, its elected government and representatives in the European Parliament are forbidden to try and pressure for a change of policy.

This is the situation that now confronts the people of Germany who are experiencing five million unemployed and an interest rate that is too high. All this will further contribute to the growing sense of political alienation that voters feel towards both the EU and the political system in general.

Such levels of disillusionment will lead to the growing appeal of opportunist far right wing groups and feed the poison of chauvinism and racism.


  SUBSCRIBE TO NEWS DIGEST
NEWS ARCHIVE
ARTICLES/MOTIONS/SPEECHES
BOB CROW SAYS
USEFUL LINKS
CONTACT US