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 A French View of Lisbon

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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:03 pm

cactus flower wrote:
He appears to be saying that we will have to vote again, n'est ce pas ?

Oui. I certify he said he wanted to persevere and do as for Nice.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:15 pm

Arnaudherve - Did you ever reply, here orelsewhere, to Ibis's point that the co-decision procedure means that the European Parliament must approve certain legislation for it to become law?
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:20 pm

Tonight if I have time. He forced me to do my homework.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:46 pm

arnaudherve wrote:
Tonight if I have time. He forced me to do my homework.

He's good like that Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:07 pm

cactus flower wrote:
arnaudherve wrote:
Tonight if I have time. He forced me to do my homework.

He's good like that Very Happy

One always has to do their homework to keep up with ibis!
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:27 pm

This other topic of mine receives no interest in P.ie, probably because it is technical. But I thought it revealing.

Since there is no discussion there I think I will be able to follow here.

------------------------

There are those who oppose anything European, those who accept anything European as providence, but there are also those in-between who desire a stronger Europe, while keeping a critical attitude as regards its democratic deficit. For the critical Europhiles, it was very good news indeed when the "European political parties" were created.

They are also labelled "European parties a European level" or "Europarties". They were were embryonic in the treaty of Maastricht in 1992 (section 41), confirmed in the treaty of Amsterdam in 1997 (Article J.18 and Article K.13), but it is really the treaty of Nice in 2001 (Article 2, section 19) that granted them an autonomous status.

Why then, you may ask, are they practically unknown throughout Europe, and why don't they even appear during European elections? The reason is simple: according to their status, the "European political parties" are not allowed to participate to any election. Not at the european level, not at the national level, not at the local level. Nada, nichts, rien du tout.

What do they do then? Well, they organize meetings, and they issue statements. Most of which remain unheard of even by the sympathizers of those parties.

But at least, a European citizen can participate in order to express his/her dedication for the European level, for European citizenship? Well no, the meetings can only consist of delegates of national parties. Grassroots members are allowed of course... but as observers only. They cannot participate in the votes on the final statements.

As for funding, receiving money from the national parties is strictly forbidden. Only the European Commission controls their funding. Recently, they have been allowed to create fundations and raise money for them, but this resulted in obscure think tanks not known, not controlled by grassroot members, not accountable to them.

To give you the whole story, from behind the curtains, prior to the Nice treaty the "European political parties" were already mere temporary meetings, but they were funded and controlled by the various parliamentary groups in the European parliament, thanks to the important budgets they have. The Nice treaty politically severed the two and financially reduced the budgets, thereby making the emergence of a Europe-wide political opinion more difficult.

Among the intricate galaxy of quangos, consultative bodies and such that surround the European Commission in Brussels, I chose this one to exemplify two principles:

1) Beware of wording. A party that cannot run in elections is not a party, in common language. In the European treaties, every phrase has to be investigated to discover the truth;

2) For an authentically, and not superficially democratic Europe, not much can be hoped from the present European institutions. Not even participating as a minority from the inside.

For a truly democratic society, words must have a meaning. Otherwise you can't debate, and you can't produce sense. Therefore, saying No will not destroy Europe, it will bring back meaning. We can have various opinions, but we must agree on the meanings of words. A No can be conceived as better for Europe.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:04 am

Interesting post there arnaud - the Europarties you mention - is this the co-ordination of groups of National parties such as the Greens, Labour, Socialists and Liberals or 'progressive' parties?

Are they really not allowed to campaign and co-ordinate at a pan-European level? (I'd just like to hear you reiterate what the restriction on them is because I feel the Greens and Labour have very strong European ties - why not funding? i.e. if not why not? what's the reason for not allowing them to share funding? it would surely be good like alliances of airlines around the globe)


Can anything more satisfactory be erected on the ashes of this Treaty if it goes under?
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:12 am

I know this is completely off-topic but I didn't think it was worth it's own thread, so here goes....
Is there a ban on discussion of the treaty in the broadcast media in the run-up to the referendum? I know there is one for general election campaigns (I think there can be no discussion on the day before the election).
If there is such a ban, when does it come into effect?
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:20 am

Is there a 24 hour moratorium on it just before the Day? I thought I heard it on the news that that was the tradition.

That means we'll all have until Wednesday to say it all here at MN Wink




yeah right
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:20 am

Yes, interesting post arnaudherve ( would Herve be your first name and Arnaud your surname?) and I shall return to it later today when I have more time.

However, from a very brief experience of EU life in Brussels, I noticed that, eg, some MEPs take the Euro Political group very seriously indeed and think / act as a political party. That is absolutely fine but, as you say, it would be nice to know more about these groups / parties. I think it depends on the local / national party as to how much the Euro group is publicised. For example, in Ireland, I believe Fine Gael publicise their membership of the EPP a lot and take it very seriously.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:12 am

My first name is Arnaud and the family name is HERVE. It's a bit embarrassing I admit, like being called Henry James in the US.

