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What Price Federalism?

by afew Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 05:46:23 AM EST

Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Guy Verhofstadt come out fighting with a new book calling for the European Parliament to declare itself a Constituent and draft a new federal constitution for Europe (I'm going on the launch releases and commentary, not having read the book).

Manifesto for a post-national and federal Europe - LSE - Events

" For Europe is a call. A wake up call directed to every citizen. It is an exercise in lucidity that encourages reflection. And it is also an alarm bell. The tone is frank, passionate. The arguments hard hitting : “Europe must once and for all get rid of the navel gazing of its nation-states. A radical revolution is needed. A large European revolution. And a European federal Union must emerge. A Union that enables Europe to participate in the postnational world of tomorrow. By laziness, cowardice and lack of vision, too many of our Heads of State and Government prefer not to see what is at stake. Let’s wake them up. Let’s confront them with their impotence. And give them no respite until they have taken the European way, the way to a Europe of the future, towards a Europe for Europeans. The era of empty summits and statements is over. Now is the time for action."

They quite rightly bash the appalling display of member-state egoism which is encouraged by the current EU set-up, neither national sovereignty nor federalism. They're quite right that Europe cannot, will not, go on this way. And personally, I'm all for a federalist revolution. But this bothers me:

The federal revolution | New Europe

The authors paint a picture of the EU as 27 squabbling nation states, with an aging population, too dependent on fossil fuels and unable to compete with the “political and economic powerhouses of the caliber of China, India, Brazil or the United States.”

Scathing about the EU being blamed for the euro crisis, austerity led recession and alienating people from politics, an accusation they describe as “absurd” and “nonsense” the authors state “It is the Member States who bear the full responsibility for today’s debacle.”

Speaking about the Eurozone crisis, the two lawmakers explain, “The essence of today’s crisis: a shared currency is incompatible with the continued existence of the old nation states, at least in their current form.” They argue that the solution is a European federal state or “the European currency must disappear.”

If the essential nature of the federal state is to enforce the current version of the single currency, it isn't going to work. And if Germany only sees federalism as an enforcer of its own obdurate and self-seeking line, what use will federalism be?


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The book comes out simultaneously in six languages.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 05:51:43 AM EST
In 2005, the left-wing in France asked for a pan-european referedum on the constitution. They also asked for an ELECTED Constituent. None of these happened. Instead, we got a compromise text, which was far from a constitution (compare the 2005 treaty to german, french, or US constitutions).

My analysis is that it is currently very difficult to go beyond the states for a bit of solidarity. At the slightest difficulty, the people in the street will majoritarily fall back to a "we first" way of thinking.

In 2005, it was clear that limitations to the social aspects of the treaty were due both to UK, who did not want them, and Sweden/Finland, who were deeply convinced that their system was better and would fail if federalized. As I have been living in different EU countries in 1999-2001, I could easily spot the sentences corresponding to compromises in the 2005 treaty, and I gave the text a chance.

Eight years afterwards, I feel like nothing can happen in the current frameset that would go beyond the current intergov' way. The only thing not retained from the 2005 treaty in the next one was the increased parliament role.

And I'm more and more convinced that according an economic policy through treaties instead of laws is dangerous: a treaty is much more difficult to change than a law. That means that the basic feature of democracy, aka the ability to change policy through elections, is NOT implemented at the european level.
I personnally do not care if the the only impact my vote have is to decide whether it is Mr Barroso or Mr Prodi who gets the official car with the blue and yellow flag.

I believe that this solidarity between the different people of europe has to be constructed, through erasmus student exchange programs, but also by new means. I'm currently thinking that a european social safety net could be implemented, in the current frame, dedicated to ADD a very low extreme emergency benefit to the current national systems.
Economically, this should be funded by a european-wide, EU-parliament-decided, company tax (as companies currently evade taxation by using the europena free translation from one country to the other). It should be very low (100€/month max) so as not to provide wrong incentives in the least advanced countries (Hungary, Romania...). It should add itself to current state benefits (I'm pretty sure french or german disemployed could use 100€). It should be a disemployed benefit, so as to have a counter cyclical effect, and it should be identical in amount in the differnt countries, so as to constitute a social trasfer mechanism from booming countries to depressed ones. It should also be completely managed by EU personnal, so as to constitute a class of european public servant aware of the interests of the social safety net.

