Monday, January 22, 2007

The EU, God and Poland...


...here we go again.

As Richard at EU Referendum notes, Angela Merkel is not just putting the blessed EU Constitution back on the agenda (big, wide-mouthed yawn!) but she is putting GOD back on the negotiating table., too.

Please….have mercy!

EU Referendum blog says Merkel regrets the big ‘C’ was not specifically identified in the original EU Constitution document as, "...[I] would have liked to have seen a clearer declaration on the Christian roots (of Europe) … No one doubts that they significantly shape our life, our society."

Richard then goes on to speculate that this is, “…primarily a [German?] ploy to exclude Turkey from the EU, or make it feel unwelcome – in the hope that this Muslim country would be dissuaded from joining.”

Well, maybe – although Merkel is chairwoman of the German Christian Democrat Union

But putting God back in the ‘Constitution’ (Zzzzzz) is that rare thing: an issue that unites Warsaw and Berlin.

The Kaczynski brothers would gladly throw off that chip on their shoulder about being called a ‘potato’ by a German newspaper if they could join hands with Merkel over getting Christianity into the resurrected EU (yawn!) Constitution.

The previous (yawn, Zzzzz, snore!) constitution mentioned Europe’s ‘religious and humanist’ traditions.

Personally, I don’t see why we have to have any mention of this kind of thing at all. Basically, the treaty is going to be about how to manage an EU with 27 members in it. It should not be about forcing a collective value system on what it means to be ‘European’.

Richard at the EU Referendum blog concludes on the whole sorry non-debate:

Politics and religion, of course, is a dangerous mix but, when an idea is floated in the European Union, it does seen that you simply cannot say no. Like a recalcitrant child refusing to eat its breakfast being re-presented with the same meal again and again, the people of Europe, it seems, are to have God thrust into their lives – and a Christian God at that - whether they like it or not.

Amen.

11 comments:

Albert said...

If EU goes down that path, it will soon find itself at mercy of the mob of the bible-thumping boobs. God save the EU!

jannovak57 said...

Angela Merkel’s attempt to include God in the constitution reflects that she hasn’t got a clue of how to advance the ratification of the proposed constitution. Has the lack of the G word been the cause of a no vote in France and Holland?

Scott Little said...

Next they'll have Intelligent Design trying to invade its way into EU educational policies. Aaaaahhhhhhh, No!

I agree with jannovak57, this will add nothing to the palatability of a constitution, possibly even deter it more.

Brad said...

''"Basically, the treaty is going to be about how to manage an EU with 27 members in it. It should not be about forcing a collective value system on what it means to be ‘European’."''

Indeed, it should not be about forcing a collective value system on the EU or Europeans. However your initial analysis, that this is akin to trying to exclude Turkey (or just poke it with a stick) is probably correct. Or it's just placating some voters or people with money.

So, basically the constitution SHOULD be about how to manage a 27 member EU. What it WILL be ...is probably something far different. Nonetheless, I do believe we need a constitution and sooner rather than later.

beatroot said...

Yeah, but why call it a 'constitution' in the first place? It quite evidently is NOT a constitution. Constitutions (look at the great ones like the US or France - or even the old Polish Constitution) was about the relationship between the individual and the state. But the EU is not a state. And the previous dovument was 250 pages (or more) of legalistic bullshit.

ELIE SMITH REPORT11 said...

While I do agree that, politics and religion doesn't mix well, it is also important not refused your roots and history. It was exactly why the EU constitution was rejected and will be rejected as many times in France as possible,whenever the regurgitated politicians in Brussels will try to impose it on citizens.

Rejecting the EU constitution does not mean being anti European as a commanding section of the doom and gloom media wants us to think.

opamp said...

The new president of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Poettering has promised to act as a "fair and objective" president of the whole assembly, indicating that despite his personal convictions, he would no longer press for a reference to God in any revised EU constitution.

[...]

The German deputy said one of his key priorities would be to boost a "dialogue between cultures", particularly between Christian and Muslim religions.

[...]

