constitutionEarlier this month, we put up a post asking if it was time to re-open the European treaties. It was a lively debate, and we had a good number of comments and questions sent in by readers. However, one interesting angle that we hadn’t considered before was put forwards back in October by Europa Sustentavel, who asked:

Do you think that the aborted constitutional treaty could have helped the EU to move in the right direction?

On the face of it, the answer seems obvious. The idea of a “European Constitution” was rejected by French and Dutch voters in seperate referendums in 2005, and it is difficult to see how the earlier text could have functioned any better than the later Lisbon Treaty (which anyway incorporated a number of reforms from the abandoned constitution). However, if the process of institutional reform and “deepening” of the EU had been concluded in 2005 instead of 2008, is it possible that Europe might now be in a more confident position with regards to the Eurozone crisis?

Franco Frattini was Foreign Minister of Italy in 2004, and was therefore one of the official signatories to the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe (along with former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi). We spoke to Mr Frattini recently and asked him if the constitution he signed back in 2004 would have made a difference to our current situation.

Mr Frattini specifically raised the issue of a banking union in his answer as something he believes could be achieved through “evolution and a very good implementation of the treaties”, rather than through treaty amendment. We’ve had several comments sent in on precisely this issue, including one from Antonio arguing:

A fiscal union and effective banking supervision can no longer [be ignored].

How would Mr Frattini respond to Antonio’s point? A fiscal union, with fiscal policy taken or coordinated at the European level, would be a huge leap forwards for European integration – and a move that many Europeans would certainly reject (see our recent post on EU budget negotiations, for example).

What do YOU think? Is it time to reconsider a constitution for Europe? Or is now, with the Eurozone crisis still ongoing, precisely the wrong time to be entering into such a debate? Do we need to implement a European fiscal and banking union before the crisis can finally be brought to an end? And, if so, can this be done within the existing EU treaties? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their response.

99 comments Post a commentcomment

    • avatar
      Antonio Leanza

      EU needs to compete more and more with Brazil, Russia, India, China. Thus, a stronger union and central span of control is 100% needed, IMHO.

  1. avatar
    Davey Brown

    You already snuck in constitution that was rejected by voters by renaming it the Lisbon Treaty. My god the EU is truly vile.

  2. avatar
    Europe Europa

    A good Europe is an Europe made by them citizens who are aware that political union is the best insurance of them liberties.

    • avatar
      Dr George Yiannitsiotis

      What a tall story.

      I was a child when the Hellenic Republic joined the EEC (1981). I recall in my mind that the main political argument for joining was that the EEC would guarantee three matters:
      a) democracy
      b) prosperity/welfare
      c) security
      For us who just 7 years before we got rid of a dictatorial regime and fell short of a war, being under constant threat by the Turkish military-politcal establishment, that was good news. Besides, prosperity was also attractive since the Greek economy was not developed.

      The myth of security was demolished just 17years ago when the Turkish army occupied for a couple of hours a rocky islet of the EU territory (Western Ymia, 30-31/1/1996). The EU was absent and the Hellenic Republic was left out in the cold to negotiate with true suzerain (the USA) not to lose face (since we lost full control of the territory and one EU citizen it’s flock of goats).

      The myth of EU as democracy guarantor collapsed in 2010, when the policy of domestic devaluation led to the direct violation of the Hellenic Constitution and the denial of basic democratic rights (like the right to go on strike, to private property etc.) – not to be forgoten the VERBOTEN (by gauleiter Merkel) regarding the referendum on the 2nd bailout Agreement that led to the collapse of GAPapandrew democratically elected government.

      The myth of EU as guarantor of welfare state and prosperity collapsed in parallel with the erosion of the Democratic state function; rising unemployment (more than 30% nowadays); stagflation that shrinks the GDP by more than 22% in 3years (2010-2012) and forecasts predict it continuing to reach 30%-35% by 2014; high taxation (indirect – VAT 23% // direct 22% for incomes up to 12,000.00€; 36% 12,000.01-26,000.00; 45% above 26,000.00); defacto confiscation of private property via high taxation on estate (flats-houses etc – eg for a 100sq.m flat at a working-class area 500,00€ per year + local taxes of 250,00€ + 0.1% of its value i.e. 100,00 more = total 850,00€); all these, threaten the core security sense of the citizens i.e. “to have a home and a dish full of food at the table – one feels like a king”.

