to European Constituent Process
from the Convention on the Future of Europe
Net's pages, inspired by radical conception about Democracy, demand
from the Convention on the Future of Europe:
it does not take on any constituent function. Nobody appoints it for
such a function. It lacks legitimacy
for such a duty,
and even organizative structure.
it has to make a suggestion about constituent process, process must be
inspired by protection of popular Constituent Power, and it must
motivate to European Parliament.
“... But he has nothing
on at all,” said a little child at last. “Good heavens! listen to the
voice of an innocent child,” said the father, and one whispered to the
other what the child had said. “But he has nothing on at all,” cried at
last the whole people. That made a deep impression upon the emperor, for
it seemed to him that they were right; but he thought to himself, “Now
I must bear up to the end.” And the chamberlains walked with still
greater dignity, as if they carried the train which did not exist.(Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark, 1837)
Seemingly, the constituent process of new Europe has already started.
Hardly anybody know it, but it seem having already begun. The last EU
Inter-Governmental Conference culminate in December of 2002 in the
so-called Declaration of Laeken.
On that occasion, several sections of democratic activism emphasized
self-criticism of the own european elites. They stated to recognize lack
democracy within european decision-making centres (empty self-criticism
by repeating it so much but not lifting a finger to solve it). But
european politicians seemed to step forward and instituted the
so-called Convention on
the Future of Europe.
The Convention is an assembly with 105 members (each of the 15 EU
state-members and the 13 candidate countries are represented by one
member from its government and two members from its parliament). At
first it is in charge to state recommendations, to study courses of
action, to search procedures related to political reforms in order to
achieve several grades of political unity within the EU. Its works
should last until the next Inter-Governmental Conference.
But to our surprise, the Convention begins assuming constituent
functions which have not been set for it -it is worth to verify it
within the Declaration
of Laeken (perhaps old political scientists who
analyzed sovietic documents could find out something concealed for
everybody). Nobody seem to be surprised by constituent functions of the
Convention, even not the European Parliament!.
Drafts of hypothetical european constitutions has just raised, european
politicias has just begun to declare themself for or against simple
media news, national politicians seems strange for so important
activity, and of course 99% of people unknow there already is a de facto constituent assembly. A
real example of constituent process.
We wonder if the "constituent" Convention is divided up by commissions
of constitucional chapters or headings, or maybe everybody help to
everything? Quite the opposite, we know well the organizative structure
of the Convention; it is worth to enter website of the Convention on the Future of
Europe to check it has not got neither legitimacy nor structure of a
constituent assembly. In this document a short
description of its workgroups can be found.
Well...that's enough fruitless irony. Any way, such a
constituent speeding-up has sparked natural concerns among collectives
of democratic activism, who see how terms are quickly wasted; they
perceive an official draft of an european constitution could spring up
within less than a year, including the procedure and scheduling for its
If there were not an european chauvinism -plaged by colonial "tics"-,
and feverish activity of propaganda media, the recent venezolan
constituent process should be a real example of the events, terms and
openness what must manage a constituent process. Elements typifying a
process supported by Constituent Power of people are not a mysterious
secret -rather they are dictated by common sense from a clear political
goodwill- and could be summed up as following:
For those ones who block such a process with legal
excuses, it is worth to remember pre-eminence of Constituent Power,
being above every legal regulation. Because it is perceived that behind
such legal excuses, actually absence of democratic will is hidden. Or at
the best and most compassionate case, merely the EU is not ripe to cope
with a democratic constituent process.
Initiative for constituent process has to be exercised, or directly by
people or by that institution whose direct election maximizes expression
of Constituent Power. Clearly, European Parliament is the institution
which should cause the beginning of constituent power.
- Ratification of
the initiative. An initiative exhibiting such a significance, if
it is not excersized by people then it should be ratificated by
referendum. European Parliament should take on responsability of
starting initiative, but also it should politically be bound by
mentioned popular referendum.
Assembly. People have to elect directly the representatives of
the constituent assembly, in charge of drafting the constitution. There
are many records of legislative houses taking on constituent functions;
therefore a suitable procedure would be European Parliament assume this
role and self-dissolve calling for elections of constituent assembly.