German chancellor Angela Merkel [said] "we need a European identity in the form of a constitutional treaty and I think it should be connected to Christianity and God, as Christianity has forged Europe in a decisive way."

http://euobserver.com/9/23276

jannovak57 said...

Brad said.."Basically, the treaty is going to be about how to manage an EU with 27 members in it. It should not be about forcing a collective value system on what it means to be ‘European’."

As much as Europeans have in common with one another, there remains a great deal of diversity because of history, culture and religion. I agree with Brad that they should not include a collective value system; this is likely to be a cause for division rather than unity.

The impact on Turkey with including reference to Christianity is just another irritant in the relationship. The way Turkey’s been treat represents a colossal strategic mistake on the part of France and Germany.

Beatroot said... “why call it a 'constitution' in the first place?”

Exactly this is not a constitution in the way we understand the term however it doesn’t matter what we call it. There has to be a clear legal framework for the relationship of the nation state to the EU.

ELIE SMITH REPORT11 said... “important not refused your roots and history”
I agree on this point, it’s just that it doesn’t belong in this document.

I understand that when the French voted on the constitution they were angry with their political leaders and this played a significant role in the rejection. I don’t understand from your comment what the other reasons for rejection were and whether they were the same reasons the Dutch had for rejecting it.

The constitution is too long a document for anyone to expect the majority of the voters to read and fully comprehend. It seems to be a document that enshrines a lot of things that are normally dealt with by parliaments as legislation not constitutional principals.
I expect that eventually we will have a constitution; it’s just that the process could have been better managed.

beatroot said...

Jan
however it doesn’t matter what we call it. There has to be a clear legal framework for the relationship of the nation state to the EU.

But, Jan, what we call ‘it’ is crucial.

It was me that said that the treaty is going to be about how to manage an EU with 27 members in it. It should not be about forcing a collective value system on what it means to be ‘European’."

The point being that nation states have constitutions; they have a history; they have a culture…the EU is NOT A STATE and therefore CANNOT HAVE A CONTITUTION.

A constitution is what mediates the individual to the state. What Brussels wants to do is bind individuals to the EU. It’s a desperate attempt to make that institution relevant and credible….

Another way of doing this is to try and create value systems that everyone can relate to, so in turn relate to the EU. Hence the search for ‘Europeaness’ which as you say is not cohesive, its divisive.

So it’s trying to make itself into something it is not – a pseudo-state with a pseudo constitution.

They should have just called it another ‘treaty’, scale down their ambitions to something more manageable and less intrusive and leave the people of the EU in peace.

opamp said...

beatroot,

The EU will have a constitution, and it will have a reference to God. However, it will most likely not be this constitution.

why call it a 'constitution' in the first place?

Because the EU needs a constitution. The document in question is not a constitution; because the constitution describes the relationships of the citizen with the state. The EU citizen officially has no relationship with the EU; in practice however, the citizen is directly impacted by it, in terms of legislation, taxes and dotations. The EU is thus practically a state-like entity, while technically not being a state, and therefore avoiding the responsibilities of the state.

This is why the constitution is needed: to gurantee that EU authorities are democratic representatives of the collective of EU citizens and not appointed reprezentatives of the (inter)national bureaucracy.

The current "constitution" fails this, and it will likely be replaced precisely for this reason, along with a huge change of how EU works.

The conflict between the nation-state and the EU is a false one; in the same way a local community delegates power and responsibility to the state, a nation-state can delegate power and responsibility to the EU. It is however necessary to ensure the accountability, which the EU is currently lacking.

Regarding the religion issue: it is mostly overblown by France, the elite of which inherently hates Christianity and is trying (in vain, as we will see in a couple of years) to merge the traditions of la revolution and Islam, while trying to impose their worldview on other members.

beatroot said...

Because the EU needs a constitution.....The EU is thus practically a state-like entity,

It is most certainly not a state like entity. If you had a referendum now whether an artificial construction like the EU (the dream child of political elites, not the people) then the people of the EU would tell Brussels not to be soooo silly.

The EU is a pact between nations - nothing more, nothing less....