Thursday, 4 June 2009

This Should Have Been Highlighted Days Ago

LibDem MEP Andrew Duff has written a book 'Saving the European Union, the Logic of the Lisbon Treaty', in the opening paragraphs of which he describes himself as a 'militant federalist'. This MEP was one of the members of the Convention on the Future of Europe, which drew up the EU Constitution, later renamed the Lisbon Treaty - which probably explains why Britain was well and truly 'Duffed Up'!

In his book Duff describes the Lisbon treaty as "The latest attempt to take a very important qualitative step forward towards a more federal union." (page 6)

  • On the difference between the Lisbon Treaty and the EU Constitution, he says: "In some ways, the Lisbon exercise was merely an obscurantist one, undertaken deliberately to allow France, the Netherlands and the UK to escape from their previous hubristic pledges to hold referendums. But the basic reforms survived. The Charter of Fundamental Rights, although excised from the treaty itself, was given the full force of primary law of the Union. The blue flag with the twelve gold stars and Beethoven's Ode to Joy are still to be used to symbolise the Union. And the High Representative keeps all the powers and responsibilities of the soi-disant Foreign Minister." (page 9)

  • "The Lisbon Treaty still represents a historic step forward for European unification at least on a par with the Treaty of Maastricht". (page 10)

  • "The imperative of a common foreign and security policy is without limitation and may well lead to common defence." (page 36)

  • "Crucially, [the European] Parliament gains the right under the treaty to initiate in future revision of the treaty itself. That is a highly significant step forward towards the constitutionalisation of the European Union, ending as it would the states' monopoly over treaty change." (page 44)

  • "Many significant items move from unanimity to QMV, including the whole of justice and interior affairs." (page 48)

  • "The 2004 constitutional treaty was already an amended version of the 2003 constitution drafted by the Convention of Valery Giscard d'Estaing. The Lisbon treaty was a further modification of what is basically the same text." (page 145)

  • On the reaction of Europe's leaders to the Irish 'no' vote: "It was asking the impossible of Ireland's partners for them to respect the outcome". (page 147)

H/T: Open Europe

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