Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The price of democracy

With little fanfare, the FCO has slipped out the official English version of the proposed EU constitution – so quietly in fact that hardly anyone realised that it had arrived.

Accompanied by an "Explanatory Memorandum on the EU Constitutional Treaty", it was lodged with the Order Office in Parliament on 8 December, oddly enough the same day that that the British Management Data Foundation version also arrived.

The official version, under the beguiling title Command 6429, is available from the FCO website
or you can download the document directly, in two parts – the first being the treaty at 230 pages and the second the annexes at 286 pages, from the links here and here.

However, if you want hard copy, you had better talk to a rich friend. While the BMDF version, with its copious explanatory notes, line-by-line comparisons with previous treaties, and comprehensive index, retails at £27.50, the official version – with not even an index – is priced at a hefty £47.00. That is the price of democracy FCO style.

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