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 Treaty Debate in Maynooth

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PostSubject: Re: Treaty Debate in Maynooth   Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:26 am

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Unsurprisingly, I don't agree at all.

Smile

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I think the extension of the EP voting on Commission proposals is a huge move towards democracy

Indeed - but that's not at issue here. 'Huge' is probably stretching it a little, wouldn't you think?



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I don't see why people dismiss the Citizen's Initiative as window-dressing, either - other EU countries have a much longer and effective history of public petitions, so I suspect they would be less inclined to take this lightly.

The EU, however, has a history of not taking these things with any degree of seriousness at all. They are simply a way of telling the people that they have an opportunity to be heard. Except there is no obligation on anyone to do any more than acknowledge its existence. If past performance is anything to go by nothing will change in that regard apart from the citizens being misled that a petition has to get count for something when, clearly, it doesn't.
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PostSubject: Re: Treaty Debate in Maynooth   Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:39 am

Kate P wrote:
Quote :
Unsurprisingly, I don't agree at all.

Smile

Quote :
I think the extension of the EP voting on Commission proposals is a huge move towards democracy

Indeed - but that's not at issue here. 'Huge' is probably stretching it a little, wouldn't you think?

In the long run, no - I think it will change the whole way the EU functions, shifting its base away from the "EU of states" and towards a far more democratic "EU of citizens".

Kate P wrote:
Quote :
I don't see why people dismiss the Citizen's Initiative as window-dressing, either - other EU countries have a much longer and effective history of public petitions, so I suspect they would be less inclined to take this lightly.

The EU, however, has a history of not taking these things with any degree of seriousness at all. They are simply a way of telling the people that they have an opportunity to be heard. Except there is no obligation on anyone to do any more than acknowledge its existence. If past performance is anything to go by nothing will change in that regard apart from the citizens being misled that a petition has to get count for something when, clearly, it doesn't.

Well, first, what history does the EU have in the matter? Second, it's not simply acknowledging its existence - the Commission is "obliged to consider". That may not sound like a heck of a lot, but what that means is the proposal must literally go on the Commission agenda. If there is any interest in the proposal at all, then the idea has been put into play.

Obviously a commitment to take the proposal forward would be much stronger, but that has its own downside. If the Commission were obliged to carry the proposal forward, how long do you think it would take to get a million people to request the teaching of Creationism in schools, for example? Or the withdrawal of recognition from Turkey? Or half a hundred other addle-pated and/or vicious ideas?
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