EU constitution summit 'may fail'

charrison

Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
17,033
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linkage

Germany and Italy have warned that a European Union summit next week may not agree a new EU constitution.
Speaking in Berlin, Italy's Prime Minister - and current EU president - Silvio Berlusconi said he was "55% optimistic" a deal would be reached.

His host, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, said both men did not rule out failure in Brussels on Friday.

The biggest disagreement has been over voting powers among nations when the EU expands to take in 10 new members.

Unchanged position

Germany and France, which together account for one-third of the bloc's population want the voting system to reflect their size.

But Spain and Poland fear domination by the bigger countries and have been fighting a fierce battle to hold on to a voting system agreed three years ago at the Nice summit.
 

Dari

Lifer
Oct 25, 2002
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That EU constitution came with a label that read: "Fragile. Do Not touch"

I'm glad to see that sovereign governments are taming this supranational beasts by taking away many of its power given to it by the authors of this mess of a constitution. The constitutional convention was certainly no Philadelphia.
 

B00ne

Platinum Member
May 21, 2001
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Whatever. I sure hope that our chancellor is not softening on our already soft position. Our (Germany) votes already are the least valuable voices in the EU ( .de, .uk, .it and .fr have 29 votes each but poulations are 83, 60, 58 and 60 mill.) Now comes poland and spain complaining they want the inital draft of the constitution which gave them 27 votes each while having a population of only 38mill. I am not willing to accept that my voice is only half as strong as a polisch or spanish voice.
The German and Italian stand is that a majority decision (by vote) also has to reflect 60% of the population of the EU. Now Poland and Spain dont want that, because the original draft (see above) gives them more power (than they deserve).

Example: Poland + Spain + Sweden, pop: ca. 87mill = 58 votes
Germany + France pop: ca. 143mill = 58 votes
 
Jan 12, 2003
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Shouldn't Germany 'qualitfy' for membership before they get bend out of shape about not having enough power in the EU decision-making processes and demand more voting power? ...if they would stop breaking the rules regarding debt-levels, perhaps they could be the 'leaders' they purport to be...
 

B00ne

Platinum Member
May 21, 2001
2,168
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You are mixing alot of things up there. A) memebership in the EU has nothing to do with the monetary union. B) the rules about debt are about the monetary union C) Germany is not the only country not being able to stay under the 3%mark D) Nobody is bending out of shape about not having enough power but small countries seem to be ebnding out shape (non-member I might add) about wanting to have more power than they should be (as my example shows being vastly overrepresented)

Repeat: Italy and Germany want to have a rule implemented that a mojority vote must also contain the majority of the population.
Spain and Poland, already being overrepresented, do not want that - because that would limit their already exsisting possibility of overruling a population majority
clear now?
 

freegeeks

Diamond Member
May 7, 2001
5,460
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Originally posted by: xxxxxJohnGaltxxxxx
The rules about debt/taxes are also part of the European Union stability pact, mein Herr.

....but this has nothing to do with the debate about the expansion on the EU

btw: drop the "Mein Herr"
 

Dari

Lifer
Oct 25, 2002
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B00ne, JohnGalt is right. If the Germans want to be good leaders, they should set examples. The European Stability Pact was a German creature. Now they're killing their own child. That doesn't bode well for their reputation.

Second, the Polish entered the EU under the premise Nice Treaty. To disregard that treaty for a new one just as they are about to enter the Union is incredibly unfair and further undermines the credibility of the big powers (like Germany). The Polish should enter under the Nice Pact they signed.

All this bodes ill for "ever closer union." It seems like there are two sub-groups growing within the Union: the big powers who like to set rules that suit them and the smaller powers. If this constitution fails, as it should, and another more pragmatic constitution is not created, the Franco-German Union espoused as a tacit threat will tear your EU apart.
 

B00ne

Platinum Member
May 21, 2001
2,168
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Dari: did u read what I wrote? What is wrong with the idea, that a majority vote should represent the majority of the EU ppl? Why should smaller counties have so much more power than bigger ones?
And btw Spain and Poland are not the countries that are on the paying end they are on the receiving side. Maybe they just want to have a higher voting power to milk the payers more...

And again the stability pact is neither an issue in the EU constitution, nor will poland be affacted by it - they are not participating. No question, it is bad that we are not able to stay within the bounds of this pact in the moment. But it is also universally agreed that it wouldnt be fruitful to rigidly adhere to the pact in tough economic times as these... France and Italy also do not manage to adhere to the conditions and they do not have a reunification to shoulder, but nobody complains about them.
 

rahvin

Elite Member
Oct 10, 1999
8,475
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Originally posted by: B00ne
Dari: did u read what I wrote? What is wrong with the idea, that a majority vote should represent the majority of the EU ppl? Why should smaller counties have so much more power than bigger ones?
And btw Spain and Poland are not the countries that are on the paying end they are on the receiving side. Maybe they just want to have a higher voting power to milk the payers more...

And again the stability pact is neither an issue in the EU constitution, nor will poland be affacted by it - they are not participating. No question, it is bad that we are not able to stay within the bounds of this pact in the moment. But it is also universally agreed that it wouldnt be fruitful to rigidly adhere to the pact in tough economic times as these... France and Italy also do not manage to adhere to the conditions and they do not have a reunification to shoulder, but nobody complains about them.
There is nothing wrong with your idea, nor is there anything wrong with the other idea. Dari simply said that you should honor the agreement you agreed to let those countries in on instead of changing the deal now.

Of course you could take a look at the american model and use a divided legislature with one house based on population and one house with equal votes per state but I'm sure you and all the other europeans think everything american is trash so I won't suggest it.
 

