SP prepares to campaign for a ‘No’ to proposed EU Constitution

20 June 2004

SP prepares to campaign for a ‘No’ to proposed EU Constitution

Last Friday, government leaders from the EU’s member states reached agreement over the European Constitution. This ‘result’ was achieved by the familiar means of leaving controversial questions – such as sanctions for breaking the rules of the contentious Growth and Stability Pact – poorly resolved. The SP intends to launch a campaign against this constitution.

A number of problems – such as the range of policy areas to be subject to decisions taken through Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) – were put on the back burner without any principled agreement being achieved.

The Constitution to be placed before us would make Europe neither more ‘social’, nor more secure, nor more democratic. The peoples of the EU member states have no desire to see a Union which institutionalises free and unrestrained competition in its constitution.

The same goes for a Constitution which imposes a duty on the member states to strengthen their military capacity, establishes a European armaments institute and an army empowered to conduct preventative wars outside Europe.

Although the Constitution would strengthen the position of the European Parliament in relation to that of the Commission and the Council, there is within the European Union no question of establishing a thoroughgoing parliamentary democracy. In relation to this the SP believes that, in any case, democracy can thrive only in a context within which the peoples of the member states feel themselves to be truly involved in the process of decision-making, something which remains a long way from being the case.

“Looking at the proposal as a whole it’s clear that what we are dealing with is more of a political programme than a true constitution,” commented SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel.

Because the majority in the Dutch Parliament supports a consultative referendum, the people of the Netherlands will have the opportunity, either at the end of this year or the beginning of next, to express their view of the Constitution.

This European Constitution is wrong, which is why the SP will be campaigning against it. Amongst other moves to prepare for this a Committee, ‘No to this European Constitution’, has been set up in order to enable SP members and people from outside the party to combine their forces to ensure a ringing ‘No!’.

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