      The total defeat of the West European Usurers Corporation (disguised as “European Union”) and the 4th Reich is in short presented above.-

  3. avatar
    Europe Europa

    Is not “you” failed it’s “we” failed. But it’s not a reason to dismiss to build something better than we have right now in UE and our States.

  4. avatar
    Goran Kotur

    There’s little point in discussing EU constitution when richer member states think mainly in terms of budget cuts, and insist on reducing Cohesion Policy allocations that are even now not that generous.

  5. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    A UE tem que sair deste caminho da fragilidade ela tem condições para resolver os seus problemas os agentes económicos e as entidades governamentáis europeias devem consertar posições no sentido de uma europeia de união fiscal e bancária para respoder aos desafios do futuro

  6. avatar
    Davey Brown

    Why don’t all those fools who want to be “EU citizens” pay for it…. The rest of us can then spend our money on sensible things. In fact maybe we should deport every Europhile when UK leaves!

  7. avatar
    Hasan Özdemir

    Yes of course just do it. Because the fiscal policy with monetary policy have to be together, not separate like righ now.

  8. avatar
    Michael Tsikalakis

    It is inevitable. It is impossible for EU to proceed further as a real union, if there is no common European Constitution. Right timing is requested. All states should change their constitutions too in order to proceed in such action. This takes time.

  9. avatar
    Ignacio C. Furfaro

    It’s funny to see how many people believe that the UK, Italy, France, etc (even Germany) will be able to make it on their own in a world where megastates such as Brazil, India and China are rising. Blaming the EU for the current problems is just denying reality…it wasn’t the EU the one who made countries spend beyond their capabilities (and that’s not just a Euro problem…check the UK’s finances, inflation and deficit, for instance).

  10. avatar
    Hasan Özdemir

    Meanwhile remember UK takes more less in rate to refund from the EU budget than Germany and France and other countries.

  11. avatar
    Dr George Yiannitsiotis

    Considering a European Constitution whereas the peripheral EU countries suffer a horrible usurers attack by an International Usurers gang (ECB/IMF/West European Usurers Corporation and the 4th Reich)? what a bad idea.

    Let’s first confront this attack that turns the PIIGS from equal members of the European Union to simple debt-colonies of the West European Usurers Corporation and the 4th Reich and then, we may discuss to build a real Union of EQUAL-SOVEREIGN member-states (as the EEC/EU was before May 2010).

  12. avatar
    Ivan Drvarič

    It makes sense when the concept of being European citizen is defined and rights and obligations clearly presented and equal from the west to the east for all countries. But I am afraid that countries that built the base of their wealth on the historic violence and abusing other countries ( collonies , countries that invades other terrirotories and use people as slave and countries that made profit with instituionalizing the killing, violence or exhausting other areas ) are not able to give up of present comfort zone. It is true those countries need newcommers for making the space that would be theoretically be comparable with background of economies like Brasil, Russia or India. But I am afraid the patriotic genes for that are burden with sins of past and selfishness of elite classes that still lives on anuities from abusing and exhausting other countries or territories in the past. To resolve this deadlock situation guess two requisites suppose to be considered:
    – general forgiveness process for all the past injustice even it is
    repeating stories
    – giving up process of the wealth that is result of any injustice,
    abuse, violence or any trace or seeds abusing
    – than new divison of production and creative process
    from education, to new added value per each region

  13. avatar
    Juan Vázquez García

    No, please. Spare us your United States of Europe. Enough damage has been done already, proving the European legislators had no idea about what they were doing when they drafted the first European Constitution. Europe is too vast and diverse. Unless the Constitution has 800 pages and countless footnotes, I don’t see how it can encompass all of the countries, provinces, regions, communities… in Europe. It’s plain madness. The Euro has proven this Union is not meant to work because power is just too centralized and the government can’t solve all the problems (in fact it makes them bigger). This can only favor corporations and the insiders in our already pretty corrupt political institutions. This is a scam and I hope the Europeans don’t fall for it. But if they’ve already fallen for more taxes and less quality in the services and departments their taxes are supposed to fund, then you can expect anything all things considered. And the word “banking union” sounds pretty scary especially when we’re going through a crisis precisely because banks were too big. Now you want to make them bigger?! Who the hell has these terrible ideas?!