The political groups of the European parliament are just normal groups like in any council. They receive for instance money for group secretaries.

They used to organize meetings at the larger European level, which now done by "Europarties", but one way or another it always end up in delegates being just content to be the delegates, i.e. not producing anything and even retaining info back in their national party in order to keep their comparative advantage as delegates.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:42 am

AfricanDave wrote:
I know this is completely off-topic but I didn't think it was worth it's own thread, so here goes....
Is there a ban on discussion of the treaty in the broadcast media in the run-up to the referendum? I know there is one for general election campaigns (I think there can be no discussion on the day before the election).
If there is such a ban, when does it come into effect?

Tonight at midnight Dave.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:57 am

arnaudherve wrote:
My first name is Arnaud and the family name is HERVE. It's a bit embarrassing I admit, like being called Henry James in the US.

The political groups of the European parliament are just normal groups like in any council. They receive for instance money for group secretaries.

They used to organize meetings at the larger European level, which now done by "Europarties", but one way or another it always end up in delegates being just content to be the delegates, i.e. not producing anything and even retaining info back in their national party in order to keep their comparative advantage as delegates.

I would be very interested in getting more of a "feel" of how decisions are taken in the EU from an "insider" perspective. I have had one visit to Brussels and was very much struck by the culture of the place and the extent to which custom, practice and the choices of individuals to drive certain things have an impact. Would you feel it was worth starting a thread on that?
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:26 pm

More straw polling - I have just asked a mixed assortment of eastern european immigrants whether they would vote Yes or No (8 people only) and all said No. The main reason was national identity. Control over tax rate was another, and general lack of democracy in the EU system.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:19 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
AfricanDave wrote:
I know this is completely off-topic but I didn't think it was worth it's own thread, so here goes....
Is there a ban on discussion of the treaty in the broadcast media in the run-up to the referendum? I know there is one for general election campaigns (I think there can be no discussion on the day before the election).
If there is such a ban, when does it come into effect?

Tonight at midnight Dave.

Yes. I can still remember the news from May 23rd last year when they were banned from reporting on the General Election. Never was a European mobile phone directive more gladly seized upon as an issue of vital national importance. I must have heard and watched the same stretched-out bulletin 20 times that day. I can't wait for tomorrow's Lisbon-free radio. I wonder what they'll fill the gap with? Perhaps some country will be good to us and start a civil war and we can watch that.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:26 am

My answer to Ibis about the codecision procedure is at last published here. I warn you it is long and technical.

In order to respect Irish sovereignty, if you don't mind I now stop participating until Friday.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:30 am

Cheers arnaudherve cheers

Come back again next week - the battle has only just begun.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:04 pm

arnaudherve wrote:
My answer to Ibis about the codecision procedure is at last published here. I warn you it is long and technical.

In order to respect Irish sovereignty, if you don't mind I now stop participating until Friday.
Hey that doesn't stop you commenting on internal combustion engines, the price of oil or why the feck our water system is leaking at 50% in some places (negligence and bad pipes). How much water leaks in France? You can use another thread if you like Smile
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:07 pm

Maybe Arnaud could start a thread on all the stuff in France that really bug its citizens.
Their transport system seems to run like clockwork, so I wouldn't expect to see that mentioned.


Last edited by Ard-Taoiseach on Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:10 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : to fix spelling.)
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:30 pm

arnaudherve wrote:
My answer to Ibis about the codecision procedure is at last published here. I warn you it is long and technical.

In order to respect Irish sovereignty, if you don't mind I now stop participating until Friday.

I note arnaudherve has decided to withdraw until after the refertendum and that is fair enough.

For this thread I would point out that anroudherve accepted ibis's point that the European Parliament can effectively block legislation. I note that arnaudherve still considers the EP to be in affect an upper chamber and I agree with that.

I note however that arnaud says that the system is set up to promote a right wing agenda and I disagree with that. Any democratic institution or mechanism can promote a right wing agenda when the right wing people are in power.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:42 pm

Here is another long text that is in fact an article for a European website. It's been locked on P.ie

----------------------------

Suppose that in you hometown, you are a volunteer organizing a yearly European football tournament for teenagers. No problem here, no nationalist feelings, it is always a good idea to hold international meetings for a common activity, and it is always good for the younger generations to get used to international contacts.

Among the many messages that you receive from the foreign football club leaders in order to arrange the practical details of the tournament, you receive a letter from a French official who requests some special type of food for his players. The letter seems to you uncannily long but, since it is already too late to change the menus, you don’t really read all the pages and you refuse politely, because as a volunteer you have so many other things to do.
The French request affair should normally stop at this point, and be simply forgotten.

