UK Fundamental Rights Charter opt-out is worthless

November 29th, 2007

The European Parliament is today expected to formally approve the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights. In a press release issued by the Liberals (ALDE), they have welcomed this approval, whilst at the same time specifically criticising the UK for opting out of the charter.

Andrew Duff, UK Liberal Democrat MEP for East England (and the ALDE spokesperson on constitutional affairs) has effectively said the UK’s opt-out is worthless.

“The British opt-out will also prove to be juridically flawed. The Court of Justice is bound to make jurisprudence on behalf of the whole of the EU - and is blind to nationality. It will be faithful to a key general principle of EU law that says we draw our fundamental rights from the common constitutional traditions of Member States and not just from a singular national jurisdiction …….. I hope that the British opt-out will rapidly fade into oblivion.”

Unclear EU treaty provisions causing ‘nervousness’

November 29th, 2007

Although the ink has barely dried on the EU’s new treaty, analysts are already scratching their heads as to how the document, with its unclear division of power between the EU’s top politicians, is going to work in practice.

Come 2009, when the Reform Treaty is supposed to click into place, there will be three big jobs to be had in Brussels - the president of the European Commission; the president of the European Council and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Read more on the EUObserver website.

Millionaire Starts Fund for War on EU Treaty - Sunday Times

November 25th, 2007

Today’s Sunday Times has an exclusive article where Stephen O’Brien writes about Libertas.

The campaign will be assisted by the Libertas Institute, a liberal think tank founded by Ganley last year. Other figures involved are Naoise Nunn, promoter of the Leviathan political cabaret show; David Cochrane of the politics.ie website; and Constantin Gurdgiev, editor of a fortnightly business magazine.

“The Libertas Institute will, at the appropriate time, seek to raise funds and run a campaign to make people aware of what is in this constitution/ treaty,” said Ganley. “We will be urging a no vote. There is no way anyone in their right mind can consider giving more decision-making power to an entity that we have no way of holding to account.”

You can view the article here, or read on to view the article below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

Enough is Enough - Irish Sun

November 20th, 2007

As a follow-up to the piece in yesterday’s UK Sun, this morning’s Irish Sun has a piece about Libertas and Declan Ganley, and our plans to campaign for a NO vote in next year’s European Reform Treaty Referendum in Ireland.

You can read the article here.

Wake-up call coming for EU sleepwalkers - The Sun (UK)

November 19th, 2007

Trevor Kavanagh, Associate Editor of the UK Sun, writes this morning about Ireland’s role in ratifying the European Constitution Reform Treaty, pointing out Libertas and our ‘potent message’.

You can read the article here.

EU poll would be lost in France - Sarkozy

November 14th, 2007

Referendums on the new European Union Treaty were “dangerous” and would be lost in France, Britain and other countries, Nicolas Sarkozy admitted yesterday.

The London Telegraph reports Sarkozy’s comments to MEPs in Strasbourg yesterday, where he said if France had a referendum, it would surely vote no.

“A referendum now would bring Europe into danger. There will be no Treaty if we had a referendum in France, which would again be followed by a referendum in the UK.”

‘Interferers’ warned of robust EU treaty debate and told to mind their own business

November 13th, 2007

Irish Minister for European Affairs Dick Roche said yesterday he hopes for a balanced debate on the EU Reform Treaty, but warned that those who come to Ireland to “interfere” in next year’s referendum campaign should expect a “robust” debate.

“In the upcoming referendum campaign, it’s likely that people from outside Ireland - people who oppose the progress of the European Union, will try to make this country a battleground to push their views …. We would prefer if these people were to keep out of our affairs.”

More from The Irish Times.

Austrian Parliament votes on EU Treaty (the yet to be signed one)

November 9th, 2007

Wiener Zeitung this morning reports that the Austria Parliament yesterday approved the European Constitution Reform Treaty, the first country in the European Union to do so.

However, it’s worth noting that Austria has approved a treaty that has not yet actually been formally agreed - the signing ceremony scheduled for December 13th, is still over a month away.

Ireland to say no? - The people’s comment

November 6th, 2007

Yesterday we blogged the coverage from Ireland about the Irish Times/TNS MRBI poll which suggested only 25% of people poll would actually vote in favour of the reform treaty. The response in the past 24 hours in Ireland has been interesting.

On Irish Election blog IrishElection.com, the response was small yet one commenter summed it up, in five simple points.

A: It makes it easier to implement a plan by the Commission called CCTB (Common Consolidated Tax Base)

Libertas blog readers may recall last week Constantin Gurdgiev wrote on this very point on the Libertas Blog - Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base a Step Towards Unified Euro-zone Taxation.

B: The loss of about 50 vetoes including foreign-policy and social-security

C: The new powers for national-parliaments are inadequate and disappointing

D: From 2014, each member state will no longer be automatically entitled to a Commissioner

E: The rotating-presidency of the Council of Ministers is abolished in favour of a 2-yr President

F: The Charter of Fundamental Rights is a serious concern.

Read the rest of this entry »

How three into one will go

November 6th, 2007

Last week we blogged a link to Charlemagne’s Blog on Economist.com about the three competing top jobs in the EU.

Another blog this week however (also on Economist.com) has suggested that whilst there are to be three top jobs up for grabs, there is no reason why one person cannot take two jobs, or perhaps all three!

“And what, he asked, makes you think that the next president of the European Commission, and the first president of the European Council cannot be one and the same person? “

Read the blog post in full here.


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