- Ratification of
the Constitution. The constitution drafted by the constituent
assembly has to be ratified by people on referendum, and of course, the constitution must leave
free Constituent Power allowing the future constitutional amendment by
means of popular initiative.
II.- Demand from
Convention on the Future of Europe
Therefore -now- Demopunk Net pages, inspired
by radical conception about Democracy, demand from the Convention on
the Future of Europe:
it does not take on any constituent function. Nobody appoints it for
such a function. It lacks legitimacy for such a duty, and even
if it has to make a suggestion about constituent process, process must
be inspired by protection of popular Constituent Power, and it must
motivate to European Parliament.
Analysis of European Constituent Process
The European Constituent Process exists, it is a reality. It was
started irregularly, with chaotic procedure, with irregular way, with
undefined goals, but it exists. Democratic community -used to the
european autocrats and warned by emptying reached by our sickly
predemocracies- feels the duty of taking up a stance before a
constituent process which threats to institutionalize the actual
"European Regime". Therefore -now- we have to cope with analysis of the
future european constitution.
European process of integration, as well as its reached maturing, has
overcome historical challenges without records. For years, innovative
nature of the process has been evident, and sometimes it has justified
doubts, the long-term strategy of negotiation and even some minor
errors. European integration will be reference -positive or negative-
for future integration processes which will be seen by generations
non-born yet; today we have a feeling sudamerican countries or asian
Southeast converge slowly on such processes.
The future constitutional text has to cope with troubles that keep
fossilized Democracy today. The same innovative nature of the process
should impregnate the constitutional design. The hegemonic political
system (liberal democracy, which within our radical democrat context is
named pejoratively as the "Regime") have become stabilized -taken hold-
in self-complacency, broadcasting from its propaganda media a triumphant
image which does not fit with growing remoteness of people. This is not
trouble of public image, it is not a Regime unable to explain its
virtues and achievements to people. It is rather the accumulation of a
series of political troubles which solution would upset status or
consensus among elites. And we are talking about political problems
that within every country show their own specificities and localisms,
but in the case of European Union the additional grade of indirection
provokes mentioned troubles cast the grotesque image of caricature of
We are not describing a catastrophic outlook without any foundation.
Problems of liberal democracy are known, quite deep, and they should not
be inherited by the european giant. They are multidimensional troubles,
which leads people to apathy and disappointment before what is
seemingly an achievement of our civilization: Democracy. The
multidimensional nature implies there is not a sole front where working
(for instance swiss system enjoys the political freedoms of Direct
Democracy with the most depth and seniority, but mere existence of so
significative freedoms cannot avoid a disproportionate levels of
Liberal democracy has become fossilized by as a result of many agents.
Study of its problems implies to cope with freeing Constituent Power,
equipment of political freedoms of Direct Democracy, relationship
between political parties and the Regime, the representative eficiency
of electoral systems, some problems as european as those ones derived
from nationalities, control of the empire and war, and of course the
political role of communication media.
Europe has headed some -only some- of the main human and social
milestones of world history. May be political establishment is prisoner
of spurious interests, but european society is also repository of a
collective subconscious -of humanist tradition- from which could wait a
democratic revolution that gets Regime out its stagnation. We are
talking about of a constitution of new generation, less worried about
turning Europe into a new imperial power than sparking off a
revolutionary change of relationship between people and power.
Invocation to Revolution is not gratuitous. From our point of view, the
best achievements and virtues of actual Regime come from its (distant)
revolutionary sources; and since then democratic progression has been
slow, null or reactionary. Sufragism is an example of non-revolutionary
process which was consolidating along 20th century, but only as elites
tried out mechanisms of people control which made sure its harmessless.
But Revolution has got a desproportinate human cost; a revolution
-triumphant ot not- is a bloody god who demands human sacrifice of a
whole generation, sacrifice which is written off quickly in a few years.