  14. avatar
    Juan Vázquez García

    Europe Europa, you’re just a big imperialist and centralizer of power. Communities need to be smaller so that they can be managed and run more efficiently.

  15. avatar
    Hasan Özdemir

    EU can realise the union of the monetary policy with the fiscal policy in the unique central bank, without bigger other the banks with so simple the Constitution. ?t is possible absoluetly in my opinion.

  16. avatar
    Alex Avram-Rusu

    The EU is a good idea. Unfortunately, the current “eurocrats” in charged have managed to turn public opinion against an Unified Europe. There is no need for a Constitution right now, a banking union, a single fiscal policy. We need to take it easy. Let things settle down. How could we expect to create a single European Superpower after only 50 years, while the countries that compose it have been at odds most of their history?

  17. avatar
    Hasan Özdemir

    Anybody does not appoint ECB to implement the fiscal policy too in EU, without create a new the Constitution.

  18. avatar
    Dan Colceriu

    no, surely not yet. first let us wait for Cohesion fund to make its impact on the emergincmg country. first let’s wait for the mentality of poorer countries to change, to “upgrade”. First let’s look at individual countries’ Constitutions. They can’t even improve that..

  19. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    I am for it, but since the people are not ready yet, what is the point. The constitution is “for the people, by the people.” And if the people are not ready or do not want it…It just looks daft.. Better focus on explaining to the people why do we needed and what will be the benefits of it.. Start now.. It will be a long process, especially with all that damage done with this crisis.

  20. avatar
    Vicente Silva Tavares

    I am not sure we are marching to a better future together or to a split apart. What I see now is each country fighting for their own interests without a collective vision. I already had more hopes than I have now.

  21. avatar
    Mariana Manolova

    The earlier it is introduced, the better!!

  22. avatar
    Rui Martins Barata

    split apart !? More regionalism, more nationalism ??!?!… If Europeans are not able to live in community in a true Federal United States of Europe… then the old European countries and Europe will simply disappear in 20 – 30 years… unless…

  23. avatar
    Hasan Özdemir

    EU should receive as a sample the Empire of George Lucas in the Star Wars films, whilst the new Constitution of itself creates , but Citizes of EU should not ignore to fight against Sith too.

  24. avatar
    Ioannis Koutoudis

    I Think that none of the Europeans Goverments are able to serve their people, when they serve the Big Funds.
    I believe in cooperation. Something I do not see in EU.
    I do not believe that a fiscal and banking union (which seems impossible to me, especially under the pressure of the Crisis) will lead to better results than a true and selfless cooperation.

    What we need is different economical policy. The why we view economics.
    It is unreasonable for the Chancellor of Germany to visit the Republic of China and thank them because a BMW factory opened there and not in Germany where Germans can find a job. It is also unreasonable the biggest habor and the biggest airport in Greece to be under exploitation of a Chinese and a German Company respectively.

    We do not need more union.
    That the plan does not work, does not always mean that it is wrong. Maybe those who work on it are uncapable.

    We need cooperation. We need to be reasonables.

  25. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    the eu IS the George Lucas Empire…what with Herman Van Palpatine , Jose Manuel Siddius and Jabba the Schulz running things.

