Friday, October 29, 2004

They’ve done it

At the Campidoglio - a Michaelangelo-designed complex of buildings on Rome's Capitoline Hill - the motley crew that collectively rejoice in the description of "European leaders" - some of whom would be in jail if it was not for their positions - have signed their dire constitution.

The signing was carried out in the sala degli Orazi e Curiazi, the same spectacular hall in a Renaissance palazzo where in 1957 six nations - Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg - signed the union's founding treaty, the Treaty of Rome.

AP lauded the event as a "diplomatic triumph" which the "leaders" hope "will give the union a sharper international profile and speed up decision-making in a club now embracing 25 nations."
This is the sort of guff that we are going to have to stomach for some time, while various commentators gush about the wondrous joys of this constitution.

We are told, for instance, that the constitution foresees simpler voting rules to end decision gridlock in a club that ballooned to 25 members this year and plans to absorb half a dozen more in the years ahead. It includes new powers for the European Parliament and ends national vetoes in 45 new policy areas - including judicial and police cooperation, education and economic policy - but not in foreign and defence policy, social security, taxation or cultural matters.

Now the battle begins to bring this collective insanity to a halt.

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