Monday, April 26, 2004

The voice of the enemy

The Federal Trust
Europe needs a constitution (posted 25 April 2004)

There is a tendency in the ranks of Euroscepticism - albeit not universal - to read only "friendly" tracts. There is a similar, if not more exaggerated tendency amongst Europhiles only to read their own material. On the basis that the first duty of any campaigner is to "know thine enemy", the following is published.

The Federal Trust, it should be remembered, was established in 1938, world federalism then being thought of as the antidote to war. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now. But they still want a constitution.

The draft European constitution proposed by the European constitutional convention and currently under discussion in the IGC marks the next stage in the development of the European Union. Each successive step since the Treaty of Rome has extended the powers of the European Union and improved their democratic functioning. The European constitution will take this a stage further.

The European Union started life as a club of six member states, observing the rules of diplomacy in its decision-making. Since then, and as its founders intended, its institutions have acquired an increasingly important role of their own. The European Parliament is increasingly important as a centre of influence in the EU's decision-making process, in addition to the role still played by the Council of Ministers.

Member state parliaments will gain an influence over the decision-making of the Union in a way they have not had before. And the citizens of Europe will also gain new rights and new means of influence, in addition to those they currently have through the representative institutions.

The EU is truly a small revolution in the way that international cooperation is conducted. This is the reason why the EU is so successful. The constitution will make it more successful still. More

(If the EU is successful, I would hate to think what failure was like - ed)

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