April 24, 2005

democracy to be ignored on EU constitution

The EU has a back up plan if the deomcratic will of the people goes against it, if the a report in the Telegraph (dead tree edition on Saturday) is correct. It will ignore it. On the surface there is no basis on holding further referendums if the French vote No. The European union constitution must be ratified by all member states and a French No should effectively kill it.

However the EU was not built on letting details like No votes sway its founding fathers from their mission.This won't be the first time of course, Ireland and Denmark where told to vote again when they gave the 'wrong' answer over Maastricht, however this will be the first time that France will have been treated this way. But that is what Jean-Claude Juncke, Prime Minister of Luxembourg and current EU president, is quoted as saying,
"The French vote is important but I don't believe that it should stop the ratification process under way in other countries."
This is due to some obscure text tacked onto the end of the draft constitution that says, according to the Telegraph,
if, by December 2006, four fiths of the 25 states have ratified the treaty but "one[they where probaably thinking of the UK] or more of the member states have encountered difficulties in proceeding with ratification", then "the matter will be referred" to a summit of EU heads of state and government.
So it does not matter which way anyone votes it will simply be referred to the heads of state to ratify it anyway.


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