A free fox in a free henhouse!

by Xavier in Paris on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 06:49:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A European social safety net isn't going to happen while Europe is being used as a cash cow by neo-liberal banker barbarians.

The problem isn't the implementation of the safety net - it's creating a constitutional pushback which locks out insane anti-democratic policies instead of locking them in.

Public demonstrations are - apparently - mostly ineffective, and not the solution.

I wish I knew what the solution was. But I suspect the problem is one of what used to be called consciousness-raising and organisation - small personal meetings leading to changes in voting patterns, and small accessible media events that can be shared quickly and distract immediately from mainstream narratives.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 08:38:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My feeling here, is that you need a public-servant class that has an interest in the existence of a public sector at european level, which is not the case now.

That's what made me think about the way a project such as the one described above could be managed (the laternative being a management by state level administrations).

In the current schematic, the only european wide lobbies are private companies. Therefore, you have a private company like policy.

If you want a public sector friendly policy, you need to have someone defending public sectors at the european level. Who will do that? National elites? Banks? Big companies? If an administration existed which activity would be taxing private comapanies and count unemployed, then this administration, as an organization, would tend to acquire some beliefs in public action toward unemployed and companies.

A free fox in a free henhouse!

by Xavier in Paris on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 09:24:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know this is a "chicken egg " situation... ;-)

A free fox in a free henhouse!
by Xavier in Paris on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 09:27:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Xavier in Paris:
a public-servant class that has an interest in the existence of a public sector at european level, which is not the case now

It could be argued that the Commission (is supposed to) serve(s) that purpose.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 11:18:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You know what's funny? A large fraction of the Spanish PP cadres who work so diligently at dismantling the state and routinely attack public servants... are public servants on leave. Many are government attorneys.

Esperanza Aguirre, the darling of the neoliberal right in Spain, recently stepped down as regional Premier of Madrid, and allegedly returned to her job as a civil servant in the tourism department.

In France, Jerome has mentioned the loss by Grendes Écoles graduates of their former public service ethos. Now you have a collection of elite state schools churning out the cadres of private banks and corporations, and with a wealth capture ethos.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 11:50:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FT.com: EU draft urges contracts for euro states (October 2, 2012)
The provision, included in a report distributed to EU countries before this month's summit, would require all 17 eurozone members to sign on to the kinds of Brussels-approved policy programmes and timelines now negotiated only with bailout countries.

If adopted, the plan could help to meet demands in Germany for tighter control over the economies of highly indebted countries such as Italy and France that have a mixed record on economic reform.

The proposals, seen by the Financial Times, reflect how far some EU leaders believe they need to overhaul the eurozone with more centralised decision-making. It is a shift that many policy makers conclude will require a wholesale change in EU treaties.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 06:02:51 AM EST
Any version of a single currency requires more of a state than we have: there must be more redistribution and there must be an industrial policy. That requires pooling of sovereignty and a sense of solidarity. It doesn't necessarily mean keeping this version of the Euro.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 06:31:17 AM EST
Verhofstadt is selling federalism on false economic premises: @VerhofstadtGuy
EU public debt 80%. Average interest rate 5%. USA 102% debt. Japan 228%. And both have lower interest rates. Why? Single gov.
The real reason, of course, being that the other countries have central bank monetization of government debt.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 06:34:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was stirred to tweet.

Wonders will never cease.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 09:07:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You were not shaken?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 09:10:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the rocks. With Europe.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 09:31:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it necessery to have a single government to be politically able to monetize government debt? Should there be an explicitly or implicitly democratic way to control how much to monetize. States can't have liberum veto on each others budgets. Central bankers choosing whose debt to monetize and how much doesn't sound too democratic either.
by Jute on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 08:27:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it necessery to have a single government to be politically able to monetize government debt?

