Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

European Constitution

  1. May 29, 2005 #1

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Now that the French have voted against the constitution, what will be the future of it?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 29, 2005 #2
    Yes Yes Yes!! What a pile of S***e that constitution was. The EU is undemocratic, ruled by an unelected elite and is living in a socialist 1950/60s kind of world. It sucked.

    Thank you France for voting no. We would have too, but the Uk is ignored when it points out problems with Europe.

    What willhappen? The unelected elite will carry on as if nothing had happened. They are so out of touch with the people of Europe. Yesterday, was the high point of that monstous entity the EU - it is all downhill from here. I'll give you odds of 50:1 that Italy isn't using the Euro currency in 10 years time. The Euro sucks too - it will now not last.

    Germany is in an awful mess due to the Euro, and the Italian and Portugese economies are beyond belief! The quicker the whole European project collapses, the better.

    No. I'm not some "little-englander" with a 'we-won-the-war-mentality' but a true believer in free trade, small Govt, and democracy.

    Vive La France!!!
     
  4. May 29, 2005 #3
    Holland next on Wednesday. That will be a no too!!

    Ha Ha Ha. :rofl: :rofl:

    Democracy may yet return to Europe!!
     
  5. May 29, 2005 #4

    GENIERE

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I can’t disagree with your comment; the EU Constitution is a socialist pile of crap. Of course the French voted against it for all the wrong reasons, seeking to preserve a failing socialist state. 20+%of French workers are employed by the state; the unemployment is above 10% and above 22% for the worker under 25 years old. The economy is stagnant and can never be competitive in a global marketplace while business is smothered by regulations. The promise of cradle to grave government largess is nothing but a pyramid scheme inevitably impoverishing all.

    The German voter would have surely voted against it had they been given the opportunity to do so. No country, that has accepted the EU Constitution, has done so via a democratic process. All countries that have allowed a popular vote have rejected it, as will the Dutch.

    The unelected elite are, of course, anything but elite, simply the idiotic followers of a intolerant religion with Mordecai Marx as its insane, ranting prophet.

    Unfortunately the European nations do need a means to act in concert as far as improving the business environment, as no individual EU nation can remain economically viable in a global market.

    ...
     
  6. May 29, 2005 #5

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Wow 20% for the government? Whats the stat in the US?

    My parents both worked for the government here and they say its like a dream job. Huge job security, doesnt matter if you suck or not or do your job or not, great pay, insane retirement plans, no accountability... oh man...
     
  7. May 30, 2005 #6

    PerennialII

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    LOL --- would think it as democracit whether the people or the parliaments/governments do the voting.

    The EU "constitution" is worth a laugh at tops, but can't really see much of a difference whether the "elite" ( :rofl: ) is national or EU level, at least the EU eliminates some of the petty bickering and tries to give us a direction for solving our problems.
     
  8. May 30, 2005 #7
    But if the direction is all wrong - then it doesn't solve our problems.

    Tha Common Agricultural Policy rewards small inefficent farmers in France, costs a huge amount to the taxpayers of Europe, and even worse it distorts world trade by dumping cheap subsidised food on the world market. This prevents poor non-EU countries from making a living. This one policy is responsible for a huge amount of poverty around the world.

    The Fisheries policy is just as bad. At the moment huge European fleets are sucking up vast amounts of fish from the seas off the west coust of North Africa. The politicians in the African countries make money personally, the EU gets cheap fish, and the people of Africa see another African resource plundered.

    I could go on... but I'd be typing for about an hour!
     
  9. May 30, 2005 #8

    PerennialII

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    ... yeah and on most points in all likelihood I'd be agreeing with you. Although EU brings about several rotten aspects, I don't see why we should revert to an era of "nation-states" ... it's not like everything in Europe was rosy before the EU. I wouldn't disband the idea of European unification ... who needs separate counties anyways :biggrin: ?
     
  10. May 30, 2005 #9

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There is a Dutch guy who read the whole constitution, and chapter by chapter commented on the content in a blog. You can read his conclusion on the European constitution here http://blogger.xs4all.nl/steeph/archive/2005/05/26/40741.aspx

    He concludes with: "After reading it all, reading related stuff (other constitutions), writing about it, thinking about it, discussing it and summing it all up, I came to the conclusion that this constitution is just not good enough. Europe deserves better. The people of Europe deserve better."

