From the shelves to the freezer

The European Constitutional Treaty has been officially brought from the shelves to the freezer by Jose Barroso. The Head of the European Commission acknowledged that the EU will not have a Constitution until two or three years. This news will come as no surprise the Minister for European Affair, Noel Tracy. As we are moving from the ‘reflection period’ to the ‘iced constitution age’ we learned recently that a third of the Irish were in favour of the Treaty and 13% against it. However, it has to be noted that half of Irish people didn’t have any opinion about the topic and two thirds said that while they had heard about the document, they had no idea what is in it. These bad results for the Irish Government did not deter Maurice Hayes, chairman of the Forum on Europe, to lecture the Constitutional Committee of the European Parliament on ‘the Forum’s work in fostering the debate on EU issues to Irish citizens.’ For the future battles bloggers involved in EU debates should beare in mind that the Internet was a strong forum for the French ‘no’ vote. Something that might explain the new facelift from the European Parliament website (thanks to Ciaran).

  • Brian Boru

    The Constitution is dead. I am pro-EU and the Euro but not giving up even more vetoes. I understand over 90% of the national-vetoes are already gone. This was probably necessary in the past and to prevent an enlarged EU grinding into deadlock with regard to decision-making, but there are no longer any convincing arguments for removing even more – especially the hyper-sensitive issues like Immigration and Asylum policy.

    I find it unfortunate though, that whenever a country votes No to an EU treaty, the media – especially the British media – automatically seizes on the “No/Non/Nein/Nee” as some kind of evidence that the EU as presently constituted is inherently flawed. I reject this analysis. Some of those voting No are just voting for the status-quo, or some may even not necessarily be opposed to integration per-se but rather the model of integration proposed within the relevant document. For my own part, I liked the part of the Constitution increasing the co-decision powers of the European Parliament so that it can veto or amend proposed EU legislation, as it regarded this as giving the ordinary EU citizen more direct control over the EU legislative process. A rejection should not necessarily be interpreted as a wholesale rejection of the EU as currently constituted, though I guess those who feel that way too are always going to say No anyway.

  • Mark McGregor

    Thomas,

    Welcome on board. Good first blog here and given your own site Slugger’s has just poached an excellent addition. I look forward to more.

    Mark.

  • Thomas

    Thanks Mark, kinda struggled with my English (should be bear instead of beare…) If we can stir up some debates, that could be entertaining. I think there is going to be some changes with “About EU”: concentrating on one daily blog with all the news/Press Release and analysis of the day instead of copying and pasting press release.

  • crat

    According to the EC poll 46% of people have adopted an opinion while 50% don’t have an opinion. 66% have no idea what its about. The figures are all over the place or at best 13% of people have taken a decision on the constitution from an admitted position of ignorance.

    People don’t know because they aren’t told. This poll is from a pro-constitution body and doesn’t show anything much, other than the EU’s failure to interest Irish people in a constitution.

  • D’Oracle

    I am not surprised by the poll numbers ; there has, quite simply, been no campaign initiated yet in the Republic.

    Cant imagine what sort of good stuff Maurice Hayes told the parlimentarians ; would need to must have been somewhat creative but then he is a wily old bird

  • ch in dallas

    As a Yank, I may be a simpleton (that’s rhetorical, y’all, no posts) but aren’t the no votes coming in because someone finally asked the people what thay wanted? Maybe a Frenchman in Lyons knows that Greeks and Irishmen aren’t members of the same community now, or anytime soon. I hate to see sovereign states sell away that sovereignty for pie in the sky promises from Brussels. America wants and needs a strong and wealthy Europe, but populations should read the fine print. I admit that France didn’t do that, but they did the right thing for the wrong reasons