Criticism of classic concept of Revolution has produced quite few
intellectual alternatives, such as Autonomous Zones (TAZ) from Hakim
Bey. But Radical Democracy is the main political thought offering a
complete alternative to classic concept of Revolution.
We are aware of realities of politics nowadays, and we know asking
European Union for a democratic revolution, if it is not an utopia else
it is quite distant dream. Actual democratic shortage of European Union
is not unexpected, transitory, it is not an immature stage of a
vegetative development. It is an amplifying mirror of the own shortages
as national scope of every member-state, it is result of political will
to not create a democratic system.
The new constitution should be a new agreement between people and
power. The keyword is the word "new". If the european constitution ends
up instituting a liberal democracy, it might not be waited bigger
popular emotion than actual one raised by Regimen in every member-state.
The new constitutional agreement does not lack guidelines. Suffice it
to analyze honestly the political troubles that a century of liberal
democracy has brought up clearly. Following points deal with them, which
in turn define radical democrat position before european constituent
freedoms and public freedoms. Making an effort of summary,
liberal democracy is characterized by being a Regime which tends to
publicize a wide range of public freedoms, while cutting back to a
minimum the political freedoms (may be this is the political
interpreting of the anthropological view that defines liberal democracy
as the culture process which has replaced Force by Deception). Political
establishment, its communication media and the own academic circles
state an identity between democratic regime and regime of public
freedoms, without noticing the weight of political freedoms. For
instance, suffice it to browse the
page of methodology of Freedom House (organization devoted to issue
world-wide democratic tags) to check that methodologically a "democracy"
is characterized -according its model- by multiparty elections but not
by representative efficiency of its electoral system; by freedom of
press but not by dynamics of Constituent Power; freedom of worship bu
not by political freedoms of Direct Democracy.
But the fact is that in absence or underdevelopment of political
freedoms, the much-trumpeted (but on the other side desirable) public
freedoms -civil rights- are simple plastic stuff which is contracted or
expanded by elites according to the most spureous interests.
The constitutions of the hegemonic model are not strange to the
deliberate confusion between political and public freedoms. By speech
full empty of rethoric, they used to enumerate vehemently every
protected public freedoms, civil rights enjoyed by their populations.
But they postpone political freedoms for being worked by lower-rank
laws, they butcher, ignore or directly ban political freedoms. It is an
almost permanent feature to find constitutions which sell off the
characteristics of the electoral system by means of an imprecise and
mere description about having to be proportional; rarely primary
elections are a constitutional right; they dare to tarnish the concept
of referendum with the description of consultative; rarely Constituent
Power remains open to constitutional amendment by popular initiative,
and even less the popular initiative to constituent process; the popular
initiative is subjected to all sorts of prohibitions and restrictions,
or merely they do not appear within the constitutional text.
It is high time to overcome such kind of constitution. In the
constitutions of new generation, public freedoms have to be moved to a
Charter of Civil Rights (a legislative set which could remain protected
by qualified majority rules), and focused on the precise specifications
of political freedoms and the structure of State. Constitutional
agreement is established between people and power being constituted, and
we demand to know PRECISELY what are the rules, what are the political
freedoms protecting popular soverignty. Only people equipped with true
political freedoms could protect their civil rights, else people are
confined to "enjoying" grantings from elites.
The new european constitution could go without proclaiming vehemently
freedom of demostration, or fredoom of strike. We can do without so
emotive statements if instead it describes PRECISELY what grade of
proportionality and nominality will have the electoral system, or it
protects primary elections of candidates, or makes clear without
ambiguities how the popular initiative is exercised as constitutional
scope, as legislation making, as recalling public posts, and so on.
- Constituent Power.
The concept of popular soverignty is a shabby coin, what is used by
each one for its own aims. A coin -by sheer use- has lost its pristine
engraving where is stated pre-eminence and dynamics of Constituent Power
of the crowd -collective expression of the unique natural right: the
free consent of every person. Pre-eminence of Constituent Power places
it over every regulation, over every constitution; there is not juridic
restriction, nor legal, nor flags, nor history, nor religion which can
close it. Crowd keeps for ever pristine natural legitimacy to
constitute power being compatible with its free consent.
