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[28/02/2006] EU decisions still cloaked in secrecy


Trumpets blew in Brussels in Decemeber when it was announced that the
Council of Ministers, which makes EU laws, would allow TV cameras in to see
them doing that. They called this opening the Council's law-making function
to "the public".  Now it turns out that the cameras can come in only for
the Council's initial deliberations after the EU Commission, which has the
monopoly of proposing EU laws, has presented its proposal, and the final
actual vote on it. "The debates in between will still be closed to the
public," says the EU Ombudsman in an interview with EUobserver. "The
intermediate steps are the more  delicate ones, where decisions are
hammered out and negotiations take place." Also the December decision only
covers certain EU policies, but not all. So the main EU legislature  will
in practice remain as closed and secret as North Korea's.  It will remain
literally an oligarchy, a committee  of 25 Ministers making laws in secret
for 450 million people,  and irremoveable as a group . . . The total
opposite of real democracy in fact.



"If you had referendums in Poland, the UK or Denmark, I'm not sure what
would happen," said Dutch Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende in January,
referring to national referendums on the proposed EU Constitution that were
initially  planned but called off after the French and Dutch peoples voted
No to it last summer.

And how would Ireland have voted in October last in the referendum the
Government had in mind for then if the French had voted Yes?  Would
26-County voters have voted to make themselves real citizens of the EU
State the proposed Constitution would have legally established,instead of
being the notional or honorary EU citizens they are now?  Would they have
voted to give the new EU the Constitution proposed to found the loyalty and
obedience that  all states demand of their citizens and which the
Constitution explicitly refers to?   Would they have voted to make the EU
Constitution supreme over the Irish Constitution by changing the latter so
as to recognise that supremacy?  For that would have been the legal effect
of the constitutional amendment the Government and principal Dail political
parties would all have been urging 26-County voters to vote Yes to.

How would such a step have been reconcileable with "the right of the people
of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of
Irish destinies",  called for in the 1916 Proclamation which President Mary
McAleese was extolling recently, a right that Proclamation states is
"sovereign and indefeasible"?  "Indefeasible" means a right that cannot be
lost or alienated.


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