Prescience (and uninformed speculation)

It seems that Doug’s informant was correct as a deal has been made and the new EU Consitution has been agreed, while any decision on the next Commission President has been deferred for a few weeks. Bertie Ahern is saying that he hopes it will be resolved by the end of the Irish Presidency, though.

Chris Patten, Jean-Claude Juncker and Guy Verhofstadt seem to have ruled themselves out of the running for the Presidency, with the remaining candidates seeming to be Ahern, Portuguese Commissioner Antonio Vitorino, outgoing European Parliament President Pat Cox and perennial multinational contender AN Other. I have no information to back this up other than a vague hunch, but I suspect that the search will finally end with Ahern ‘reluctantly’ leaving Dublin for Brussels.

Anyway, feel free to use this as an open thread for your thoughts on the Constitution and the Presidency.

Update: Bertie Ahern’s statement on the agreement can be found here and the agreement itself can be found here (PDF document)

12 thoughts on “Prescience (and uninformed speculation)

  1. Do you think the new EU constitution will be accepted in referendum? I’m quite skeptic about this point.

    So, was the mention of Christianism included as the Poles wanted?

  2. As a firm believer in greater transparency in European affairs and open debate, I found the official Finnish website in English text to be one of the most user-friendly for retrieving referenced IGC (Intergovernmental Conference) documents:
    http://www.vnk.fi/vn/liston/base.lsp?r=47075&k=en&old=376

    The official basic Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution, as of July 2003, which was up for debate at the IGC 17-18 June 2004 is here:
    http://european-convention.eu.int/docs/Treaty/cv00850.en03.pdf

    The official IGC Conference website is here:
    http://ue.eu.int/cms3_fo/showPage.asp?id=251&lang=en&mode=g

  3. Bigre, qu’il nous manque de conversation. </strokey-beard>Right, let’s say something, then. JR; no, as you’ve probably worked out by this stage, the Poles didn’t get the mention of Christianity in, much to Stefan Geens’ relief. And, I’m sure, to their own relief fifty years down the road.Has anyone seen a decent analysis of why Giscard d’Estaing didn’t want Turkey in the EU on the basis of, pretty much, religion a year or so ago? Because that just threw me–if you’re going to do the la?cit? thing, which, umm, France has for well over a century now, then do it consistently. And, yeah, good call Mr. Blair on putting off their referendum for another couple of years. It should be doable for them to win it–if Murdoch dies 🙂 . And, on a tangential issue, Nick Barlow links to a vaguely pro-EU column from, of all people, Jeremy Clarkson. I don’t think ayone was expecting him to be a Michael Heseltine Tory. 🙂

  4. “Right, let’s say something, then. JR; no, as you’ve probably worked out by this stage, the Poles didn’t get the mention of Christianity in, much to Stefan Geens’ relief. And, I’m sure, to their own relief fifty years down the road.”

    Because they’ll have moved on down the road of secularism by then, or because it means that the Constitution will never be accepted in a referendum and is likely DOA? :^) Not that the relatively minor issue of the Deity is really necessary to generate such a result…

    Bernard Guerrero, agnostic

  5. I think when it comes down to it the Poles will live without God in the EU constitution–it won’t surprise them coming from an institution whose early first movers were France and Germany.

    My “fifty years down the road” comment was mostly a way of saying that there probably won’t have been a Polish pope for a while at that point, and their current fervour will have eased off. Whether they will formally embrace secularism is another matter, and I don’t think it’s something that likely.

  6. “Not that the relatively minor issue of the Deity is really necessary to generate such a result… ”

    How can you say that? According to this unimpeachable source, Bush was on a divinely sanctioned mission in starting the Iraq war:

    Bush said: “God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them.” – from: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=310788&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y

    Of course, in most countries nowadays, people who feel impelled to start wars because they believe they hear voices from God usually get confined to secure mental health hospitals.

  7. Of course, in most countries nowadays, people who feel impelled to start wars because they believe they hear voices from God usually get confined to secure mental health hospitals. Hey, shut up! Small government works!

  8. Bob,

    “How can you say that? According to this unimpeachable source, Bush was on a divinely sanctioned mission in starting the Iraq war”

    What he _thinks_ is his problem. I’m just in favor of killing off lots of nasty foreigners. I don’t care if it’s God that tells him to do it or his dog. :^)

    Son of Bernard

  9. It might expedite matters if you just listed those you propose to exempt from mass extermination as that would seem to be the shorter list by several orders of magnitude.

  10. Why, are most foreigners nasty? I thought the majority of the French-folk I met on my honeymoon were ok, apart from the fellow who offered us ketchup for our escargot. Though I’ll give him points for a sense of humor, at least.

    The little list is, in actuality, fairly little.

  11. I’m a little fuzzy on what the EU Constitution would mean (that’s right, I haven’t had time to read it). Would this mean that a country like France or Belgium would now be the equivalent of a US State in terms of its independence? Would it be possible for a country to later secede from the EU without provoking a war? They made a nice little group of States here on this side of the pond, and when some of the States decided that they wanted to quit the Union, it started a war.

    Anything in the EU Constitution about an exit clause? A safety valve of some sort?

    Considering the visibility that euro-skeptics are getting in the press, it may indeed come to pass one day (maybe years from now, after everyone is nice and comfortable) that one or more states might want to quit. Those sentiments are already out there, but they just don’t have the momentum for the moment.

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