It seems almost divine sarcasm that maximum expression of popular
soverignty -Constituent Power- were something lacking force to impose
its pre-eminence; only the spark of Revolution lights up -for a second-
society with the soverign expression of the crowd, and then it goes
again immersed in darkness -without leaving out human cost of
Revolution. Criticism of classic concept of Revolution asks us for
admiting not only pre-eminence of Constituent Power, also protecting its
dynamic nature. As process, Constituent Power must be dynamic, an open
process finding out ways for its expression without having to resort to
emancipating spark of Revolution.
We do not want to make reader impatient with too many theorical
disquisitions. Constituent Power is -as every creation- a cultural
device which must be materialized. As technology universalizes what
science is only able to reproduce in laboratory, political technology is
the inevitable step which has to be made by every political proposal if
it wants to be believable. Pre-eminence and dynamics of Constituent
Power has got already quite specific tools, available to be introduced
within the constitutions of new generation.
We are talking about the popular initiative for constitutional
amendment, we are talking about the popular initiative to launch a
constituent process too. Logically, a political freedoms complemented by
the (binding) referendum and direct elections for constituent assembly.
Few constitutions around the world enjoy so privileged status, and may
be none protects precisely Constituent Power (other prevalent lack is
the effective popular appearment before constitutional warranties
The example most typically quoted is the swiss constitution; but it is
worth to quote the recent and insulted venezolan constitution where
minor constitutional reform is within the popular initiative reach (15%
according to art.
341.1), as well major constitutional reform (15% by the art. 342) and
calling constituent assembly (15% by the art.348) -will
be european citizens able to enjoy such freedoms?. And it is worth to
quote venezolan example, because it allows to unmask propaganda media of
Regime which deafen us blowing its own trumpet while they collaborate
actively with violent destruction of a democratic experience without
many historical records.
We demand -forcefully- future european
constitution liberates Constituent Power of european crowd, we demand it
includes above political freedoms. Included but not by means of short
references, rather by detailed normative description; may be there is
not another so powerful reason to need a constitution. Detailed
normative description of political freedoms related to Constituent
Power allows citizen know exact terms by which is possible the popular
initiative, to know explicitly institutional procedures, to know
precisely if there is any half-buried obstacle, protecting
constituionally other "minor" aspects as suitable length of public
debate campaigns or
economic refunds for promoters of initiatives.
Also within this chapter we have to include the so-named mandatory
referendum, but not as freedom, rather as warranty protecting people
from significative amendments of constitution which could be made
without their explicit consent. So elementary something, it is in fact a
privilege enjoyed only by few socities.
We may notice again we are demanding a
constitution of new generation. Perhaps we are too dreamer for claiming
such challenges to an European Union ballasted by democratic discredit.
Therefore we understand, and passionately support, to the vigorous
democratic activism which is demanding a milestone so modest -but so
unforeseeable to achieve- as paneuropean referendum for ratification of
the eventual european constitution. Incredibly, not even a paneuropean
referendum of ratification seems something sure to happen. The European Referendum Campaign,
in collaboration with the IRI-Europe,
intends to achieve the political commitment -on the part of EU and
their member-states- for european constitution being binding ratified by
european people. We encourage both organizations to generalize their
campaign, extending their goals to demand political freedoms related to
Constituent Power. This generalized approach would contain not only the
claim for the paneuropean referendum of ratification, would also demand
the heavy kernel of Direct Democracy freedoms.
Finally, but unfortunately as the most important aspect, we have to
understand liberation of Constituent Power is not a formal problem, it
is rather an essential problem. A constitution is illegitimate -by its
own nature- proportionally to Constituent Power were not liberated, and
proportionally all of legal and institutional framework born from this
constitution become structural violence. No matter about vehemence and
ostentation dramatized by Regime, proportionally, under super-structure
there is only vulgar structural violence.
freedoms of Direct Democracy. Political freedoms associated to
liberation of Constituent Power are formally freedoms of Direct
Democracy applicable to constitutional scope. Logically, this kind of
political freedoms exists also within other "minor" scopes, but with a
significative practical implication.
