Monday, May 08, 2006

The seat of the European Parliament

Gosh the posts are piling up thick and fast on this blog now...*smiles knowingly*

Actually, this is just a quickie to point you in the direction of an online petition here (via) calling for the European Parliament to have just one seat, rather than for its members and staff to indulge in the ridiculous performance of packing up everything and decamping to Strasbourg for a plenary session in an otherwise unused building, every few weeks...

This is an interesting case, though. Perhaps by signing the petition, you would be approving the practice of "cherry-picking", that is picking out those bits of the Constitutional Treaty which you most approve of and pushing them forward for early adoption. For the proposal refers explicitly to Article I-47 of the Constitutional Treaty on participatory democracy. The whole thing is worth citing, but it is paragraph four on petitions which is most pertinent:

1. The institutions shall, by appropriate means, give citizens and representative associations the opportunity to make known and publicly exchange their views in all areas of Union action.

2. The institutions shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with representative associations and civil society.

3. The Commission shall carry out broad consultations with parties concerned in order to ensure that the Union's actions are coherent and transparent.

4. Not less than one million citizens who are nationals of a significant number of Member States may take the initiative of inviting the Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Constitution. European laws shall determine the provisions for the procedures and conditions required for such a citizens' initiative, including the minimum number of Member States from which such citizens must come.

From my reading of the site, the proposers are some way off the desired 1 million signatures, but you have to start somewhere don't you?


Anonymous Marko said...

There is an interesting point about the campaign website to make. There is no method of checking the signatures on the website. Something that any semi-serious campaign should think about before going on-line.

But the political point remains valid, right.

10:01 pm  

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