Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Abysmal Support for the Draft EU Constitution

If the following Telegraph article is to be believed, the current draft of the proposed EU constitution has negligible support amongst the European population, but the question arises - will their political masters listen? The omens aren't good.

EU constitution Faces Defeat

The draft European constitution has failed to inspire Europe's citizens and is likely to be defeated in referendums next year unless rewritten, says a survey.

Support for the 230-page document was negligible among key states certain to hold a vote, falling as low as five per cent in Holland and three per cent in Denmark, said the EU-wide poll yesterday.

Most people with any view on the matter wanted the text "partially" or "radically modified" or abandoned, though most supported the abstract principle of an EU constitution.

Britons were the most hostile, with 35 per cent calling for outright rejection. But citizens in all of the EU's current and future states appeared disdainful of the document.

Support for the draft stands at 11 per cent in Germany followed by France (10 per cent), Spain (seven), Austria (six) and Finland (four).

The survey, published by the European Commission, will bolster calls by the Conservatives and the French opposition parties for a referendum, showing 86 per cent support for a vote in Britain and 92 per cent in France.

It emerged at the weekend that Downing Street has been pleading with Paris to avoid a vote, fearing that it could create unstoppable momentum for Britain to follow suit. President Jacques Chirac is considering the risk of a populist rebellion by French Eurosceptics. (emphasis added)

It's pretty remarkable that the British government should go to such shameful lengths to frustrate the will of its' own population, isn't it? Here we see the entire problem with the whole European project: it is a top-down, elitist, anti-democratic edifice being imposed in the face of indifference or even outright opposition on the part of the peoples who must live under it. If the European Union were merely about free trade and free movement of persons across borders, I would be ardently for it, but Europe's elites aren't content with leaving it at that. Instead they seem to have decided to use the whole structure as a means of succesively stripping their citizens of any choice in the way in which their lives are to be run. All power is to be centralized in Brussels, and an incestuous cadre of Eurocrats and former national politicians (who glide into positions of patronage in a European version of amakudari) will get to set the rules for hundreds of millions as they see fit, free of the silly constraints imposed by elections and the like.