On that effect, political technology has already produced quite
specific devices where popular initiative is applied to law-making,
legislative or treaties ratification, abrogative scope, and recalling
public posts. Popular initiative works in cooperation with binding
referendum; being this symbiosis between both freedoms an aspect that is
not respected everywhere..
It is incredible loads of subterfuges and restrictions by which actual
Regime limits political freedoms of Direct Democracy; it is almost
exotic the range of prohibitions and mutilations. About this issue the Institute for Initiative and
Referendum in Europe (IRI-Europe) offers a detailed study of state of
Direct Democracy in Europe, showing a moderately gloomy view on
european culture and practice of Direct Democracy (unfortunately this
report keeps since its publication severe documentary errors about
regimen best known for us, the spanish regime).
It is high time to explain Direct Democracy is not an exclusive
alternative to the institutions of representation (this puerility raises
frequently in the political establisment and its propaganda media, in
order to discredit Direct Democracy and to avoid dialectical
confrontation). Quite the opposite, these freedoms complement the
so-called Representative Democracy, and boost institutions from the view
of popular consent.
Also on that effect, it would be worth a revolutionay commitment from
the new european constitution to its people, stating clearly every
political freedoms of Direct Democracy; with the same normative clarity
that was demanded for liberation of Constituent Power. Nowadays Direct
Democracy show an embryonic status like sufraguism did a hundred years
ago; it is an historical chance that the new european constitution heads
the democratic emancipation of our civilization.
- Political parties.
One of the key aspect of the so-named "crisis of the representative
democracy" is status actually kept by political parties respect of
institutions of State. Political party is the best cultural design of
our civilization as pole of production of political thought; there is
not another social institution that may comply with this task within a
lay state and, of course, it is a desirable alternative to "monarchic"
But status of political parties is one of the failure point of the
Regime which is perceived quite clearly, specially in Europe. It is
evident internal democracy of political parties is merely a sarcasm,
control of elites within the party is so strong that there is no
difference respect of political parties within dictatorships (in both
cases, staging of internal democracy has not got many differences). Of
course, in liberal democracies there are free multi-party elections, but in our countries we must open our eyes
to recognize political parties has reached the rank of lay sects.
The whole thing would not be a too severe trouble if political parties
had not reached so priviliged institutional status. Elites of parties
appoint candidates who will appear before electors, in most
much-trumpeted liberal democracies there is not another feasible
procedure to become elected representative. As could be expected
disobedience or political infidelity is punished -at least- by not
postulating it next elections. There is a quite clear imperative mandate
between our elected representatives and the elites which postulate them.
Logically power of elites propagates easily through every institutions
of the Regime. It is a journalistic evidence elites of the parties
negotiate shamelessly, in public, institutional posts whose efective
election is accomplished by our elected representatives. Danger of the
"lay sects" multiplies by rotting roots of representativeness in every
institutions of the State -it is pathetic seeing to vote deputies guided
by signs of their parliamentary leader.
Certainly so sombre scenery is susceptible of many refinements and fair
exceptions, but it is our duty to recognize and cope with these
troubles. Discredit of political parties among people is huge, and in
view of these circumstances this discredit spreads over the institutions
of state. It is not only a moral problem, it is also one of the deepest
reasons of remoteness between people and the Regime.
We need to develop devices of political technology to detach elected
representatives from discipline of elites of their parties. The new
european constitution has to protect constitutionally the right of every
citizen to take part in primary elections of parties -in this case the example of U.S.A is a
quite positive reference; obvioulsy, the right of candidate to postulate
themself freely has to be constitutionally protected too. The goal is
to make the actual privilege of elites postulating directly candidates
Also on that effect, all of actual legislation actively repressing the
cases of elected representatives who are named as "turncoat" by
propaganda media of Regime has to be stated as unconstitutional. Later,
during the analysis of constitutional protection of electoral systems
other procedures will be undertaken which also detach -to some degree-
elected representatives from spureous imperative mandates.
