Democrat June 2005 (Number 88)
Brian Denny reports on how the
EU falls Apart
The Constitution, euro and Social Model
DEMOCRATS should take their own "time to reflect" on the fatal blow the French and Dutch peoples have dealt to the EU Constitution. While some eurofanatics claim that the hated Constitution can be
resuscitated, more realistic federalists like EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson know the game is up and admit that the EU itself is "fighting for its survival".overnments across the European Union are putting austerity policies in place which include: massive cuts to welfare states, pressing down wages and pensions, and raising unemployment. The public sector is to be handed to privatisation with loss of accountability and no regard whatsoever for the social consequences.
Dump the Treaty
Former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer Kenneth Clark said the "Treaty should be put wherever dead treaties go". The simple reason for this is that economic union cannot survive without the political union envisaged within the Constitution. This became obvious immediately after the French and Dutch results when Berlin's economy minister Wolfgang Clement admitted the euro is damaging the German economy. "We're exporting stability within monetary union…… the price is not negligible since we're losing comparative advantage of lower real interest rates," he said.
Italian Welfare Minister Roberto Maroni has also said that crisis-ridden Italy should reintroduce the lira and leave the single currency. Even EU commission president Jose Barroso's economics adviser Paul De Grauwe admitted that the euro's future was "dangerous". "Without political integration, the eurozone.…does not offer clear advantages to some countries and is considered there to be a source of economic slowdown," he said.
That would appear to be the case as it is becoming increasingly clear that imposing a one-size-fits-all interest rate policy on quite different economies, and an inflexible exchange rate that prevents states changing their currency's value, is just not viable.
The reasons behind the massive revolt against the Constitution, which has only just begun to manifest itself, are of course many-fold. French workers have shown their disgust at the Services Directive (also enshrined within the Constitution), the Dutch have concerns over the big-country power grab, euro-inflation, EU militarisation and the general attack on democracy are just some.
This has only served to highlight the unworkability of making the citizens of 25 to 30 countries, with their different languages and traditions, citizens of one country called Europe. Yet this is what the federalists have always dreamed of.
The federalists of the so-called "left", from Robin Cook to the ultra-left, have also emerged to claim that this crisis is an opportunity to impose their own vision of an undemocratic superstate – one where national democracy would also only exist in the past tense.
It is clear that the Constitution is in deep trouble, but that does not mean that the beast is dead. The federalists clearly have plans to "cherry pick" from the Constitution and impose it piecemeal when possible.
The immediate demand must be that the ratification process must end and that there is no mandate to impose any part of the Constitution.
Any calls for a referendum to go ahead in Britain are misplaced and dangerous. Firstly, why have a referendum on a dead "treaty" we do not want? Secondly, the pro-Constitution group Britain in Europe is in terminal decline and it should be left to die in peace.
For trade unionists, the question must now be asked how the TUC can continue to shamelessly promote the Brussels agenda without a mandate. No major union now supports the Constitution, thanks to the work of Trade Unionists Against the EU Constitution (TUAEUC) and others.
The so-called "European social model" is also in free-fall, as the collapse of Rover and the impotency of the British government has shown. British manufacturing continues to disappear as a concept and the European Commission happily ignores the begging bowl of so-called "social partnership" promoted by the unrepresentative TUC leadership.
For instance, despite French president Jacques Chirac's claim that the Services Directive "no longer exists" it is very much alive and kicking. It is presently passing through the Byzantine corridors of Brussels intact and ready to be imposed.
Democracy has begun to assert itself as things fall apart for Brussels . Working people and their organisations must be central to organising representative and democratic alternatives, with the right to self-determination, and oppose euro-federalism in all its undemocratic guises.