So whats the real opinion on the EU constitution from CZers?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous (Czech-Related)' started by Malnik, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. Malnik

    Malnik Well-Known Member

    I gather that the general opinion is most Czechs will vote for the EU constitution. Knowing how proud they are I am surprised they want to give up the individuality they have and be ruled from Brussels. Has there been any press about the President of Spain saying how Embassies in other countries will close etc or is all silent on the negative side?
    I know it means much money for the country.....but at what price?
    Incidentally, I am an Australian so I have no actaul influence on this subject, but what i've read seems a little draconiun.
  2. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    The European Union is a federation of advanced democracies. It is natural that it should have a constitution, and the majority of Europeans agree on that. The debates are not about the necessity of a constitution, but its contents. It is about the provisions of the laws that the citizens of the member states will give their opinion. :)
  3. Halef

    Halef Well-Known Member

    Actually, most Czechs have very little knowledge of the EU constitution. Our government has been unable to provide us with a simple description of "what is going on", and people themselves will not read hundreds of pages of lawyerish.
    In my family, I am the one most interested in all these EU things, and I have nearly no idea what the EU c. is about.
    In fact, our country is the only one who has not yet decided whether and when there will be a public vote on the constitution. I suppose the government is afraid of people voting "no", so it waits until all the other countries vote "yes" - then it would be easier to persuade us not to "spoil the game".
    Unless something changes soon, I expect the vote to be held in a hurry, in a last minute and with no serious debate preceeding - all those "yes" or "no" arguments will probably be more emotional than rational.
  4. czechchris

    czechchris Well-Known Member

    Actually, I think most Britons have little knowledge of what is in the proposed constitution, let alone any citizens of any other member state.

    The British government seems to be keeping the contents from its citizens, and has something of a "vote yes, and trust us, we know what is best for you!" attitude.

    As to whether most Europeans are agreed on the necessity of having a constitution at all, I don't remember being asked. In any case, forms of words will be used which make it easy to interpret things the way they want at any particular time. [Compare the anti-torture agrrement of the UN - where "cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment" is now regarded as not torture! But I don't intend this to open another can of worms.]
  5. uuspoiss

    uuspoiss Well-Known Member

    They can hardly do that, given that the document was approved a long time ago and is available for anyone to read. It's another matter of course, whether the governments should try and "digest" the contents for its citizens, sparing them the effort of having to actually read and understand it. Personally, I think it would be stupid to go and vote over a constitution that you haven't even read :)

    I don't think it's the only one... In Estonia it is up to the parliament yet to decide if and when the vote will take place. It is very likely that they will not do it though, and the argument is that the accession referendum already took care of that - the draft constitution was already available at that time.

    But you're very much right in that it will be mostly an emotional choice if it comes to that. Just like the accession votes were, and just like any election or vote usually is.
  6. KJP

    KJP Well-Known Member

    This is a suject of great debate, most recently published on Euronews. The Czech Republic is noted as the biggest deterant to adopting a constitution, of which all states must radify...
  7. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    I don't think the details are important for the moment. Only the principles are. I wish there were public debates on them. They already take place within political parties and probably among the circles in the wings holding the real power, but there has been no debates among common people so far. I hope they will take place long enough before the referendum. Anyhow, the referendum will be preceded by short TV programs in which every party will give their opinion separately.
  8. KJP

    KJP Well-Known Member

    I'd have to say that the details are very important now:

    A record low turnout is overshadowing the positive result for the Spanish government after yesterday's referendum on the European constitution.

    Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said a new page of European history had been written.

    However the high number of Spaniards who did not bother to vote does not auger well as other EU countries line up to hold referenda.
  9. Malnik

    Malnik Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure its a matter of debate between how each political party reads the Constitution. Isn't it more about how will your own country benefit/loose if the constitution is adopted. Some EU countries say it will mean a loss of individuality, ie armies will be EU controlled not own govt, immigration is to be decided by Brussels not your own country and many other things. I'm sure there are good things in there also. I know France and Germany are in strong support. From what I read Mr Gross is a strong supporter of giving these things to Brussels.....but what he will do if he does.....he wont have to decide much. But I'm sure , like Mr Blair, who is also a strong supporter, there wil be rewards for the succesful.
  10. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Well, in the future, Europe will be like the United States of America with a president and a constitution, while individual states will retain some degree of freedom as regards local laws.

