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Nobody is saying constitutional change should be easy. 2/3 majorities in parliament and absolute majorities of electorate are normal hurdles.  My point was simply that a unanimity requirement amongst 27 and possibly more states is too high a hurdle.  

There have been very few successful ratifications of changes in the US constitution in recent years - the last one took 200 years to be ratified.  This means the constitution can get out of date or not appropriate to modern circumstances.  And the US constitution only requires 3/4 of states to agree (as well as 2/3 congress)

Thus the "right to bear arms" clause may have been appropriate when arms meant muskets and revolvers and when people were at risk of attack from Native American indians, other colonists, bears, or just due to the general lawlessness of "the wild west".  The same clause can now be interpreted to give an individual the right to own a Tank, cluster bomb or nuclear bomb.  Hardly appropriate in modern circumstances!

My greater point is that the EU unanimity rule applies not only to constitutional changes but also to matters which any state deems to be a matter of vital national interest -which could be anything from a dairy cow suckler herd subsidy to corporate taxation rates.  This is why EU negotiations tend to be so "byzantine" in their complexity and difficulty.

I appreciate that more areas of policy will now be subject to "weighted majority voting" under the Reform Treaty if passed.  But the scope for national obstructionism is still huge.  Cypress can, for instance block Turkey's accession, unless it gets northern Cypress back.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 14th, 2007 at 07:48:04 PM EST
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