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I think your argument that the EU has been in paralysis since the constitution was rejected by two states is a powerful one and needs to be made in the letter

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 25th, 2008 at 03:44:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You'll have to make it.  I'm busy preparing for war over the legacy of John Lennon with afew. ;)

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Tue Nov 25th, 2008 at 04:04:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It has to cut a shade deeper than that, I think. Arguing that Lisbon will help to get the EU back up to speed is all well and good, but there's a crucial difference between speed and velocity, in that velocity has a direction... We'll have to outline which direction Lisbon will speed us up in, and if that direction is not self-evidently A Good Direction(TM), we'll also have to make a reasonably convincing case that it's better than the direction the EU would drift if left to the undercurrents of history.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Nov 25th, 2008 at 04:19:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well at the moment the EU seems incapable of moving decisively in any direction, so drift is the only option - which is dangerous if there storms at sea.  Having the capability to act effectively in response to as yet unknown exigencies can in itself be regarded as a requirement for a resilient system, even if we don't know that the optimal course will always be chosen.

I may not always trust the Captain, but I would like my ship to have an engine and a rudder regardless.  The Captain we can always change if he messes up - but designing a ship without engine and rudder adequate to navigate the shifting tides and currents of history is asking for  trouble.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 25th, 2008 at 04:36:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would like to underline that there is a european election next year. Until now, the right wing parties have won european elections for the last 15 years. The european policy on economics seems to me directly impacted by this fact. A change in european policy cannot appear without an increased left wing presence at the EU parliament. This is were the EU propositions are ultimately voted, not in the commission (who only redacts them).

A free fox in a free henhouse!
by Xavier in Paris on Tue Nov 25th, 2008 at 05:12:41 PM EST
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While I do not wish to subtract from the importance of voting in the 2009 EP election, I would like to add that the commission holds both the legislative initiative as well as the possibility to veto the end result.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Nov 25th, 2008 at 05:35:17 PM EST
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And ultimately, the real power is held by the Council!!  Regrettably the EP is still a bit of a paper tiger, although Lisbon would also have given it more power - something the Letter should also reflect...

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 25th, 2008 at 06:08:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apart from expanding the codecision process to cover the other two pillars, is there any other expansions of EP power in the Lisbon treaty?

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Nov 25th, 2008 at 06:21:36 PM EST
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The right to dismiss Commissioners?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 25th, 2008 at 06:37:33 PM EST
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That is definetly something. Care to explain the rules of it or give me a link?

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Nov 25th, 2008 at 07:32:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In a world where unanimous decisions are usual, having the right to promote a dissenting one is important. This is the way the EU parliament works, and there are example of it having an actual effect (in environmental matters for what i would know). It has the right to ask the commission to rewrite its documents. THe council decides, but it does so on commission written documents, if these documents are revised by the parliament, it means you have some way to modify them.

I believe you should see it as some sort of Venice Doge Republic, rather than a copy of the US constitution. the MEP would be some kind of "Grand conseil" or "Conseil des 40" for Europe.

It shouldn't be dismissed.

A free fox in a free henhouse!

by Xavier in Paris on Wed Nov 26th, 2008 at 03:09:37 PM EST
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the EU parliament also approve the newly instated comission, with a veto right. Remember the Santer commission. (which was dismissed by parliament)

A free fox in a free henhouse!
by Xavier in Paris on Wed Dec 17th, 2008 at 03:01:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the captain is piss-drunk and wants to head towards the storm, it might be better to just drift around for a while...

Part of the issue here is that in the process of building the engine, we also shape the captain who crews it. All other things being equal, I agree that European integration is A Good Thing. But all other things are not necessarily equal, and anyway, I'm not among those you need to win over, because I'm already in favour of Lisbon - in fact, if I have a complaint, it is that Lisbon doesn't go far enough.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Nov 26th, 2008 at 04:20:05 PM EST
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Yes there needs to be controls on Captains, but that doesn't mean building ships without engines.  And your argument that the engine shapes the captain is a bit weird. The proposed Engine in this case is the Lisbon constitutional structure of the EU.  The question of who gets the top job is an entirely distinct question.  Blair might even have had himself in mind for the job.  That doesn't mean he will get it, and indeed, makes it no more likely that he will get it.

We could write an entire diary on the ship of state metaphor for constitutional reform.  Most politicians are better suited for sailing boats as they just go wherever the wind blows tacking from left to right all the while.  Blair fancied a luxury cruise liner with all his rich buddies on board.  The neocons wanted a battle ship they could base their missiles on.  I'd be happy with a  hard working feighter keeping the economies ticking over - using solar/wind energy, of course!

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 26th, 2008 at 04:40:53 PM EST
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