  26. avatar
    Juan Vázquez García

    One thing you should pay attention to is that there is no European sentiment. In the United States everybody says, “I’m an American”. They don’t say, “I’m a Texan”, “I’m a Californian”, etc. In Europe we identify with our nationality as bad as things may be in our respective countries right now. I’ve traveled throughout Europe and believe me, I’m far from discovering anything common among Europeans, except for maybe excessive taxes and stupidity. The European Union is not meant to work and giving one Central Bank the authority to decide over the Euro will pretty much delegate all monetary decisions to a reduced group of bureaucrats and bankers, in other words, it will concentrate more power in the hands of a few. FOR PETE’S SAKE, THAT’S WHY WE’RE HAVING A CRISIS RIGHT NOW, EXCESSIVE CONCENTRATION OF POWER! If that’s moving forwards, then I don’t know what “progress” means anymore. This European Union has been forced upon the people, the citizens of Europe, from the very beginning. If the bankers and their political allies don’t get electoral support, they modify their proposals until the populace gets fooled and votes in favor of their proposal. They never stop trying. These big unionists should stay out of our business. The European Union IS NOT MEANT TO BE, get this once and for all, and it will cause more harm than good. It’s already caused a lot of harm.

    • avatar
      Ignacio C. Furfaro

      EXCESSIVE CONCENTRATION OF POWER?? Do you really think that’s the reason why we’re having a crisis right now? Which movie are you watching?? It’s exactly because there was NOT a central power to control and coordinate fiscal policies that we are having a crisis right now. Here’s an idea: Let’s stop blaming the others for our own problems. The EU did not force any country to spend beyond their capabilities…the politicians did that on their own, taking advantage of the comparative advantage the the Euro introduced. Had the politicians used that advantage to reform economies and make them more competitive, instead of borrowing withut limit thinking the money will never stop flowing, we wouldn’t have had a crisis.

  27. avatar
    Davey Brown

    I see it more like Mordor, Sauron Barrosso and Gollum van Rumpoy with Schultz Saruman. The place is full of political Orcs who would see the free peoples of middle england fall under their dominion! However we men of northumbrian Rohan are made of stern stuff and we will one days see our banners flying over the ruins of mount Doom in Brussels! Men of the West Arise and leu us all slay some orc!

  28. avatar
    Davey Brown

    Rui, Europeans can’t live together in artificial constructs, every time it has been attempted the result is the same… Economic and political instability resulting in war. Europhiles are dangerous idiots to think they can force people together in disharmony. I’m just glad UK will be well out of the EU when it all goes to ratshit. On a plus note it will provide a decent market for our renewed cluster bomb industry!

  29. avatar
    Hasan Özdemir

    ? don’t know whether does European sentiment exist or absent in EU but there is a very common architectural and lifestyle in Europe. Actually there is not the excessive concentration of power in EU too, because if it had have became, the output would not have became so and at least so gone on. The toxic assets of banks could have paid faster by ECB and money would not have spent of no avail. The concentration of power is necessary for the monetary policy in ECB like FED but for the fiscal policy is necessary so fair and honest policy like old city States of Grecee. The power had been concentrated in USD but the pseudo of Capitalism leans competitiveness and the World need an alternative money too, why Bretton Woods abolish Gold standard. ?f Euro ruins, we will convict only Dollar of US and of course the burglars will increase far too like ENRON and we will drop barbarian. The World needs Euro.

  30. avatar
    Albert Saxén

    Isn’t there already?One ..
    As to ..I have nothing against bah am even indifferent as to this.
    If a federal superstate or, as at the moment it is more of an econ union,banking n fiscal mm ..

    I am somewhat concerned tho as to the loss of possible privacy.

  31. avatar
    Marco Tipaldi

    they should give the voice to european citizens! Europe is not anymore what founders dreamt on!this is the Europe of the elite. If they will continue, they will destroy all countries!

  32. avatar
    Snejana Avramova

    I think that the moment is not appropriate to establish a European Constitution. The EU has many problems and implementing one constitution will not solve them all, like a magic wand.
    @ Dr George Yiannitsiotis’s comment – I agree that peripheral EU countries suffer but also part of the problem is that national governments of member-states tend to lie continuously to their people that this issue and that issue is happening because of the EU. In fact, in many cases it is not.

  33. avatar
    jp marin

    Is there any reason to believe a new EU Constitution would brings extra benefits for Europe? No legal text can get us out of trouble. Political will stands as the only possible answer but no one expects Europe might put it at work. UK survives without any Constitution at all, but all decision makers take national (common) interest as their guiding rule.

