EU’s “Constitution” becomes a “Treaty”

I can’t believe I missed this Monday, but there below the fold on the May 14, 2007, Financial Times (p. 2) was a great little article on the German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s efforts to revive the failed EU constitutional process.

The article mentions a stroll Ms. Merkel took along the cliffs of Cabo da Roca in Portugal with some of her fellow EU officials and quotes one of those officials as saying while they overlooked the Atlantic, “We chucked the constitution into the sea… It’s floating back to Philadelphia.”  (Those of you familiar with US history will get the Philadelphia comment.  Sadly, given the state of our educational system, more of you outside the US may get the reference than those inside the US…)

I thought the article’s description of Ms. Merkel’s style of influence was interesting: “…a mixture of big-power pressure and low-key maternal charm…”

But what is most noteworthy (in my opinion) is the article’s confirmation that Berlin is leaning toward the idea of reshaping the proposal as a treaty instead of a “constitution” — an idea that has been in the running for some time.  In many ways (i.e., the most important ones) this would be merely a semantic difference, meant only to ease the consciences of those who fear loss of national identity to a European superstate; but the ties would be every bit as binding, no matter what the agreement is called.  According to the article:

“[The current treaty concept] would retain many of the key institutional changes — such as new voting weights, a new EU president and foreign minister — while leaving out parts of the treaty that hinted at the creation of a superstate.”

A common European currency, a common European monetary policy, a common European legislative body, a common European court — and now a common European president and a common European foreign minister…  And these are supposed to be the parts that do not hint at the creation of a superstate?

Whether a president, chancellor, prime minister, or something else — Europe will find one man to stand behind eventually (Revelation 17:12-13).  Who will step out of the wings and into that spotlight to fulfill that role remains to be seen, but the stage is certainly being set for his arrival.

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