Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

More on to EU or not EU.

I've been watching with interest the European leaders' effort to impose, from the top, an EU Constitution on the various populations. I just read a Stratford Intelligence Report that indicates that length alone of the proposed EU Constitution is part of what's making this such a hard sell:

The chief obstacle to an EU constitution in France and elsewhere is political and social -- it is the unwillingness to abandon sovereignty. This sensibility is always there, but it is activated when the political ambitions of the new regime interact with hard times. This is doubly the case when people believe that their own problems and votes might have no bearing on the actions or policies of the new political system. This dilemma is symbolized by the nature of the new constitution -- it is 300 pages long. A constitution must define the regime. It must define institutions and the limits on those institutions. It must define individual rights and, in a federal system, the rights of nonfederal governments. Above all, it must be terse. The more complex it is, the less the ordinary citizen can trust it. A 300-page constitution, by dint of its very size, sums up the first problem facing Europe: The EU is governed by a bureaucracy whose ways cannot be understood by ordinary citizens, and which does not intend itself to be understood. It is therefore not trusted. A second problem is that the constitution is made up of a series of staggeringly complex compromises that defy clear understanding. If American constitutional law is complex, European constitutional law, as written, is beyond comprehension, let alone debate. The voters simply don't know what they are voting for. Even if they did favor the principle of European unification, no one really knows, under this constitution, precisely what they would be committing to. This is not a solvable problem. The complexity is inevitable. It derives from an understanding of Europe that relies on specialists rather than citizen-politicians, and an uneasiness among nations that has resulted in a compromise of bewildering complexity. The Europeans either have an incomprehensible constitution, or they have no chance of agreeing on one at all.
I still haven't decided whether the fact that the Europeans are suddenly backing out of what seem, in the 90s, to be a fait accompli. As we've learned from the situation in the Middle East, the status quo is not always the best thing, and change can be good. Nevertheless, my instinct is to keep Europe a bit fragmented, and not to have to deal with a monolithic, anti-American, anti-Semitic, increasing Islamized European nation-state. Previous posts: To EU, or not to EU