The Voters Are the Enemy

by Andrew Stuttaford

Via EUObserver:

BRUSSELS – The European Union may be able to winkle out of the fraught process of a full treaty change via a clever legal trick, EU Council President Herman van Rompuy has suggested.

According to a two-page report from the Belgian EU chief submitted to national capitals on Tuesday (6 December), by amending a protocol attached to the Lisbon Treaty rather than changing the treaty itself, the lengthy and politically uncertain path of referendums and ratification by national parliaments can be avoided entirely.

Instead, so long as EU leaders unanimously back a redrafting of a single protocol, the changes can be achieved almost instantly, following consultations with the European Central Bank and the European Parliament, both of which would be formalities.

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