Friday, June 22, 2007

The Menber States: responsible "masters" of the treaty?

This is what happens if you leave the Member States in charge of the Treaty. Or at least, that would be what a so-called "friends of the Treaty" might say. The apparent removal of a reference to "free and undistorted competition" in the list of the Union's objectives. We'll have to see what this French-inspired move means in terms of concrete textual change in due course, and it will be a very long time before we know what its legal effects, if any, might be. But the incident shows the danger of making piecemeal changes to the text of the original treaties (because after all we are now talking about a reforming and amending treaty, not a replacement treaty) in order to appease national sensibilities. With 27 Member States, there could be no end to it. Why not remove Articles 81 and 82 at the same time, and be done with it...if it keeps the French on board...?