  34. avatar

    No……but if the eussr tries we will be the THIRD Nation to say NO.

  35. avatar
    Dr George Yiannitsiotis

    “political union is the best insurance of our liberties”
    Obviously, you don’t live in a peripheral country, but at the centre that has not been shaken by the fiscal/monetary/debt crisis yet.

    The EU was build on three pilars: democracy-welfare state-peace
    Since May 2010 the dissolution of democracy and welfare state has started from Greece spreading to other peripheral countries; root cause the euro-mark a currency/CDS that the private banks can get paying 1% interest to the arch-usurer ECB but the “eurozone” member-states must borrow from the usurers at rates from -0,97% – the 4th Reich – up to 35% (now 5%) the least favoured ones that lie at the outskirts of the EU.

    “Domestic devaluation” imposed by the 4th Reich (in order to save its own banks), the ECB (in order to preserve its role as arch-usurer) and the IMF gang, led to the erosion of the two pilars (democracy and welfare state) in the periphery; the third one (peace) will pass away soon, when sudden economic death (of suffocation) occurs next spring in Greece at first, with a domino effect that will tremple the whole rotten by usurers’ practices institutional framework.

    Life offers the answers; politicians only follow orders of the international usurers gang aiming at the peoples of Europe. They are our common enemy that no EU constitution can restrain from harming local, national or “european” societies…

  36. avatar

    Er, you realise of course that the UK, Italy, Spain and Germany are artificial constructs. Good one.

    • avatar
      Derek Rawlins

      The UK, Italy, Spain and Germany are not artificial constructs. They are the result of hundreds of years of social evolution in Europe. Taking war as one of the principal agents of this evolution, the present shape and condition of Germany is the result of two world wars.
      The EU, however, is simply an attempt at social engineering on a grand scale, without the consent of the people. It was the brain-child of postwar French and German politicians who wanted to make a name for themselves. It makes no sense, politically, culturally, economically or socially, and like all attempts at ideologically motivated empire-building,, it will fail. But not without first bringing down terrible hardship on the people of Europe.
      Thus, the sooner it fails, the better. The longer it goes on, the worse the consequences of failure.

    • avatar

      So the fact these countries were brought together, largely, by war some how legitimises them? The only other legitimising feature of these constructs in your statement is because they’ve been around for so long. So by your criteria as long a country was brought together by bloody wars a few hundred years ago then its a natural entity.

      It’s a rather simplistic view to say that it was only war that shaped these countries, you need look no further than Britain’s ‘Act of Union’, a political agreement than ended centuries of war and created the country we know and love today. The history of Germany as country is dominated by wars (Franco-Prussian, Austro-Prussian and Napoleonic etc) but these just mainly determined borders. The various sovereign states were brought together more often than not through diplomacy, like the Congress of Vienna. Your examples of the two world wars aren’t massively relevant either by the way because they’re not to do with the creation of the state, but just mainly just dictated it’s borders just like the one’s I’ve mentioned.

      And I also challenge your cynical narrative of Kohl and Mitterrand’s motivations. It’s far more likely that they wanted to avoid any more damned wars.

  37. avatar
    Hasan Özdemir

    There is of course, but Euro might collapse. There is the jeopardy where the loss of possible privacy of course.The problem might solve easily. Meanwhile there is already not the privacy for the elites on the banking. Remember the list which published by Greek Journalist was given by Ms. Lagarde as first.

  38. avatar
    Hasan Özdemir

    ?t is too sad really what the World is like Homer’s epic poem ?liad and Ulysses yet. Unfortunately We have to rebel to solve of oneself problems the elites how like the deities and we have to bear the pains. Capitalism is similar Troya War actually.

  39. avatar
    Borislav Valkov

    If someone needs a saving from bankruptcy the only solution is that person/company/bank to lose part of its independence until they repay the saving loan. Banks have created the crisis but refuse to pay. Why?

