Constitution disrupts European cooperation

28 April 2005

Constitution disrupts European cooperation

The twentry-one European countries which do not belong to the European Union have had no influence whatsoever on the “European” constitution which, in contrast, will have a major influence on their future. And their cooperation with the member states of the EU within the Council of Europe will be seriously disrupted, according to SP Senator Tiny Kox, speaking today in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg.

“Instead of the forty-six members, the Council of Europe now has only twenty-one plus one, with the one being the European Union, which has more inhabitants, more money, more multinationals, and more economic and military might than the other twenty-one put together and to a growing extent speaks with one voice,” said Senator Kox during a debate on the consequences for the rest of Europe should the EU constitution be accepted.

Kox was sharply critical of the pressure which governments of EU member states are putting on their citizens to vote ‘Yes’: “In the Netherlands government ministers are trying to frighten people with the threat of economic chaos and even war should they vote ‘No’. The French President says that his country’s position in Europe and the world is at stake. The Prime Minister of Denmark claims that they will have to leave the EU should the people vote ‘no’. Only the British government is keeping quiet, hoping that an end is put to the European Constitution before it puts an end to them.”

Tiny Kox offered this alternative: “If the constitution is not adopted, the EU will need to take a good look at itself. It may well need to reinvent itself. That could lead to the furtherance of cooperation in the European Union, but on a more democratic, more socially progressive and more sustainable footing than is currently planned.”

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