    Inevitably, sooner or later, the federal law will supersede local laws. Besides there won't be British (if they are still with us :) ), Czech, French, German diplomats to represent the European Union abroad, but only EU ambassadors, etc.

    The problem will be the armed forces. Perhaps the best solution would be to become neutral like Switzerland, and see later if it is necessary to change.

    For the moment the European Union is a political entity in travail. We have already managed to create the euro. The result is not that bad, is it?

    I have just watched a program on the French-German channel (Arte) about the referendum in Spain. Even the people who didn't vote said Spain had greatly benefitted from Europe. Many didn't bother to go to polling stations because for them the _si_ "yes" was obvious!

    Ask Ireland that was one of the poorest countries and is now prosperous enough.

    Ask the Czechs who only joined a few months ago, and have already received funds to improve their road network etc.

    What I mean is that a majority of Europeans have faith in Europe.

    The only big problem looming ahead is Turkey that too many irresponsible politicians like President Jacques CHIRAC want to join the European Union.
  11. Malnik

    Malnik Well-Known Member

    I see want it to be invitation only to a select few? Why the reluctance for Turkey to join?
    Your assumption that the majority want this constitution is still unproven....even a more so after the Spanish vote. Back in Australia we have compulsory voting.......
  12. Halef

    Halef Well-Known Member

    Well, maybe because Turkey is not a European country? Except for that little piece of land...
    I think, if Turkey joins EU, there is no reason why Syria, Lebanon or Iraq should not do the same.
  13. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's obvious, Turkey is not a European country. Its civilization and its values are different from ours. Its destiny is to be a link between Europe and the Islamic world.
  14. Malnik

    Malnik Well-Known Member

    I'm not looking for an argument but where does Europe start and finish?
  15. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Malnik, Turks are not Europeans. That's all. If they join Europe, the paradox will be that Europeans will be fewer than Turks in the EU parliament. These things are well-known. Why do you ask these question? :lol:
  16. uuspoiss

    uuspoiss Well-Known Member

    The population of Turkey is smaller than that of Germany (even considering the Turks that live in Germany) and only slightly bigger than that of France or the UK. How come they will get such a majority all of a sudden?
  17. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Sorry, UUSPOISS, I don't know. I have read this observation both in the French media and the International Herald Tribune. Yes, it is puzzling. I'll search for it, and let you know anything interesting I might find.
  18. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    As regards geography, the Bosphorus is regarded as a separation between Europe and the Near-Eastern part of Asia. At least this is how things crop up in the literature. I recently read a good book by a modern French traveller on Istanbul, and whenever he takes the ferry to sail to the other shore, he says he goes to Asia. I agree it's a mere convention because Turkey occupies territories that used to be Greek, hence European.

    In actuality the main problem is that of culture, civilization, values. This doesn't mean ours are better than theirs. Not at all. They are different, and clash on a large number of points it would idle to discuss here as they are in no way related to our dear Czech Republic.

    To sum it up, the majority of people in France believe that Turkey could enjoy privileged relationships with the European Union, but refuse to admit it as a member of the European Union. I think public opinions are the same throughout the European Union. Only some suspicious politicians think differently.

    Personally I think that Turkey should look at all the Turkish republics in the East all the way to China, and consider a union of its own. By focusing on the European Union it simply overlooks its historical destiny. [You can laugh at this all your heart's content. :lol: ]
  19. Malnik

    Malnik Well-Known Member

    So is it membership because the lifestyle/culture is the same? I was looking at a map on the EU website and it seems to stretch far wider than what i think the general interpretation of Europe is. But i never took Geography.
    Finland looks a bit of a long way to be called Europe. Latvia and the other new states in that region??? I'm happy for them to be on board....but it looks like Turkey has the same call as they do. And the same goes for all the old communist states we knew as Russia.
    You said most French don't want Turkey in?? Surely your President is not promoting something a majority of French people don't want??

    And....I ask because I'm interested.
  20. uuspoiss

    uuspoiss Well-Known Member

    Well the fact that you knew them as Russia probably has something to do with your not taking geography. Or history. Or neither.

    But I do agree that cultural similarity is not something that can be the main criterion for admitting or not admitting some country. I think Finland and Spain are far more culturally different than Greece and Turkey. Religion is not the only thing that matters.

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