  40. avatar

    The russian dissident Vladimir Bukowsky said European Union has born over the Soviet Union ashes.
    When Berlin wall collapse and the URSS were gone , they build another dictatorship not anymore based on communism but on capitalism.
    As in Soviet Union we are now experienced five years economic plans , extreme burocratization , unknowed and not elected people are going to decide over the destiny of 500 millions of european.
    After ten years of Communism , the russian people experienced extreme starvation.
    EU has now ten years of desperate activity , soon the efect will be visible on population.

  41. avatar

    100% it is time to do it or destroy all efforts

  42. avatar
    catherine benning

    @ Moderator:

    I put a post up here about a week or so ago, and waited before I questioned it, as it did have links to back it up.

    It has never appeared? It was not rude or offensive, simply referred to the political correctness we are all forced to accept in our states and why this was creating a terrible rift in the union altogether. Especially in the UK, as the public resent so much of it and we are told it has to be applied because of our union with Europe.

    Why was it considered unsuitable for publication on this forum? Please.

  43. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    @Juan Vasquez Garcia: two points. During the first hundred years of America’s existence, people did say that they are Texans or Virginians before they thought of themselves as Americans. So Europe will get there in time if it chooses to integrate further.

    And second, the reason why the EU is in a crisis is not because of “excessive concentration of power” but because of power was scattered along too many centers of power. Ask any economist and they will tell you that having a single monetary policy with 17 different fiscal policies is a recipe for disaster. It’s just that people thought Germany had countries like Greece and Portugal under control just by virtue of belonging to the Eurozone and clearly this was not the case. A single fiscal policy or coordination of them for eurozone members is the only thing that will prevent disaster. A banking union is also important.

    But unfortunately there is neither the time, nor the political capital for this to happen by a new constitution. It will have to be adopted by Treaty until the crisis is over and then deal with democratic legitimacy in a few years time when times are a little better.

    • avatar
      Derek Rawlins

      You’re expecting them to “deal with democratic legitimacy in a few years time when times are a little better”? What planet are you living on?

      First of all, times might never get “a little better”. They might get a lot worse. And then what? How do we get rid of the people who got us there?
      And if times do get better, what guarantee is the that there will ever be free and fair elections? None at all.
      The system of nation states that we have at the moment, with its evolved forms of government, is the best we are ever going to get. Mess about with it at your peril.

  44. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    your last paragraph says it all….circumvent the people in case they say no…….how surprising from a eoruphile……NOT.

  45. avatar
    Davey Brown

    You think Texas would have been forced into the USA if they’d had nukes? Well we have them so best not push us too far eh? It isn’t always going to be a Europhile clown with his finger on the button.

  46. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    David, sometimes a paranoid person really has others out to get them. And in this case, an organization that hasn’t fully democratized really does not have the time for a continent wide referendum. The Euro must be fixed sooner rather that later. And besides, it wouldn’t affect any country not part of the Eurozone.

  47. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Davey Brown, when was Texas forced into the US? They voted in favor of annexation. Sam Houston was elected President of Texas on a platform of the same even when the US was against it. And can you please tell me which EU member state was forced into the Union? Or a country which is being stopped from leaving the Union by force? Even the EU constitution had a secession clause in it.

  48. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    I am not paranoid…and your union would not know democracy if someone read the definition out loud….and the sooner your euro goes hop the better.

  49. avatar
    Davey Brown

    Jovan UK was forced into the EU against the wishes of our people. We are being held in the EU against our will and will leave. Once we do get out there will be a reckoning for those involved in the lies and deceit and treason. And any EU citizen who has broken our laws. As for Texas believe me when I say they are their own people. I’ve spent a lot of time there teaching their military how to be better killers, great guys and very keen!

  50. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    @Jovan…..Tony Benn, 1993 : “A democracy consists not merely of a mechanism of becoming elected and passing a law. It contains the responsibility of gaining the continued consent of the electorate. At the next election I shall have to say to the people of Chesterfield, “Vote for me and I shall fight for you, but do not vote for me to deal with your agricultural, environmental, trade or even foreign policy, and certainly not your economic policy.” We are handing over the British people, without their consent, to a system that has replaced parliamentary democracy, which we have been told is the justification for what we are doing tonight.

