The Dutch joined the French in saying Nee to the EU Constitution.
This is of course out of irrational fear rather than on any legitimate grounds.
The constitution was nothing more than a “meta-treaty”. A treaty that binds together existing treaties and practices and also a few new ones.
Let me attack the sceptical issues one at a time.
This is going to create a United States of Europe
Nope. This treaty does no such thing.
The thing I think the Euro-sceptics are afraid of is losing their national identity and becoming a homogenous society similar to the USA.
This is extremely unlikely to ever happen.
There is just too much history and too many cultural differences between the member states to allow for it to happen.
Even if the constitution tried to legislate to this end, and it does not, then it would definitely fail.
The Constitution, in fact, enshrines the opposite ideal. It discusses the concept of subsidiarity. It even says the following
It shall respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity, and shall ensure that Europe’s cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced
So it actually has a goal of safeguarding our cultural and lingusitic diversity. Sounds good so far eh?
We lose the veto!
Yes. But only on things we had already agreed to lose it on.
Like agricultural policy, patents, health & safety etc.
The veto remains for; Foreign policy, taxation, military decisions etc.
i.e. all the important stuff.
We already use the dreaded QMV voting system on a lot of policy decisions in Europe, but it is agreed on a “by vote”. The treaty makes it so that there is less paperwork and the issues we generally all agree on become immediate QMV, and the stuff we tend to get a little nationalistic on remains under veto.
Less paperwork, means less mindless bureaucracy. At least that is the idea.
It is all run by faceless unaccountable Eurocrats!
But not if the Treaty is accepted into law.
The treaty was set up to address this very issue. It achieves its goal by rationalising the European Commission and making them more accountable to the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.
Rationalising in this instance is basically the same thing as down-sizing in the private sector. i.e. a lot of them would get fired if the treaty became law.
Making less faceless unaccountable Eurocrats.
On a side note, ALL existing law in the EU is approved by both the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers before becoming law.
So if some stupid EU policy has made you redundant, don’t blame the faceless Eurocrats.
Blame your Elected officials that approved that Policy!
The Eurocrats may come up with the policies, but it is the elected representatives in the Parliament and the Council that make it a law!
Those pesky Easterners who just joined are going to flood our markets with cheap labour
Um. What has this to do with the treaty? Nothing.
But it is a concern of the Eurosceptics nonetheless.
The fact is the same was said when Spain, Ireland and Portugal joined.
The opposite occurred.
All the Spanish returned to Spain and founded the Hotel industry there.
The same with Portugal.
And Ireland now has more Irish Immigrants than Irish Emigrants.
I can predict that the Polish will all start to move back to Poland as the economy there improves to the western European standard.
They will be taking with them the knowledge they gained working in Western Europe before becoming an EU member.
They will have a more liberal market and will no doubt become good at agriculture and also hi-tech industry. [I know of a lot of Polish IT people and also seasonal farming migrants.]
As for stealing jobs. Only a protectionism market needs to worry about that.
They want to force everyone to have the Euro!
Force is a harsh word.
It would just make more sense for everyone in the EU to share the same common currency to help create a level playing field in the marketplace.
It is far more difficult to estimate how much a coffee in Amsterdam costs in comparison to one in London and deduce the cost of living with separate currencies.
A rather facetious example but a simple one to understand.
And as for forcing. With the principal of subsidiarity enshrined by the treaty nothing could be more wrong.
Nations can opt out of the more nationally contentious issues, i.e. criminalisation of cannabis, the Euro, etc.
Countries will have to decide. Do they want to have a strong currency like the Euro, or do they want to be just like the Mexicans and dominated by a powerful currency on their doorstep.
We lose our sovereignty
Every-time you sign any treaty you give up some sovereignty to act as you please.
Signing the International Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Convention [should] makes it so that you give up the sovereign right to terrorise your public and torture prisoners.
Another facetious example. But you get my point.
Signing treaties in good faith, for the common good, is what your elected representatives do. If you dislike the treaty they are signing then you should protest.
But I would hope that you would at least read the treaty. Or at least read the executive summary which states its purpose.
And the fact that most people in the Nee camp did not bother to read the treaty and portrayed it as something other than what it was a disappointment. I had always believed the Dutch to be more intelligent than that.
You are a Europhile!
I am a Eurocynic. i.e. I agree with and believe in the Ideals of the European Project, i.e. free internal markets, subsidiarty, common policy for things we can agree on etc., BUT I am just cynical that the bunch of monkeys that are running the EU, and I am talking about the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament as well as the European Commission here, are just self serving politicos who don’t give a damn about these ideals and are only in it for self-aggrandisement and to line their pockets.
All in all, I find it sad that the Dutch voted against such a good treaty. I am hoping that at least some of the treaty gets saved.
Especially the bit that fires tons of members of the European Commission! 😉
I wonder if they had called it “Treaty of reationalisation and simplification of inter-governmental processes” would peoples emotions would have been so hot?