Dari

Lifer
Oct 25, 2002
17,134
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Originally posted by: rahvin
Originally posted by: B00ne
Dari: did u read what I wrote? What is wrong with the idea, that a majority vote should represent the majority of the EU ppl? Why should smaller counties have so much more power than bigger ones?
And btw Spain and Poland are not the countries that are on the paying end they are on the receiving side. Maybe they just want to have a higher voting power to milk the payers more...

And again the stability pact is neither an issue in the EU constitution, nor will poland be affacted by it - they are not participating. No question, it is bad that we are not able to stay within the bounds of this pact in the moment. But it is also universally agreed that it wouldnt be fruitful to rigidly adhere to the pact in tough economic times as these... France and Italy also do not manage to adhere to the conditions and they do not have a reunification to shoulder, but nobody complains about them.
There is nothing wrong with your idea, nor is there anything wrong with the other idea. Dari simply said that you should honor the agreement you agreed to let those countries in on instead of changing the deal now.

Of course you could take a look at the american model and use a divided legislature with one house based on population and one house with equal votes per state but I'm sure you and all the other europeans think everything american is trash so I won't suggest it.

Of course they could do that, but then they'd have a Presidential system, which would smack of a federal supra-state. For many nationalists, that would simply be too much. Oh, they'd have to elect a European President. But then the EU commission would have to go and the citizenry would find it hard to vote for someone from another country. Furthermore, there would have to be tax harmonization, cross-border law harmonization, and an EU standing army. But the citizenry never wanted any of this in the first place. They were simply told that the EU would be a powerful buffer against intercenine conflict, not a full-fledged supra-creature.
 

rahvin

Elite Member
Oct 10, 1999
8,475
1
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Originally posted by: Dari
Of course they could do that, but then they'd have a Presidential system, which would smack of a federal supra-state. For many nationalists, that would simply be too much. Oh, they'd have to elect a European President. But then the EU commission would have to go and the citizenry would find it hard to vote for someone from another country. Furthermore, there would have to be tax harmonization, cross-border law harmonization, and an EU standing army. But the citizenry never wanted any of this in the first place. They were simply told that the EU would be a powerful buffer against intercenine conflict, not a full-fledged supra-creature.
I don't think there can be any doubt that the futher convergence of the EU will be pushed towards the creating of a United States of Europe. Many of the conditions you mention are already underway or being planned, the only thing lacking is the political willpower of the member-states to ceede soveriegnity completely to the superstate and elect representatives directly by the people.

I just hope the super-state declares it's national language as French because I'm sure the French will suggest it!
 

magomago

Lifer
Sep 28, 2002
10,973
14
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Originally posted by: B00ne
Whatever. I sure hope that our chancellor is not softening on our already soft position. Our (Germany) votes already are the least valuable voices in the EU ( .de, .uk, .it and .fr have 29 votes each but poulations are 83, 60, 58 and 60 mill.) Now comes poland and spain complaining they want the inital draft of the constitution which gave them 27 votes each while having a population of only 38mill. I am not willing to accept that my voice is only half as strong as a polisch or spanish voice.
The German and Italian stand is that a majority decision (by vote) also has to reflect 60% of the population of the EU. Now Poland and Spain dont want that, because the original draft (see above) gives them more power (than they deserve).

Example: Poland + Spain + Sweden, pop: ca. 87mill = 58 votes
Germany + France pop: ca. 143mill = 58 votes
I noe i prolly noe nothing but why not have it in some nature like our congress?
 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
1
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www.ShawCAD.com
Less than half show support for EU

<snip>
The latest Eurobarometer to be released this week found that just 48 per cent of EU citizens viewed membership as a "good thing", down from 54 per cent last spring.

Britain was by far the most negative state, with positive feelings tumbling to 28 per cent, but even the French were below half for the first time after months of battles with Brussels over tax cuts and illegal aid to ailing firms.
</snip>

CkG
 

B00ne

Platinum Member
May 21, 2001
2,168
1
0
Originally posted by: rahvin
Originally posted by: B00ne
Dari: did u read what I wrote? What is wrong with the idea, that a majority vote should represent the majority of the EU ppl? Why should smaller counties have so much more power than bigger ones?
And btw Spain and Poland are not the countries that are on the paying end they are on the receiving side. Maybe they just want to have a higher voting power to milk the payers more...

And again the stability pact is neither an issue in the EU constitution, nor will poland be affacted by it - they are not participating. No question, it is bad that we are not able to stay within the bounds of this pact in the moment. But it is also universally agreed that it wouldnt be fruitful to rigidly adhere to the pact in tough economic times as these... France and Italy also do not manage to adhere to the conditions and they do not have a reunification to shoulder, but nobody complains about them.
There is nothing wrong with your idea, nor is there anything wrong with the other idea. Dari simply said that you should honor the agreement you agreed to let those countries in on instead of changing the deal now.

Of course you could take a look at the american model and use a divided legislature with one house based on population and one house with equal votes per state but I'm sure you and all the other europeans think everything american is trash so I won't suggest it.
Well that model was suggested kinda (not exactly since the EU is not a country and such), but as I said "some" countries dont want that. The suggested system was called double majority. Meaning each country gets one vote. A majority decision is taken when the majority of the countries AND EU population is for that decision.

Dont ask me why they cant have a normal 2 house system, dont really ask me anything too deep regarding the EU - I dont know. All I know is, i welcome any further integration of the countries, but not solely for the will of more integration. The countires and ppl should be treated equal.

I dont see Europe becomeing anything like a federal state anytime soon - not with this expansion happening now not not with UK. The only countries I could imagine getting even closer together is France, Germany, Benelux, Austria possibly Italy and even Finland.

For the official language: hmm not French - I dont speak it. Rather English - off course the French wouldnt accept that ;) , so why not take the most widely spoken language in the EU: German :D its not gonna happen ....
 

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