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...?

10 Comments:

Blogger Marcin said...

How does this interact with EEA law? Would that still bind us to the same free trade laws in substance?

12:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point.

9:12 pm  
Anonymous EUlaw blogger said...

The EEA will continue to apply unless it is altered. There is really no reason why it should be, as Arts. 53-64 EEA essentially copy provisions of the EC Treaty and the annexes to the EEA refer to secondary EC measures on competition and state aid that would not be altered simply because the Reform Treaty would not refer to 'competition' as an objective of the EU.

11:59 am  
Anonymous Suomityttö said...

It was not only France that came up with special wishes last week. Britain demanded the EU-law's precedence over member states' national legislation to be removed from the new treaty text. Britain also wanted the Charter of Fundamental Rights not to become legally binding. The Dutch wanted that the Commission listens to national parliaments' opinions more when preparing new legislation. Basically the only sense to be found in the aforementioned needs is that Blair, Sarkozy and Balkenende do not want to put the treaty under referendum. The French and British demands will hardly have legal consequences. It would be very unlikely that the current practice of the EU-law's precedence over national legislation would change because Britain had it erased from the new treaty - same goes to the competition clause dropped by the French.
However at this summit Poland managed to crank the game up a notch - which made the former EU-enfants terribles France and Britain look like pussycats around the negotiation table...

10:55 am  
Anonymous Rechtsanwalt said...

That's good point.
These articles should be removed or keep one at a time.

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