No to the Constitutional Treaty


February 17, 2005 19:33 | by Tobias Pflüger, MEP

"The most progress the Constitutional Treaty accomplishes is in the specific area of the Common Security Policy", so it says in the report by Richard Corbett Íñigo Méndez de Vigo (European Parliament Report No. A6- 0070/2004) - Constitution for Europe, which approves the Constitutional Treaty and which, moreover, recommends its ratification "without any reservation". For me this is also the most important reason for rejecting the EU Constitutional Treaty. The militarisation of the European Union is codified in the following elements:

1. The member states oblige themselves to gradually improve their military capabilities. (Article I-41,3). This means no less than a commitment to armament for the member states of the EU. The arms race becomes a constitutional commandment.

2. As far as foreign and military policy is concerned, it is the obvious goal of the Constitutional Treaty to make the European Union fit for global military intervention. The Treaty should secure the "capability for operations based on military means" (Art I-41 Par. 1).

3. And: an "Arms Agency should supervise" the realisation of this policy and push through "adequate means for the strengthening of the industrial and technological basis of the defence sector" (Art. III-311).

4. The EU Parliament and the European Court of Justice are explicitly excluded from control over foreign and military policy. The intervention options of the EU are being massively extended.

5. In Article III-309, the military options of the EU are described. The so-called Petersberg tasks ("humanitarian interventions" up to and including battle-type interventions) will be massively extended and among other things supplemented by so-called "disarmament missions".

6. Of special explosiveness is the "permanent structured (military) collaboration", which will be more precisely defined now by an additional protocol. Here, the institutionalisation of a military core for Europe is taking shape.

7. All attempts to have a European Constitution based on the civilian co-responsibility of the EU for the maintenance of peace in the world have failed.

8. Instead of acting, by way of constitutional commandment, in favour of strengthening the role of the United Nations in inter-state conflicts and of subjecting themselves in their action to the Charter of the United Nations and especially to the prohibition against violence in international relations, there is only a commitment solely to the "principles of the Charter of the United Nations", which leaves open the possibility for non-UN-mandated military interventions by the EU.

9. Also missing are explicit formulations that war may never again be waged on the territories of the EU. On also looks in vain for the outlawing of wars of aggression. Also, teher is no demand for an explicit interdiction of world-wide military politics of intervention.

10. Sensible institutions, which might help at the level of the EU to create a peaceful Europe are also a missing: neither a European agency for disarmament and conversion, nor an agency for arms exports control was established.

11. A Constitutional Treaty for a European Union, which would reject war and military application of force for the solution of conflicts, which would seek to get rid of weapons of mass destruction and would convert its arms industry to civilian production and end weapons' exports is a journey to the stars away.

12. A peace-promoting reduction of military capacities to the level where they would simply guarantee a structural incapacity to attack the EU, however, is turned into its opposite in the Constitutional Treaty. Everything is subordinated to the creation of the structural and concrete capacity to attack. Only in this way, apparently, according to the EU's leaders, is the global power projection apparently possible.

For these reasons, I say NO to this EU Constitutional Treaty and Support the Campaign against it.

Tobias Pflüger is a Member of the European Parliament. Although not a member of the German PDS, he was elected on its list and sits in the United Left Group, the GUE/NGL. At home in Germany, he is a well-known expert on security policy and a peace activist. This statement was translated by Carla Krüger.

See Also:

The European Constitution

A Constitution for a Federal European State

Wrong Text for a European Constitution

Whar has the Left to Gain from EU Constitution?