But, since you are troubled by a vague and persistent doubt in the back of your mind, a few days later you take a few minutes to check the long letter more seriously. Then, after a few pages you discover that the guy did not only request a special type of food, but also specified the way the players will lift their forks to their mouths, the metal alloy of the knives, the curve of the spoons, and in fact any detail you may think of.

You frown. You had good and bad experiences with French football officials before, but you certainly never met anyone who made such requests that seem so remote from the world of football. You begin to wonder if that guy is not some sort of crank who could cause trouble.

In order to make sure you phone the French club that is planned to come, and you get the answer: « Oh yes, we know that guy, he’s not from the club he’s an official from the federation. He made the same request to us and we refused of course. » Then you realize the guy who sent you the letter tried to use you in order to impose something that was refused in his own country. And you discover that the weasel made the text more unreadable compared to what he had tried to pass in France.

You begin to wonder who is that guy. So you read his long letter more seriously this time, and you discover that it goes far beyond organizing meals. His plan also specifies that in the future there should be free recruitment of players between all teams, even after the competition has begun. So that not only you will have to keep your own players on the bank, but some foreign teams will end up with not enough players to finish the tournament. This is becoming to look insane.

So you phone the French club again, asking what is this nonsense. They explain to you that it goes far beyond European football clubs, and that locally they already have to accept the free recruitment of teenagers from outside Europe too. That many of those are in fact rugby players, who don’t know anything about football. That some of them are even karate champions, who are known for using their « skills » consistently on the football ground. And that the numbers are too important anyway, to such an extent that they end up setting tents on the football grounds.

You begin to worry. Is this really happening on the Continent, seriously? You begin doubting about your abilities. After all you are not a university sports sciences professor, you are just a local volunteer. So just to check you are not a complete retard who is missing something important, you take your car and go to Dublin to meet the Irish federation officials.

You explain to them the sheer impossibility of organizing a tournament in such conditions, and to your great surprise, they reply that you are « threatening the future of Irish football ». You show a map explaining that your stadium, or even your hometown for that matter, cannot possibly host so many people, and they reply that you are « not modern ». You insist that as a guest you have a legal responsibility to cater for the safety of your visitors, and they call you a « xenophobe ».

So you get back home and ask the opinion of the parents of those of your players who are recent immigrants. They unanimously assert that they would prefer to hold a normal tournament, because they enjoy normal football too, and all parents, from Europe or outside Europe, insist that they fear that their successfully integrated children will be confused with the new crowds that will make a mess of the town.

You have a problem. You are taken aback. You experience a conflict between the obvious absurdity of the plan, and your loyalty as a club to the Irish football federation, who seem so serious about it, so intensely convinced that you are wrong to do the right thing. You organize a dedicated club assembly to make a decision, and finally you refuse the new regulations, and end up organizing the tournament as usual, to the satisfaction of everybody, locals or foreign teams and volunteers.

But the day after it’s over, you read in the press the strong irritation of all Irish football officials concerning your normal behaviour, and that from now on they will be holding secret meetings in order to prevent you from organizing normal tournaments and club assemblies. You begin to wonder whether this is legal.
You phone the French club one last time. They warmly thank you for having organized this fantastic tournament and avoided so much trouble, but they also tell you that « We are surprised. We thought the new regulations had to be abandoned since you had to participate for them to become legal, but they're telling us they are going to impose them anyway ».

And then you receive another letter from the cranky guy, saying « Please consider my new proposal »…
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:00 pm

Would be ironic and amusing, but for the fact that there is very little evidence that the No vote in Ireland was in any substantial way an anti-immigration vote.

I asked on P.ie if there were any canvassers since Edo who had found immigration was a big issue and none replied.

There seems to be only a tiny minority who see it that way in Ireland and I'm not one of them.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:12 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Would be ironic and amusing, but for the fact that there is very little evidence that the No vote in Ireland was in any substantial way an anti-immigration vote.

I asked on P.ie if there were any canvassers since Edo who had found immigration was a big issue and none replied.

There seems to be only a tiny minority who see it that way in Ireland and I'm not one of them.

That's very good and very encouraging. Racism is better the more inconsequential it is.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:41 pm

Sorry if anybody read that as an anti-immigration libel. What it meant was that there are types and proportions of immigration that eventually damage the interests of legitimate immigrants.

But the main point was that the referendum process was so weird that it was almost illegal. For instance the telegraph.co.uk was saying yesterday that your government admits holding secret meeting in order to bypass your vote. When constitutional sovereignty is at stake, it looks preoccupying.

You don't even know who these secret meetings will take place with.
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PostSubject: Re: A French View of Lisbon   Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:46 pm

Well we know that Nicholas and Angela will have a jolly old chat Very Happy
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