- The electoral
system. There are not another democratic institution, having the
huge political weight of electoral systems, so constitutionally
unprotected. Of course, we are not talking about the most external sides
as pluralism of political parties or secret universal vote. We refer to
their representative efficiency, to political design to maximize
transference of popular soverignty and to defuse many operative
troubles. Certainly, history of electoral systems is history of consent
engineering, of majority manufacturing.
Within the Regime there are two main patterns of electoral systems. The
so-named majoritarian systems having the virtue of voting nominally
candidates, but showing a blatant mechanism of majority manufacturing by
means of one-representative constituency -thought to minimize
proportionality. And systems based on party lists having the virtue of
increasing proportionality but they interpose political party between
elector and candidate. Some countries -following german model- have
established mixed systems that take the worst sides of both patterns.
Instead there are electoral systems which maximize simultaneously
nominality and proportionality, for instance Single Transferable Vote.
This system has got also the virtue of allowing non-organic minorities
(gender, racial, religious, sexual, ...) are able to get
representation. And this characteristic permits us to take up again the
above analysis related to the actual institutional role of political
Design of electoral systems has a significative effect on imperative
mandate that actually exists over our elected representatives. As noted,
it is quite positive the fact of a electoral system makes easy, by
itself, the election of representatives from non-organic minorities
(knowing juggling done within party lists to protect gender equality, we
may imagine if it were also tried to introduce candidates related to
another non-organic minorities). Other aspect that makes easy to detach
elected representative is to reinforce the nominality of electoral
systems, we may estimate if elector is not forced to select whole lists
the elected representative gets an additional direct legitimacy.
It is quite frequent to find supporters of actual two main patterns of
electoral systems, doing statements about governance and stability.
Curiously, this political positions are kept by the most stagnant kernel
of the Regime which did not raise objections to maintain a pure
proportional system in Italy while it was needed to avoid the democratic
gain of power of comunism (by the electoral system of United Kingdom or
U.S.A., italian comunist would have governed with absolute majority for
decades); similar uses of electoral system did the "europhile" general
De Gaulle. And we could continue to entertain to reader with the exotic
variety of "tunning" that electoral systems suffer in order to get
governance and stability: "gerrymandering"
(manipulation of geographical shapes of constituencies), inscription in
electoral rolles, percent thresholds to get representation, counting
procedures as D'Hondt system, and so on.
This short anlysis allow us to verify the constitutions of new
generation have not only to proclaim the most external aspects of the
electoral systems, also they have to define PRECISELY the model of
electoral system. More specifically, we demand the new european
constitution introduces the Single
Transferable Vote (in force in Ireland, Malta and australian senate,
...) as the electoral system which maximizes the relation between
nominality and proportionality, and allowing representation of
non-organic minorities. Clearly, political technology has not designed
yet another electoral institution better than Single Transferable Vote.
The European Union is seen, unanimously, as a process started to solve
the chronic trouble of european nationalities. Economic, social, and
eventually political integration are factors making interests of
national elites converge; quite likely the eventual federal nature of
the new constitution will institutionalize actual achievements.
But the vast majority of political establisment, and the own european
society, have overestimated the prospects of this cultural process; to
the point of problem of nationalities is seen as something residual that
only affects to a few state-member in their relations with their
regional communities. During the honeymoon of the great geographical
enlargement of the European Union, nobody seem to think the european
giant has to cope with future independentist demands or another
nationalist confrontations. But it is almost puerile to think mere
existence of a great European Union defuse any future nationalist claim,
it is puerile to think such conflicts belong to the past, and they are
typical of old nation-states.
Regulation of right of self-determination is a democratic demand which
provokes screeching in many countries. The same states introduces
themself pompously before the international community as regimes of
freedoms and democracy, not only deny to regulate this political freedom
even deny the own existence of this freedom. But double moral burns
down any discourse.
The new european constitution must overcome this absolutist aspect. It
has to offer a mechanism peaceful, feasible and defined PRECISELY to
canalize nationalist demands. Who could guarantee within several
generations some member-state will not develop independentist
positions?, should they be put down by force or would a constitucional
course be desirable?. Or alternatively, had we better ignore the problem
as the state-members do today?
