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I fail to see how the current crisis could have been worse, had the EU constitution been ratified. Perhaps this is a failure of imagination on my part, but I believe that we would have been spared a large part of the nationalist backlash which has so badly damaged the European project these recent years.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jun 9th, 2011 at 08:38:02 AM EST
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Would we have gotten different national (and EU-level) politicians as a result?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 9th, 2011 at 09:07:54 AM EST
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That so many average people were averse to a strong EU enabled a power vacuum at the center of the current EU. The people most likely to fill that vacuum were those with the least regard for the aspirations of the average voter precisely because the average voter was not keen on the project itself.
by Upstate NY on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 10:43:02 AM EST
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Looking at the constitution/Lisbon treaty from a perpetually eurosceptic country some things come to mind:

  • That the French people votes no is seen as a sign of democracy in France - "why are we not allowed to vote?".

  • That the EU runs over the votes and institutes basically the same system anyway is seen as an indication of the lack of democracy in the EU (the federal level that is). Though that is as was already expected.

  • The symbolic stuff would not have created any support for the EU project as such. More likely to have created derision, in particular considering how poorly the federal level does PR.

So for Sweden, it would not have mattered. The success of the Sweden democrats (our ugly party) is not based on anti-EU sentiment, it is based on anti-foreigner sentiment and capitalisation on general discontent.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jun 9th, 2011 at 12:40:57 PM EST
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Are you suggesting that European nationalism would have just disappeared with the constitution? Or be even faintly changed?

That, suddenly, we would all be friends?

The only way for such a thing to advance now (and back then by the way), is by annihilation of democracy (which in part happened with the Lisbon treaty, by the way). I would postulate that anyone that want to force more integration now is, to put it bluntly, an enemy of democracy.

Note the word "force", it is important. One thing is trying to convince the peoples of Europe to unite further (good luck). Another, despotic, is push forward against what is the current will of the peoples of Europe. The many peoples of Europe (we are not one people, for sure).

by cagatacos on Fri Jun 10th, 2011 at 06:53:37 PM EST
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Then, you are subscribing with Dani Rodrik's The Paradox of Globalization.

In his latest book, he identifies a fundamental 'trilemma': that we cannot simultaneously pursue democracy, national self-determination, and economic globalization.

"Eurozone leaders have turned a 50bn Greek solvency problem into a 1,000bn existential crisis for the European Union." David Miliband

by Kostis Papadimitriou on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 02:18:56 AM EST
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You cannot pursue either democracy or national self determination while the current form of globalization is effective. Globalization, as currently practiced, is driven by financial elites who are hostile to democracy and national self determination. They deploy their money to suborn all significant governments where democracy is an issue and they call pariah on any who attempt self determination. Others can only have control of things they are not concerned with, so long as they remain unconcerned. Want to challenge them? Get a sling and a rock. It has worked before, reportedly.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 10:38:46 PM EST
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It was "ratified", disguised as the Lisbon Treaty, once rejected by the Irish, if memory serves, and brought back a year later, with minor changes to be voted in. This process, I would imagine, had the Irish persisted in saying "No", would have had involved N iterations of referenda until the "yes" vote triumphed. It was not, despite its equivalence to the rejected Constitutional treaty, brought to vote elsewhere in the EU.

This charade of forcing a treaty, repeatedly rejected by the peoples of the EU, by hook or by crook, was IMHO the most flagrant display of the EU elites' total disregard of european public opinion, and fed a legitimacy crisis that in turn "tuned out" large parts of the people of the EU to any discussion of the European project. Worse, the EU then handled the Crisis with neoliberalism embedded as a constitutional mandate. This didn't help. In fact, this contempt for popular dissatisfaction fed the nationalist far right, on the ascendant right now across the EU, and affecting policy in many countries already.

Were there a broader coalition against the passage of any treaty not prepared by a special constitutional session of the European Parliament, specifically elected on that mandate, instead of the SD subscribing to the neoliberal constitutional agenda remarketed as a sneaky Treaty, things just might have been a tad better at this point.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2011 at 06:12:12 PM EST
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