    Would the House have been entitled to take Britain into the United States of America, join the Warsaw pact or invite in Soviet troops without a referendum? Of course not?nobody would believe that for a minute. We have experienced a coup d’etat by a parliamentary elite, not only in this country, but in the whole of Europe. They have abandoned their tasks as representatives and become the managers of Europe.”

  51. avatar
    Davey Brown

    Not managers but mid managers and tyrants. If you are pro EU you are anti liberty, if you are anti liberty you are the enemy of all mankind!

  52. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Davey you are not being held by force in the EU. All it takes is a majority vote in Parliament and you would be able to dissolve all your obligations to the EU. Don’t mistake your personal desire to leave while others disagree or feel working within the Union is better than be isolated even further from Europe with the notion that anyone in Brussels is standing in your way. The UK’s ability o leave was never in doubt. Believe me, more and more people from other member states wish you would so that integration can proceed more speedily. If you saw what happened last December with the fiscal compact summit, it was 25-1 with one abstention switching to back the majority as soon as Parliament was consulted a week later. Everyone who has ever gotten to the Prime Minister’s office knows that Britain is jumping into an abyss by leaving. Even Thatcher wasn’t that radical. So to the extent you have a gripe, it’s not with Europe. It’s with the majority of your own countrymen and elected leaders who don’t agree with you.

  53. avatar
    Theodoros N Pitikaris

    is the current treaties in power? I hardly recognise the Chapter of Fundamental rights in the Memorandums with Portogual, Ireland, Hellas (Greece) .

    Only the competitiveness is the value that EU serve, people are dying in Italy and Hellas and Spain by killing themselves because EU asks for more competitiveness .

    I am very sorry but why people should support EU integration? Over what vision ?

    The Bureaucracy of ECB and The Commission have broken the fundamental laws of EU…. What, now makes so important the existence of a constitution ? I suppose is just something close to black humour case ….

  54. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    And if you believe that drivel it seems that there is only Brits who are doing anything you have a problem with. Parliament can still vote to leave and while I generally don’t wish ill to people and would like to see the UK stay in for that reason, there is only so much you can do to prevent someone intent on harming themselves.

  55. avatar

    What would be helpful is if we abolish the undemocratic EU and revert back to intergovernmental cooperation in a Economic Community.

    We neither need nor want political union. And besides, political union is undemocratic.

    The EU is a job destroyer, the Euro is a wealth-destroyer. Bigger isn’t better, just ask the Soviet Union. Ask Ukraine or Georgia or Estonia if they felt better off being part of a ‘union’ with Moscow. The answer is going to be ‘hell no’.

  56. avatar
    Matt Dovey

    How can being outside the eu “isolate” the uk when there is a whole world out there

  57. avatar
    Derek Rawlins

    No, no further move towards fiscal or political union. It will lead to disaster, just as every enforced political union in the past has.

    Enough of this empire-building. Only the political classes want it. I am sure that if you took a poll across the EU now, there would be an enormous majority against any further development of the EU.

    If the so-called leaders of the EU try to enforce further political and fiscal union, the people will revolt. They are too wise to believe that “bigger is better”. They want their countries back.

  58. avatar
    Tiago Mouta

    Why making laws common for everyone in EU when life standards are so diferent between member states?

  59. avatar
    Isa Amaral

    I don’t want be anymore a europeen citizen. The EU as died…thnak’s Germany.

  60. avatar
    Antonio Leanza

    EU needs to compete more and more with Brazil, Russia, India, China. Thus, a stronger union and central span of control is 100% needed, IMHO.

  61. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Tiago that is the silliest argument I have ever heard. If no common laws should apply, that is not an argument against a european constitution, but against a european union. Why make laws that apply to rich Caliornia, Wall Street bearing New York, and dirt poor Mississippi? We really don’t need an American government then either. Why should Moscow and Irkutsk have the same laws when they are so economically different? Screw the Russian federation. Shanghai and Xi’an are very different standards of living – how can China possible make laws which apply in both places?