Regulation of freedom of self-determination is a real challengue; there
are a quite few proposals worth a mention. As noted, hegemonic
nationalisms choose to ignore the existence of this freedom, but
postulating nationalisms trivalize it cutting down to a mere referendum
that fulfils quickly their prospects. Demopunk Net pages appear -with
pride- as one of the few forums where concrete proposals have
been developed inspired radically by democratic criteria. The freedom
of self-determination has to be regulated as the beginning of a
constituent process, with its ratification steps, paying attention to
geographical delimitation by democratic criteria, defussing junctureness
of a mere referendum and coping with the so-called trouble of russian
A constitution of new generation, revolutionaryly democratic, is
obliged to overcome the actual fossil Regime. We are aware of European
Union, and its state-members, are not actually regimes able to cope with
such democratic challengues. But our duty is to report to political
establishment and its propaganda media which publicize themself before
people as the political ceil of the democratic utopia.
- Empire, popular
control of war. The article
6 of the constitution of the spanish Second Republic (1931) -buried
by Franco's genocide- stated solemnly: "Spain gives up war as instrument of
national politics". A beatiful exception. Of course, we know a
simple constitutional declaration is not a suficient warranty (for
instance, the yugoslavian or sovietic constitutions were ones of few
constitutions referring to the right of self-determination: History
likes to laugh at humans with such paradoxs). But 70 years ago the
lawmakers of that spanish constitution showed clearly a trouble without
solution yet: war as instrument of national politics.
All of us are aware, though quite few ones dare to say explicitly, of a
significative of political establishment and the european society see
the European Union as the birth -or the rebirth- of an imperial power.
The United States of Europe floats in the philofascist european
imagination as a goal returning ancient grandeur. But empire and its
wars have been a permanent threat for crowds, that have always suffer
from weight and squalor of the blackest rider of Apocalypse.
The constitutional agreement ratified by european people has to offer
enough guarantees in order to people were able to control peace and war
states. Neither more nor less. Because we do not drop to claim a
revolutionary nature for this constituent process that move closer
European Union to its people; an approach with real contents beyond mere
The big dimensions of the state trying to be born offers also quite
beneficial aspects. Recently Andi
Gross pointed out before the IRI-Europe
«in order to prevent democracy
from being disempowered, it has to be constituted at the same level as
the market»; after more than a decade of the so-named
globalized economy, it is an evidence market without state is the most
brutal way known of democracy emptying. But we must recognize only a
planetary state could set bounds to magnitude of actual capitalist
market, therefore another measurements are required to avoid or minimize
this democracy blot. On that effect intellectual production is
disappointing, and legislative protection is null; however there are
quite concrete measurements which constitutionally protected could
temper actual social and democratic "dumping". We are talking about
social tariffs, a virtually unknown fiscal figure stating taxes
according to democratic and social unbalances; the better labour, social
and democratic conditions being enjoyed within a country, the lower
social tariffs would be supported by exportation to European Union. A
social and democratic power behaving according to such criteria could
put effectively pressure on elites of other countries.
But duties of a new power do not put an end with these
exciting proposals. The new european constitution has to introduce an
explicit recognition of supranational organizations having a peaceful
and integrationist nature, as United Nations. A power constitutionally
renouncing to imperial ambitions should have to recognize United Nations
as the suitable scope for a real supranational organic democracy,
dropping its privileged status within the Security Council, the
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank (the last Report on Human Development from UNDP
carries out a quite suitable guidelines).
- Virtual Reality,
comunication media. As expected the Regime and its propaganda
media keep a strong analogy. The so-called comunication media promote
sincerely minor debate, stage popular access to media and broadcast
media confrontation among elites. But with a so plural environment, the
existence of certain areas contrasts acutely, where monolithic
propaganda acts daily, with strong severity. By an effort of synthesis,
there are three main blocks where political indoctrination of people is
unanimous: we are talking about democratic self-legitimization of
Regime, their armed conflicts and the capitalist economy.