There is no technical reason it should be required. But that would be a historically unprecedented development.

Should there be an explicitly or implicitly democratic way to control how much to monetize.

In the federal solution, the ECB would monetize all the bonds emitted by the European federal job guarantee program. Which would, presumably, be under the control of the EU treasury.

In the confederal solution, the ECB should (a) monetize at zero per cent interest up to some number (conventionally 60 % of GDP, but this is a totally arbitrary number and can be set at whatever - I would personally set it at 100 % of GDP because it's a nice, round number), (b) sell newly printed € on the open market to depress the exchange rate at a rate equal to the €-zone's aggregate external deficit (if any - if it's running an external surplus, then make no intervention), and (c) print new currency to the tune of each current account deficit country's CA deficit and deposit it in the country's treasury.

There are viable halfway houses between the federal and confederal solution, but there are no viable halfway houses between the confederal solution and a return to independent sovereign currencies.

- Jake

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

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 09:00:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I sure hope it doesn't. But DC-B and Verhofstadt don't seem to be communicating about structural changes to the euro.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 06:34:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DCB seems to have figured out which way the political wind is blowing. Cohn-Bendit: Politically Stateless? (February 25th, 2012)
Anyway, this debate is over: the "six pack" reforming the Stability Pact and economic governance of the euro area was adopted last year. The budgetary union treaty (fiscal pact) does not change much from this point of view, beyond the debt brake that is only the transcription at national level of what exists at European level. The reality of Europe today is the culture of stability for all. The debate is not about the stability which we need, but on how to organize solidarity.
The European culture of stability is the stability of the graveyard.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 06:39:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One has to wonder whether it is ignorance, fear or pragmatism that keeps them from addressing the destructive role played by the financial sector and the justifying ideology that they have administered/sold to the public. This has to be effectively addressed before any real solution can emerge.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 09:11:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the case of CDB, I think it's a worship of consensus and/or "the art of the possible".

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 09:14:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which - given the forces present at the moment - means that what is politically possible is economically unworkable.

Like establishing a wheel-based industry if the only political possible definition of π is 3.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 09:39:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But tricycles work!

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 09:42:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Try picycles.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 11:20:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did not notice that she wrote π and read it as n = 3. Silly me.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 11:27:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking it was likely some combination of a desire to remain in (an unviable) mainstream of opinion and a desire to remain acceptable (to at least some) financial sector donors slightly to the right of George Soros.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 09:57:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cohn-Bendit has never been mainstream and is hardly the kind to be looking for donors.

You know, when you're a hammer everything can look like a nail?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 03:42:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As economic noob it appears to me that a first order priority should be resolving the disconnect between one coin and 17 different interest rates. The Euro-crisis wasn't a direct result from the absence of a single government or the presence of different nation states, but the absence of a centralized monetary framework. Admittedly, that touches sovereignty to a degree.

But I don't yet see a sentence dedicated to that. To me, pitching a federalist union without mentioning the very heart of the problem seems... somewhat opportune.

by Nomad on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 06:58:39 AM EST
just means you're not entirely debauched by economics.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 07:08:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And if Germany only sees federalism as an enforcer of its own obdurate and self-seeking line, what use will federalism be?

The Third Reich before the invasion of Russia without the tanks, bombings, and fancy duds.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 07:51:25 AM EST
We cannot have a Federalism that writes a broken economic model into the Constitution/Treaties.

(As Xavier has already noted, to do so creates an effectively unfixable mess.)

However, Germany will not participate in anything that does not write it's broken economic model into the constitution.

