Wednesday, 5 March 2008

How Different Are The 'Lisbon Treaty' And 'EU Constitution'?

This is further to this post, on why I support the campaign for a referendum.

The answer to the question in the post's title is: Not very. Thanks to SeanT at Political Betting for this.

Clegg’s position (and Brown’s for that matter) is that the Treaty is so different to the Constitution, he doesn’t have to abide by his referendum promise.

Does this thesis hold up to scrutiny? Maybe we should go beyond the M25 and ask a few European pols what they think about this issue.

Here’s what they say:

“The fundamentals of the Constitution have been maintained in large part… We have renounced everything that makes people think of a state, like the flag and the national anthem.”
Angela Merkel, German Chancellor - El Pais, 24 June 2007

“The substance of the constitution has been retained”.
Hans-Gert Poettering, president of the European Parliament - speaking to the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 26 June 2007

“The text consists, in effect, of a revival of a large part of the substance of the Constitutional Treaty”.
Valery Giscard d’Estaing, former French president and chief architect of the EU Constitution - personal blog, 26 June 2007

“All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden and disguised in some way”.
Valery Giscard d’Estaing, former French president and chief architect of the EU Constitution - EuroMoney seminar, June 2007

“The adoption of the substance of the European Constitution under a new name is a serious violation of democratic principles.”
Jean-Luc Melenchon, French Senator and one of the main leaders of the ‘No’ campaign within the Socialist Party - Le Monde,
26 June 2007

“The substance of the Constitutional Treaty has been preserved”.

Jo Leinen MEP - head of the European Parliament’s constitutional affairs committee - Agence Europe, 26 June 2007

“A great part of the content of the European Constitution is captured in the new treaties”
Jose Zapatero, Spanish Prime Minister - El Pais, 23 June 2007

“The good thing is…that all the symbolic elements are gone, and that which really matters – the core – is left.”
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Danish Prime Minister - Jyllands-Posten, 25 June 2007

“There’s nothing from the original institutional package that has been changed”

Astrid Thors, Finnish Europe Minister - TV-Nytt, 23 June 2007

“They haven’t changed the substance - 90 per cent of it is still there.”
Bertie Ahern, Irish Prime Minister - Irish Independent, 24 June 2007

“The EU Foreign Minister is the original job as proposed but they just put on this long title - High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and also vice President of the Commission. It’s the same job […] it’s still going to be the same position.”
Bertie Ahern, Irish Prime Minister - Irish Independent, 24 June 2007

“Despite all the compromises, the substance of the draft EU Constitution has been safeguarded.”
Elmar Brok MEP, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee - Euractiv, 25 June 2007

“The referendum which the Spanish approved the Constitution has been decisive, and 99% of its content has survived.”

Diego Lopez Garrido, parliamentary spokesman for the Spanish Socialist party - El Pais, 25 June 2007

“As long as we have more or less a European Prime Minister and a European Foreign Minister then we can give them any title”
Romano Prodi, Italian Prime Minister - speech in Lisbon, 2 May 2007

“It’s essentially the same proposal as the old Constitution.”
Margot Wallstrom, EU Communications Commissioner - Svenska Dagbladet, 26 June 2007

Of course it is possible that all of these people are lying through their teeth, and dear old Cleggy and Brown are the only men of principle telling it like it is, but.. well…. erm….

Memo to Europhiles: Stop Lying.

1 comment:

Willbert said...

There is still a hope.

Vote YES to Free Europe Constitution and tell your friends to do the same - at