Lisbon treaty and Germany's constitutional court


I'm a bit late with this, but it's nevertheless interesting.

The development of the EU has been a top-down affair in Germany (and other European countries); politicians agreed on it as a good idea and did it.
The first steps were the most obvious ones and got the most positive effects at little or no price - the ratio deteriorated as increasingly less obvious opportunities of unification were exploited.

The pro-EU propaganda was usually an afterthought for decades, and its effect is probably mediocre.

The EU is (my perception) seen by many people as something that helped a lot to maker travel and business easier in Europe and made warfare among EU states unthinkable, but it's also being seen as overly bureaucratic and with only weak democratic legitimation and control.
The latter problem derives from the fact that much of the EU's policies are ill-covered by the media and pretty much negotiated as compromises on government levels.

The last steps of European unification have encountered some popular resistance; both the € currency and the Lisbon treaty.

The German federal constitutional court has now (a week ago) ruled that European integration stops at the Lisbon treaty. No further integration would be legal without a popular vote.
The problem is obviously that more integration would begin to dissolve the constitutional order of Germany - and that's illegal. The only exception would be if Germany gets a new legitimate constitution.

in German:

I personally prefer a reform of the EU with a slow catch-up of public opinion to the state of unification. Our media needs to emphasize European politics more in its news - like page three in newspapers and 20% average time share in TV news. A joint policy requires a joint public - and this requires that the public cares more and learns more about EU politics.
THEN it would be the right time to go on - if supported by public opinion.
Governments pressing for EU treaties, failing in popular vote and just launching public votes again and again till they get the desired result is no fix to the popular support problem.

A unified, multi-national state tends to explode (USSR, Yugoslavia, Austria-Hungaria) if imposed by rulers and not widely supported by the people. I really don't want to see a European civil war just because pro-EU gung-ho politicians pressed for maximum unification.

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On another note:
Germany has ordered 405 Puma IFVs. The planned annual production rates have a Japanese accent in my ears (production run 2010-2020).
405 Puma IFVs - that's 405 x 6 = 2,430 seats for dismounts unless the TC dismounts as well (+405) or additional equipment/ammunition takes another seat (-405). The original expectation was for 8 dismounts per vehicle, and earlier German studies (NGP) considered 7 as minimum, 6 as inadequate.


1 comment:

  1. I'm totally with you on this issue. Europe is still not felt as a real "union" by many people, even if the very same people often gets money and advantages from the EU. Not to mention weasel politicians, who blame Europe as a lightingrod whenever possible. Italians are quite good at it, to my discomfort.
    I hope that thoose who are young now, educated to travel and study across the borders, will understand this important effort, even if I have a bad feeling about bureaucracy: it will be the most upsetting part of Europe for a long while!