Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Unanimity


Europe again (see here and here for previous thoughts).

Laurent Fabius on France Inter states that France and Germany need to have equal weighting, whereas under the 'qualified majority' of the constitution France would have 30% less voting power than Germany.

He 'thanks' Nicolas Sarkozy for making the argument that a 'oui' to the constitution is needed to bring about a 'less social' France.

Asked by a listener which clauses in the constitution prohibit a 'social Europe' or impose a 'liberal Europe', he cited two which for social or fiscal harmonisation require unanimity. Surely this is the case under the existing treaties? Anyway, apparently that was OK for the Europe of 6, but not for the enlarged EU, where there is a wide divergence in social protection.

Of course, renegotiation is possible in theory, but the issue is one of practicality. If enlargement is a good thing, as he claims, and France now rejects what has been agreed by the 15, how can it expect to get a 'more social' Europe when the 10 new members will have their say?

Comments here (bits of the above in French).

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