June 18, 2003

The proposed EU constitution fundamentally changes the union

David Heathcoat-Amory, Tory party representative on the convention, in the Daily Telegraph:

"Instead, the convention became a forum for institutional bargaining. Each of the existing EU bodies jostled for more power. And they succeeded. There is to be a full-time European President, elected by heads of government for a renewable two-and-a-half-year term. The European Parliament gets full law-making powers, shared equally with the Council of Ministers. More than 30 policy areas have been moved from national vetoes to qualified majority voting - a dramatic reduction in the powers of governments and parliaments to block unwelcome proposals."

"The truth is that the European Constitution founds a new union, with a single unified structure and legal personality. The existing structure, which secures the rights of member states to make their own decisions and collective arrangements about foreign policy and criminal justice matters, will disappear. The EU will have "exclusive competence" over trade, competition rules, common commercial policy, fisheries conservation and the signing of all international agreements."