EU Constitution signing this morning

I didn’t know this until just now, but the signing ceremony for the EU constitution is going to start in a few minutes. Le Monde is reporting that the signing starts at 11:30 this morning Europe time – about ten minutes from now. The ceremony is in Rome – where the EU was founded with the Treaty of Rome – at the Campidoglio. It is to be televised.

6 thoughts on “EU Constitution signing this morning

  1. Given that Britons are overwhelmingly against the constitution, and given that they will be called on to ratify it in 2006, what’s going to happen if (when) they reject it?

  2. The signing ceremony is 50% symbolism, 50% bull. All it signifies is that the relevants heads of government of the member states are all willing to go to Rome for a free lunch. Before it can come into effect it has to be ratified. Since a number of countries intend to put ratification to a referendum, the situation is a bit sensitive. If even one country fails to ratify it, it will not come into effect. Ergo, once one country has held a referendum that fails to ratify it, there is no need for any of the other countries to go ahead with their referenda. Politicians in all those countries are then free to take either position – saying that they were for the EU constitution, but it was somebody else’s fault that it failed, or that they were against it all along – without consequences. Only the first country to hold a failed referendum takes the political consequences.

    So, I suspect there will be a race to postpone referenda all over Europe until either someone else does it first or there is some real pressure to pass it. Either one country gets to take all the blame, or the people will not be allowed to vote on it until they’ve come to the preordained conclusion. It’s not very democratic, but then few (if any) successful constitutional processes are very democratic.

  3. I think the plan is to hold a lot of referenda on the same day. After which there will be a lot of no answers and a forest was screwed to pulp for nothing

  4. Antoni:

    can’t proyecto also be translated as “draft”? I think that’s a better translation to english, but an odd one, as the signed treaty no longer is a “draft”. is the Spanish govt going to try to get some wiggle room by telling those who don’t like it to vote for it anyway- we can change it?

    just a thought- it’s friday afternoon.

  5. mike d, while “proyecto” can indeed be used in the sense of a draft, the preferred word for that is “borrador”, it is common to use “proyecto” until it is approved, even if there is no other amendment to be done.

    DSW

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