    That doesn't mean that the European constitution as it is presented now is worse than the current constitutions, as he also mentions: "It's also very important to state that I don't judge this constitution against the current situation. I already concluded that it will be an improvement over the current situation. But that is not what they ask me to vote for." It means that the current form is not acceptable.

    I would like to see a European constitution that would lead to better economical and political coorporation, I'm not sure whether this one is it. I think the government should have been more open about the actual content, rather than employing scare tactics to get people to vote either way.
     
  11. May 30, 2005 #10

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Why not have a constitutional convention? It was never in the cards that unsupervised elites and bureaucrats could devise a good constitution.
     
  12. May 30, 2005 #11
    I think that the UK should vote to become an American state. Parts of the UK are probably closer to Washington ('spiritually' as well as geographically) than are parts of the US, the UK has long been the USA's aircraft carrier off the shores of Europe, and its politicians have long been the US president's lap-dogs. The UK could dump its royalty at the same time; without the risk of Blair becoming UK president. Most of all, it is only right that a young vigorous country should take its ailing parents in.
     
  13. May 30, 2005 #12

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    No, you should be set off into a retirement home and neglected and mistreated by everyoen :D lol jk... let me check those distances from washington!

    Meh, washington to UK : 3500 miles
    washingto to California: 2500 miles

    Well, to alaska or hawaii u have a point lol.
     
  14. May 30, 2005 #13

    brewnog

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You had better just be trying to wind us up. Who are you anyway?! :smile:

    Anyway, aside from the language, the UK has far more in common with Europe than the US. I don't know anyone who would vote to do such a thing. It doesn't bear thinking about. Many UKish citizens do realise that their PM is a puppet with Bush's hand up his arse, but that's not the point. The country is more than just its current leadership.

    Anyway, I'm not going to get dragged into this now, I'd like my blood to remain liquid, but I'll say that it's an utterly ridiculous idea and it would never, ever, ever, ever, ever happen, and I sincerely hope you were taking the piss trying to get a reaction out of us! :smile:
     
  15. May 30, 2005 #14
    I tried to read the EU Constitution. I'm surprised that I'm still walking and talking after that venture. It was the most confusing political document that I've ever seen anybody try to found a nation on. Normally I do all right at that kind of stuff, but the EU Constitution was so horribly written that I gave up partway through.
     
  16. May 30, 2005 #15
    Well, I think the current treaties (nice, amsterdam and mastricht) could be called some kind of constitutional conventions because they define what the 'three pillars' of European co-operation do - European Communities (internal economic and social co-operation), the foreign and security policy co-operation (some crise-management forces) and Judical and Criminal co-operation (for example, Europol) - and how they are controlled by the Parliament, Ministry Council, Commision and European Cout of Justice. This is also the case in the UK, where there is no single, written constitutional document, but many treaties that are applied according to various court rulings over time - these are UK's constitutional conventions.

    The new document at hand would lump the existing treaties into a single document, hopefully clarifying the relationship between 'EU's government branches' and include the value foundation in the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

    I haven't read more than bits from the proposed constitution, but I have tried to link some of the previous treaties together and that is pure pain. So, I don't know if the proposed constitution has any serious flaws, but I'd say they have to be pretty big to make it worse than the current situation. If european integration is desirable, then I'd say some form of constitution is needed, weather it is this or the next one.

    Ps. This would aslo be my answer to SelfAdjoint; for simplicity reasons.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2005
  17. May 30, 2005 #16
    It was a wind up, but I thought of it only because this was once seriously suggested back in the 1960s by a UK politician. I cannot remember the exact details, but I think that the politician was Sir Gerald Nabarro.
     
  18. May 30, 2005 #17
  19. May 30, 2005 #18

    Art

    User Avatar

    Europeans have a long history of warring with their neighbours and so the EU is simply a forum for 'war by other means'. To that end it has been successful in so much as the member states have stopped shooting at each other settling instead for diplomatic squabbling. The EU project began as a trade agreement and that is as far as european integration should go. The idea of a united federal europe is nonsensical driven only by the egos of a couple of French and German politicians attempting 'conquest by other means'. Given the huge cultural and linguistic differences between the member states it will never happen.
    That said the proposed constitution is pretty meaningless as you'd expect from a document necessarily based on the self interests of 25 member states. I believe the reason for rejection by the French isn't so much the constitution itself, it's more a message that they, like the overwhelming majority of europeans, have had enough of a federal europe being shoved down their throats by stealth.
    I believe the only reason the British government supported the constitution is because they fundamentally object to the EU but realise they cannot exist economically outside it so better to destroy it from within. They see the constitution as a vehicle to greatly increase the membership of the EU thus watering it down to the point that it becomes irrelevent
    Here in Ireland we shall be having a referendum but Chirac can rest assured; if we vote no we'll simply keep voting until we get it right as with the Nice treaty.
     