So I don't think we can make progress until we sort out some agreement on an economic model that works.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 08:05:18 AM EST
New Economic Perspectives: MODERN MONEY: The way a sovereign currency "works" (October 2, 2012)

Slides of a presentation by L. Randall Wray.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 09:31:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't mean that "we" as in "ET" don't have a sense of what works economically - I meant that Europe is going nowhere until we can persuade (for example) a significant fraction of the German economics establishment of what works...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 09:49:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
they'll try everything else first, natch, but if, and it's an immense if, we can rein in banking, purify it of its casino aspect, and tax it properly, we could be successful either as independent countries or as the EU powerhouse we were sold (down the river) on.

their worst practices caused this mess, and unless that cancer is addressed, i don't see a pretty future for our continent, seperate or united.

in one sense sans that extirpation of the greediest, most inhumanly sociopathic element of our societies, whether we rally under sovereign flags or the EU one, the problem remains toxically ignored, embedded at core root level into the warp and woof of all our societies, and eating out their hearts from within.

the carrot was the euro, now it appears comes the stick...

federalism by truncheon, in other words. hate the troika, well tough, you'll never see them anyway, just vote out your local spiv and replace him with another clone in the wings.

neoliberalism wants to return us to feudalism, that much is clear, a world where the 1% rule the 75% by instrumentalisation of the 24% who do the dirty work of torture, wet work, crowd provocation, data crunching, backroom energy and media deals, surveillance, weaponisation and meddling with neighbours for profit.

the membrane of brute thuggishness seems impermeable, seperating the 1% from the rest of us, but the will and means to inform ourselves independently has never been stronger.

what's lacking is....organisation, and germany is taking advantage of this, because it comes as naturally to them as it doesn't to the italians, and probably the greeks, irish, portugese and spanish too.

the PIIG countries don't want to germanise their own cultures, and germany doesn't want to become chaotic, so there's a standoff, germany pointing to the logic of 'stability' but only the germans are able to stomach that much organisation of life.

that's why a bit of german organisation would do a world of good if adopted in the periphery, but no-one wants the full monty.

some germans recognise that the 'organising principle' may have invincible inner coherence as a concept, but carried out becomes a kind of hell world from which they have a great tradition of escaping, through cults like romanticism, fetishisation of exoticism, nietschean megalomania and travel. so many faithfully uphold the society they have created with their superior logical faculties while dreaming how to get out and away to somewhere where the people remember how to feel passion for life and love, can actually be romantic, instead of fondly fetishising it while remaining mired in the mores of a society ruled by the greyspragmatics. they want to lighten up, and we want to get some upgrades in how to intelligently run aspects of society.

europe envies germany's conviction, but ultimately the shoe doesn't fit, and we don't want to wear it. we'd love their industrial chops and export numbers, but fuggedaboutit. Aint. Gonna. Happen...

can we bumble on without them bossing us around?

can they bravely work themselves to death while fantasising of the dolce vita they have to travel to find?

each week a new thrilling episode of this surreality show!

 

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 10:31:22 AM EST
It seems to me that there are several separate topics mingled together in this discussion.

  • Clearly, if you are going to have a single currency then you need a single interest rate.
  • Probably it is better if you have freedom of movement of workers within the single currency zone, so that individuals can take advantage of changes in conditions over time and geography and tax rates and government benefits.
  • You need a unified regulatory environment to encourage migration of physical and intellectual assets within the region.

But I'm not sure that this all adds up to an argument for federalism. Sure the U.S. proves that the federal system is the best that can be imagined, right? <not> But what makes our system work to the extent it does is more about having a single, big marketplace. That doesn't require a federal governmental system. The British Commonwealth an example...
by asdf on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 12:37:04 PM EST
I'm thinking there's a parallel here with the debates between Hamilton and Madison on the federalisation of Revolutionary War debts in Hamilton's first term as US Treasury Secretary.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 12:59:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Commonwealth is a single, big marketplace?

