Saturday, August 23, 2003
Greening the European Constitution - 23rd August 2003, 21.46

An alliance of non-governmental organisations has put forward proposals for 'improving' the draft European Constitution and directing EU law towards sustainable development as a long-term goal. Their proposal may be found here.

Their aims include the right to a clean and safe environment, greater participatory democracy and the abolition of Euratom. None of the green parties appear to have been involved with the preparation of this manifesto.

However, apart from the 'Europeanisation' of the environmental agenda that this manifesto demonstrates, the NGO greens showed that they accepted the current structure of the EU. Their only concern was that the policies should be environmentally sound, and demanded that qualified majority voting should be instituted for environmental taxation.

The Green 8 considers it positive that the Convention proposes to increase the role of the Parliament in important policy areas such as agriculture. However, it is disappointed it did not dare to remove the Council's unanimity requirement for environmental fiscal provisions.

The Green 8 are also quite explicit in setting out their stall. They request that the Constitution is discussed further with 'civil society' a code for nongovernmental organisations and imply that if the Euratom treaty is not removed, that this might become an issue in referenda to ratify the Constitution.

Update: Iain Murray looks at this in more depth.


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