  20. Jun 1, 2005 #19

    vanesch

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I have to say that there are quite some uninformed comments about that Constitution here.

    The first point is that it would make for an "undemocratic" Europe: for the moment, the European union is a technocracy, and the constitution wanted to change that (partly) by giving some power 1) to the European parliament (which is, as it is now, a joke, in that the only power it has is to send the commission home) and 2) to citizen initiative, with the petition right.
    By saying "no" to that constitution we fall back upon the Nice treaty which instored the current technocratic situation (which I personally like, btw).

    The second point is that silly remark about a "socialist" constitution: in fact, the only points where the constitution was talking about such matters, was in its fundamental principle of the free market as basic organizing scheme - not a very socialist idea, I'd say - but that is just TAKEN OVER from the previous Nice treaty (and former treaties). So on this point, nothing will change.
    The only "socialist" part was that each member state was explicitly allowed to organize public activities for the general well-being which can be in deficit, on their own decision and initiative and finance (like, say, having a train run to a small village where almost nobody takes the train, just because that member state can find it important to offer public transport to each village).
    Most "no" voters in France thought that this constitution was not "socialist" enough, but in fact on that point, yes or no don't make any difference: the internal free market is guaranteed, and "social" initiatives are left to the member states.

    Concerning a constitutional convention: but that WAS the case: 200 members from the European parliament (all elected directly by the Europeans) wrote that constitution.

    Concerning France: yes, a big part of the French people never understood the principles of a market economy :-) But you shouldn't exaggerate either: only 10% is in state function, and that's essentially because education (teachers) are state servants. They represent the biggest part of the French state ; you could easily change that bookkeeping by making schools "private institutions with state subvention".

    Honestly, I find it a pity that the French (and in a few hours the Dutch) say "no" to this "constitution" in that it could have helped the EU move forward. However, I agree that it is a very opaque document: no constitution should be so long and complicated ; it should be kept on, say, at most 10 pages.
    In fact, it is not so much a constitution as a new, cleaned-up treaty which introduced some extra democratic principles into a rather technocratic machinery, and, that's the biggest loss, a much more efficient decision process. It also would have given the EU finally a united voice to the rest of the world. The funny thing is that most people who are against the constitution (except nationalists) are against the 3rd part, which just takes over most elements from previous treaties. By saying no, they do 2 things: they KEEP the previous treaties, and they eliminate the possibilities, specified in the (new) first two parts, to change them (by petition initiative, or through their representatives in the European parliament - which cannot do such a thing currently).

    The only thing left in the European functioning now, is a unanimous agreement of the European Council (the heads of state of the 25 countries) in order to change ANYTHING to the current treaties. This is extremely difficult as everybody has, as such, veto right, so nothing significant can be changed.

    So the irony is that the no-voters, who are mainly against the part that they ignore IS ALREADY THERE, only accomplished that they 1) kept that part and 2) made it very difficult to change it !

    Most French no-voters were convinced that this treaty could be re-negociated, to make it more "socialist". I think that is a big illusion, the treaty being a product of very long negociations and compromise. I don't think anything fundamentally different can come out of such a complicated negociation. So I think that - apart from nationalists - most no-voters did so for very uninformed reasons.

    Finally, I think it is a mistake to subject such a difficult matter to a referendum. Representative democracy has its role: the people should INDICATE WHO are their leaders, but the leaders should be responsible for their decisions, especially complicated technical ones like this one. As a people cannot be held "responsible" for decisions, it should not take them.

    BTW, I do not think that this constitution was a particularly bright text ! It was a complicated technical document, but that allowed a better decision making process, and outlined a better framework for cooperation in Europe. As such, it was worth taking, when compared to the actual treaties. Such decisions shouldn't be made by peasants and lowly educated workers who are just swallowing whatever nonsense others told them.

    cheers,
    Patrick.
     
  21. Jun 1, 2005 #20

    vanesch

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Well, it happened in the past, for several hunderd years under the Roman Empire!

    cheers,
    Patrick.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: European Constitution
  1. European Empire? (Replies: 45)

  2. Does the Constitution (Replies: 12)

  3. European integration (Replies: 4)

Loading...