Since many decades radical democrat people see alarmed the increasing
political and paramilitary role of propaganda media of Regime. It is
about a phenomenon subjected to a vertiginous growth, which has already
reached a huge dimensions. Again we are not addressing a moral problem,
rather it is an essential problem. Democratic activism has to cope with
an awful scenary where the long-desired political freedoms -for
instance, the ones described through present report- end up being
exercised within Virtual Reality.
There is a clear proportionality between severity of indoctrination and
amount of people controlled by a certain comunication medium, as well as
needed technological and financial infrastructure. Nowadays, big
industrial and financial conglomerates are the owners of the nodes of
Virtual Reality, in natural symbiosis with political elites. The
breaking-up of propaganda media is at the same time an emergency for
democrat utopia and a cultural process which there are not practically
any proposal of political technology for.
We estimate the mercantile nature of comunication media as one of the
mainstay of this devilish problem. Therefore the transformation of
comunication media into non-profit entities, and promotion of
cooperativism of media professionals are some constitutional warranties
which could protect people from this modern consent engineering.
Workgroups of the
Convention on the Future of Europe
Following, motivated reader may find a description of workgroups, just
as described in the own website of the Convention. Hardly it
could be accepted them as structure of a constituent assembly. Even
there is no group seemingly in charge to suggest a constituent process
to the next Inter-Governmental Conference.
Well, ... in every european gossip shops is maintained not only that
the Convetion will draw a constituent process, even it will generate an
"official" draft of constitution. Even more, many european politicians
are already discussing if this unknown constitution will be or not
ratified by a paneuropean referendum.
(Source: Convention on the
Future of Europe)
Group I, Subsidiarity.The principle of subsidiarity is that
- except in areas where it has exclusive competence - the Union
should only act when its action is more effective than action at
national, regional or local level. This is a basic principle of
the Union's operations. How can verification of compliance with the principle of
subsidiarity best be ensured? Should a verification mechanism or
procedure be introduced? Should such a procedure be political and/or
judicial in character?
Group II, Charter of
Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of
the European Union, which was drawn up by a convention, was adopted
on 18 December 2000. It establishes the moral and ethical
values which are common to all the Member States of the Union. If it is decided to include the
Charter of Fundamental Rights in the Treaty: how should this be done,
and what would be the consequences thereof? What would the
consequences be of accession by the Community/Union to the European
Convention on Human Rights?
Group III, Legal personality.The European Union came into
being through the Maastricht Treaty in 1993. It is
presented in the Treaty as a "a new stage in the process of creating
an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe". It rests on
three "pillars", the first covers the Community dimension
(common agricultural policy, transport,
internal market etc), the second covers the common foreign and
security policy, and the third covers police and judicial
cooperation in criminal matters. Nonetheless, the Union does not have an
explicit legal personality. What would the consequences be of explicit recognition of
the legal personality of the EU, and of a fusion of the legal
personalities of the EU and the European Community? Might they
contribute to simplification of the Treaties?
Group IV, National parliaments.As stated by the Laeken Declaration,
"the European project also derives its legitimacy from democratic,
transparent and efficient institutions. The national parliaments also
contribute towards the legitimacy of the European project". The
declaration on the future of the Union annexed to the Treaty of
Nice had already stressed the need to address the role of national
parliaments in the European architecture. How is the role of national Parliaments carried out in
the present architecture of the European Union? What are the
national arrangements which function best? Should new
mechanisms/procedures be envisaged at national or European level?
V, Complementary competences.Complementary competences cover those
areas in which the Union is limited to complementing and supporting
the activities of the Member States, or to adopting measures to
encourage cooperation and coordination. How should "complementary" competence be treated in
future? Should Member States be accorded full competence for matters
in which the Union at present has complementary competence, or should
the limits of the Union's complementary competence be spelled out?
VI, Economic governance.The
new term of governance brings together several concepts:
good management, efficient organisation, transparency and
responsibility. These four concepts, united in one word, are of course
essential for the future of Europe. The introduction of the single currency implies closer
economic and financial cooperation. What forms might such