If the US weren't federal, would you have "freedom of movement of workers", and "a unified regulatory environment to encourage migration of physical and intellectual assets within the region"?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 03:50:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the Commonwealth isn't what it used to be, but in its heyday, the Commonwealth countries had:

  • Trade agreements (which allowed New Zealand to maintain an artificially high standard of living, for example)
  • Common standards for electricity and cars (Brit cars assembled in Sydney, driving on the wrong side of the road)
  • Publishing companies with offices in all the capitals (Penguin, for example)
  • Similar governmental and social policies (British bureaucracy exported to India)
  • And while not completely free, relatively unencumbered migration between countries. An example is Rolf Harris, Australian musician, moved to England at 22, spends lots of time in Canada, comes to the U.S. sometimes but is basically a Commonwealthian.

The federal nature of the U.S. is an advantage, certainly. But even without it we would probably mostly still speak English and would be able to travel. That's not guaranteed, though--South America mostly speaks Spanish but you can't move from country to country all that easily.
by asdf on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 09:36:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even "at its heyday" (1960s?) the Commonwealth was little more than the leftovers of the British Empire, and certainly no single market. As for labour mobility, young whites from Oz or NZ have always been able to move to London (and Rolf Harris became a recording star in the 60s and so has always had the money to swan around the planet), but ask the poor and darker-skinned how easy migration is.

The conclusion that, without the decision to federate, Norte Americanos would "probably mostly still speak English", is hasty. Faced with fragmented states, it's historically quite possible that both France and Spain would have held on to much larger portions of the North American continent.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 02:00:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Plus some of the Northern states would probably speak German.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 04:38:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
:)

But no doubt no states would be speaking an indigenous language.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 05:14:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe Oklahoma. Or New Mexico.
by asdf on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 01:41:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you're underestimating the tight linkage between Commonwealth countries as it was up until around 1970 when Britain redirected her energy to the EC.

You're right about trying to predict what would have happened if there were no federated system. The Louisiana Purchase probably wouldn't have happened, which would have significantly changed the history of the western 2/3 of the country. I'm not so sure about the German point, though, because while there was a huge immigration from Germany, it was a social thing that caused them to integrate into the existing environment. The federal government wasn't very strong in the 19th century and I don't know that the programs to integrate Germans was really driven from Washington... "What if the Constitution had not been ratified" is really getting into serious speculation...

by asdf on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 01:40:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(which allowed New Zealand to maintain an artificially high standard of living, for example)

Hey, that's my childhood you're talking about!
It would have been better for all to have preserved that, i.e. keep the UK out of the Common Market.

And how dare you use Rolf Harris as an example of anything!

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 at 04:21:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The proposition that the European Parliament could just  declare itself a constituent assembly seems absurd. How would the member states react, to what would be a revolutionary attack on existing sovereign nations? Why should they accept any plan, which was not drawn up by a body they had authorised to be a constituent assembly?

What if the national governments just ignored whatever constitution might be drawn up? What prospects would there be for ever bringing a new federal arrangement into force?

If a federal constitution is ever drawn up and brought into force for the EU, it will need the co-operation of all or almost all the national governments.

When the United States decided to revise the Articles of Confederation, the task was not undertaken by the Congress of the Confederation on its own authority. The Philadelphia convention consisted of delegations chosen by 12 of the 13 state legislatures. The resulting constitution had to be ratified by the states.

Rhode Island, which had not been represented at the constitutional convention, eventually had to be coerced into signing up for the new more perfect Union by threats of economic sanctions. However if most of the state governments had not wanted a new constitution it would not have happened, however much people active in the confederation government might have wanted it.

by Gary J on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 at 05:11:01 PM EST
European parliaments does have a tradition of this sort of thing. At one time or the other they have claimed power (by popular mandate) and had a face-off with other forces (typically royalty).

Right now, what we are seeing is ECB claiming powers they don't have. The Council is preparing to make that permanent by drafting amendments that will then be rammed through national parliaments. The EP answering in kind and writing an alternative would be refreshing.

An ordered process for constitutional development it is not, but it would still be better then what we see today.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Oct 9th, 2012 at 03:27:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clearly, calling for a revolution is a fairly hollow gesture if there is not a revolutionary situation -- in other words, a teetering balance of power.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Oct 9th, 2012 at 04:08:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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