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FFII.org: Open Letter to the EU: Constitution, We Have a Problem

Mar 08, 2005, 23:30 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonas Maebe)

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"An MEP who saw our press release noted that 'it certainly appears that the Council presidency took some procedural shortcuts.' That is an extremely diplomatic way to put it. The Council Presidency spoke in name of the entire Council (pluralis majestatis as it were) and reversed voting requirements. The rules states that 'an A item (formal point) shall be taken off the agenda if a member state so requests or if it might lead to further discussions, unless the Council decides otherwise.'

"When Denmark asked for that, the Presidency simply announced it did not want to take it off, instead of asking whether there was a majority against taking it off. Therefore, 'unless the Council decides otherwise' became 'if a majority of the Council wants to go against the Presidency's will, while not even a vote has been called.' This might seem like splitting hairs, but in the Council where every sign of opposition is presented to us as something which foreshadows the end of EU decision making as we know it, this is a difference between night and day..."

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