    I didn’t too many Portugese people complaining about common governance 30 years ago when you were dirt poor after spending decades being Salazar’s pawns in his fascist dictatorship and were immediately embraced to economically catch up.

  62. avatar
    Shimon de Valencia

    Certainly, articles of Confederation and a Declaration of Principles would set the stage and ameliorate the fears of the nay sayers..

  63. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Shimon the Constitutional proposal that was rejected in 2005 is rather like a Confederation. The “nay sayers” did not have their fears ameliorated. Their europhobia want to an all time high. Euroskepticism is usually driven by nationalism, and that is not a rational political belief but an emotional one. It is why it would not work.

  64. avatar
    Alex Tenie

    From my point of view, the idea of free trade and free border passing between EU/Schengen zones is fine, but the ideas of imposing common laws in the entire EU is what makes it go wrong. This and the common currency.

  65. avatar
    Sunny Cvitkovic Anderson

    Alex Tenie, country that had the same blah blah on outside, about “we are all equal, nationalism is bad, national culture is bad blah blah” was called yugoslavia! At the same time serbs forced their culture and nation to the rest, took over all the power and in the end, they tried to kill everybody who didn’t want to live in country where they decide about EVERYTHING, and take all the money! Many of yugoslavian communists think “idea” of federal EU is great, they can use that for their power grabbing and manipulations!

  66. avatar
    Ignacio C. Furfaro

    By all means. We have reached a level of integration in which the slight differences between the countries are hard to harmonize. It’s time for a real Union, one that is able to grow and face the challenges and new global actors of the 21st century.

  67. avatar
    Walter Binder Castro

    The wrong thing about the Union is not to have a constitution, we cant meet just 4 days every 3 month to solve a global problem a consult every single issue to every national parlament, and then start again from the beginning because Malta, for example (full respect for Malta) said no blocking the all UE, the euro and the global economy. With a constitution we could take better and faster decisions, saving money and not dilating processes of decisions. That also would give a stronger image of Europe, a thing that could be maybe important to sell our common debt abroad.

  68. avatar
    George Papadimitriou

    An EU constitution should have been a number one priority since the early days of the establishment. Despite all differences and backgrounds, a political and social unification was even more important than a financial one that could have naturally followed. Sometimes, in a utopic delirium, i dream of an EU where all europeans will be proud of the greek history, the italian art, the british courage, etc. etc. I dream of an EU with one army ready to quarantee security against all threats. The energy resources in the med sea could have made the EU sufficient for the next 200 years. All in all, a true superpower second to none. But, instead of that, we ve got a “business agreement” led by the germans and based on the grounds of building a 4th reich on the back of the weak states. I wish there was a constitution but I m under the impression that it is to late to establish one now.

  69. avatar
    Jokera Jokerov

    But the British get shivers hearing the very word Constitution! Every Brit will tear such a text apart! :)

  70. avatar
    Guida de Palma

    Europe can only succed if it becomes federated. Fragmentation weakens it. One government suffices to rule in the common interest of this continent. Each country in Europe has its strengths. Let’s get them truly together. It is the only way forward.

  71. avatar
    Dr George Yiannitsiotis

    -17 years after Ymia (when a foreign army occupied EU territory for a couple of hours without any reaction from EU bureaucracy and main EU states);
    -2,5 years after the 1st Memorandum that demolished democracy, basic human rights and welfare state in the periphery (1st victim the Hellenic Republic followed by Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Cyprus….)
    it is very odd to even talk about EU unification…

    Latest information: the USA presses hard the Hellenic Government to concessions over the Hellenic Zone of Exclussive Economic Jurisdiction threatening the territorial integrity of the country; the EU and the 4th Reich are not only absent but further erode the possibility of a Greek defence.

    We may forgive! We never forget!!.-

    PS Time has come the 4th Reich to pay for the damages caused by the 3rd Reich in Greece:
    – WWII reparations (7bn USD – 1945 value + interest)
    – pay-back the two “occupation” loans (looting of the Bank of Greece, 1942 & 1943)
    – compensation to the victims of the barbarian German occupation army (more than half a million people + private property losses) 70bn USD approximately (estimates)

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