[fyeg_gen-l] BBC Article : EU treaty 'same as constitution'
dante.monson at gmail.com
Tue Oct 30 19:10:55 CET 2007
EU treaty 'same as constitution'
[image: Valery Giscard d'Estaing] Mr Giscard d'Estaing says the treaty is
"impenetrable for the public"
*The new EU Reform Treaty is effectively the same as the constitution it
was designed to replace, according to a leading architect of the
* Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 October 2007
The treaty differs from the abandoned constitution in "approach rather than
content", says former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing.
Mr Giscard d'Estaing led a committee drafting the constitution, rejected by
French and Dutch voters in 2004.
Several European governments hope to avoid a referendum on the new treaty.
In an article in the UK newspaper, The Independent, Mr Giscard d'Estaing
says the treaty makes important concessions to the UK.
The UK, alongside Denmark and The Netherlands, is among the countries whose
governments oppose a referendum.
Mr Giscard d'Estaing points out that the UK will not be bound by the
treaty's rules on human rights and judicial harmonisation, and would retain
the right to "duck in and out of the system as it pleases".
British Euro-sceptics want the government to hold a referendum on the
treaty, arguing it is no different to the constitution.
However, the government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown wants the treaty to
be passed by parliament alone.
Mr Giscard d'Estaing says the "proposed institutional reforms" of the
rejected constitution can still be found in the new treaty.
The authors of the new treaty, he says, have taken the original draft
constitution and "blown it apart into separate elements".
They have then "re-attached them, one by one, to existing treaties".
Changes to the original constitution - such as jettisoning references to a
European flag and anthem - were made to "head off any threat of referenda",
Mr Giscard d'Estaing says.
The EU Reform Treaty was agreed earlier this month at a summit in Lisbon,
The document aims to streamline decision-making within an enlarged EU of 27
It was written to replace an EU draft constitution that was overwhelmingly
rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2004.
In his article for The Independent, Mr Giscard d'Estaing says the treaty was
drafted by legal experts in a process very different from the "public"
debates that yielded the constitution.
He describes the treaty as "a catalogue of amendments" that is impenetrable
for the public.
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