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When did intelligence become a political liability ?   


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The Blank Ballot,

the future of the European Union

 

Jose Manuel Barroso's answer is after the text of our letter.

This text has been sent to number of European MPs ; their signatures are necessary to submit it to the European Commission.

 

Mirrored in the ‘No’ of France and the Netherlands to the European Constitutional Treaty, the Year 2005 has shown that many citizens of the EU consider the European institutions aslacking democracy, or at least having no a stable democratic background. The current functioning of the EU is not more satisfying than the one envisioned by the Constitutional Treaty; it contains hidden impediments to the everyday exercise of democracy by the European citizens. The crucial divide is on the way to construct Europe and its enlargement.

 

So, after the ‘crash’ of 2005 the European institutions had to engage in a process of self-modernization. To begin, they have to give signs about their confidence vis-à-vis all the citizens of the Union and of their will to take into account the various political sensibilities. These signs have to be sincere and credible.

 

For all Europeans, democracy is based on free elections. The first sign has therefore to be given on the level of voting and elections. Every State organizes the European elections in its peculiar way. The European Union will not enforce a common voting rule; but asking every member State to count the white ballot for the sake of these elections would be a highly symbolic and innovative decision. In order to claim that a new democratic space is created, every member State has to overcome its ‘bad habits’, which more often than not do not correspond to the citizens’ expectations.

We ask to the Commission to ask all the member States to incorporate the White Ballot to the effective votes for the elections for European MPs

 

Answer of the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso: (translation; the original text is in french)

Dear Mr. Durand,

 

The President of the European Commission, Mr. Barroso, has received your letter dated from March 19 and asked me to answer.

He gives vivid thanks for your interest in the European elections and the ‘treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe’.

We have taken note of your observations concerning the recognition of the white ballots in the European elections. Let me however share some comments relative to your letter.

 

The European Parliament is the only supranational institution whose members are democratically elected through direct universal suffrage. Each member state determines its mode of election but applies identical democratic rules: right to vote at age 18, equality of men and women, secrecy of vote. The recognition of the white ballots is an interesting question. However, the issue of recognising them, or not, is leaved up to the appreciation of each member state. It should be noted that the European elections are already characterized by a certain number of common rules: the direct universal suffrage, the proportional rule, the renewable mandate for five years.

 

The European Union, its institutions and its functioning derive their legitimacy from international European treatises (the Treaty of Rome, of Brussels, of Maastricht, of Amsterdam, of Nice…) which have been signed and ratified by the member States in conformity with the current international regulation. To remind, these treatises have been signed by the Heads of the member States or of democratically elected governments, and ratified by democratically elected national Parliaments, or by referendum.

 

The “treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe” contains number of democratic breakthroughs and not only the European citizen’s initiativeyou are referring to: the procedure of co-legislation with the European Parliament and the Council of (national) ministers becomes a rule; the national parliaments are given, for the first time, the right for looking at and intervening into the decision-making European process; the three community pillars are fused, which allows for a better democratic control of, among others, the foreign policy regarding the common security, or of policy of justice relative to home affaires (asylum, immigration …); the Union can finally join the European convention for the human rights, etc.

 

Please accept, dear Mr. Durand, my best regards,

 

 

Mario TENREIRO

Chef d’unité


Creation date : 21/03/2007 @ 16:18
Last update : 19/05/2007 @ 18:16
Category : Analyses - Taking sides
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