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“Popular sovereignty, globalisation and the new european constitution”

London October 14
Seminar For European Communist And Left Parties:
Contribution of KKE

First of all, I would like to thank CP of Britain for holding this seminar on this topical issue.

Up to today no other new Treaty was discussed and disputed so much as the Draft Constitutional Treaty, despite the compromise among the Governments of the member states during the Constitutional Conference and, later on in the Summit of June 2004.

Perhaps a comparison can be made only with the Maastricht Treaty that was the most strategic one and established the unification of policies. The text of the “Constitutional Treaty” not only unifies the previous Treaties but also moves forward in the aid of repression and militarization of the EU, at the expense of civil and democratic rights, liberties and standard of living of the people.

Perhaps that’s the reason why they have misleadingly named the new Treaty “Constitution”, to introduce it under a supposedly democratic cloak in order to deceive the peoples and secure their consent and acquire democratic legalisation.

However, its content and class nature cannot be disguised. So, it is not surprising the fact that more and more reactions are manifested and committees, campaigns and movements are formed aiming at its rejection, even in countries where there will not be a referendum.

In Greece, a movement called "Democratic Rally for the Popular Liberties and Solidarity" is very active has created local committees in the bigger cities of the country with the participation of trade unions, lawyers, former Ministers, MPs and former MEPs and various personalities. It campaigns actively in order to inform people about the reactionary content of the draft of the Constitutional Treaty, and to mobilize broad popular strata for its rejection.

The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), took position against the so - called “EU- Constitution” since the very beginning. Our viewpoint is that this Treaty serves the fortification of the bourgeoisie class and its power within the context of the class struggle that becomes all the more acute along with the social and class conflicts.

The working people will suffer additional hardships because of the economic recession that has hit the strong capitalist economies of the EU. At the same time the big demonstrations in Germany, in Holland, at the shipyards of Spain, in Greece and other countries show that the popular strata react against the barbarian and inhuman policies that the governments promote in a uniform way in the member states.

The cycle of the crisis is not synchronized, however it will certainly hit other countries as well, such as Greece. The Greek government is aware of this fact and pursuits to prepare psychologically the people for austerity and further attack on the social rights. Apart from the excuses of the increase of public deficit and the debt - in other words the stability pact itself- they also use as pretext the big expenses for the Olympic Games which of course proved to be profitable for the multinationals.

As a matter of fact, there has been nothing more reactionary up to now: this new treaty imposes and institutionalizes inequality, starting with the new countries, and this in order to advance competition for spheres of influence both inside and outside the EU.

In this sense KKE does not consider realistic positions that say “Yes to a “Euro-constitution” but no to this one”. We believe that there are no variants that could change its substance. There can be no progressive Constitution in the EU of capital and war any more than there can be a progressive Maastricht.

Regarding the basic characteristics of the new Treaty, we believe that a more comprehensive framework is created for stronger class exploitation, oppression and inequality to the advantage of the monopoly capital and the most powerful countries. The militarization of the EU is an integral part of the “EU-constitution”. Thus since a new armaments race is being triggered to support NATO and supplement it wherever necessary. Article 41 referring to the European Organization of Defence describes the promotion of military industry and illustrates the militarization trends.

In Article 43, the US doctrine of “pre- emptive” war is adopted as a “solidarity clause”. The expression used sounds harmless, but in action it will prove to be drastic and dangerous, since the member States are asked to take joint action in order to prevent any terrorist threat and protect the democratic institutions against any potential terrorist attack, which will lead to military intervention even on suspicion of terrorism, including interventions in the member-states.

Article 40, paragraph 6 refers to matters of Common Foreign and Security Policy. It is reported that the European Council and the Council will make decisions unanimously. This is also the case in Article 41, paragraph 2, which concerns the European Security and Defence Policy, that is, the operational ability of the EU in military means. In the text it is described that "the common defence policy will lead to the common defence when the European Council makes a relative Decision with unanimity”.

Therefore, the imperialist competition will be expressed with aggressions, blackmails, military pressures for sharing the loot, with wars. This means new threats to peace and to every people’s right to select their own path of economic and social development. It is not accidental that the enlargement of the EU goes hand in hand with the enlargement of NATO.

That is why USA, EU, NATO, Australia, Russian Federation adopt the doctrine of the pre-emptive strike and the pre-emptive war of the in the name of confronting terrorism.

Another component of the new Treaty is the further surrender of sovereign rights to the EU. In Articles 13 and 14 they are described as sectors of exclusive but also aiding competence, strengthening through them the capital in each state-member. The so- called new Constitution is placed above national constitutions and acquires an active role in reactionary intervention in the political system on the national level.

Article 6 clearly states that «The Constitution and law adopted by the institutions of the Union in exercising competences conferred on it shall have primacy over the law of the Member States". Thus it intervenes in anything that is progressive or can potentially serve social progress under changes in the correlation of forces on national level.

In Article 59 this is even clearly expressed, as this article states that the European Council with special majority can issue a decision for a member state that violates the “values of the EU”, stated in the text of the so- called EU-constitution, impose a penalty of suspension of its rights.

The incorporation of a Charter of Fundamental Rights into the constitutional Treaty is presented as though it was an achievement. However, this Charter includes fewer rights than those contained in many constitutions of bourgeois republics and it falls short even of the European Convention of Human Rights, while all freedoms are recognized for employers.

Our opinion is that today it is even more urgent the need to inform and mobilise the peoples, since the EU mechanisms of ideological manipulation have launched a campaign deceive the peoples of Europe about the content of the new treaty. The EU it is about to set a committee that will plan the promotion of the reactionary and anti-popular new Treaty. Several funds will be allocated for this for this aim, while wages, pensions and benefits of unemployment decrease, social expenses shrink and labour insecurity and uncertainty rise.

Our opinion is that opposition to the so-called ‘European Constitution’ should acquire substantial class content on the national and European level. Communist and workers’ parties, anti-imperialist and antimonopoly forces, unionists, peace and youth movements we should join efforts to mobilize the people. We can organize information campaigns, encourage movements and campaigns to cooperate and coordinate their actions.

We would like to express our readiness to contribute, cooperate and support the NO vote in all countries where a referendum takes place, according to our possibilities. At the same time we are open to develop common action and co-operation around specific fronts.
  • Defending the workers’ and democratic rights;
  • Fighting against the police stat - which is strengthened through Tampere II, ready to be brought into effect.
  • Opposing the militarization of the EU, that is an integral element of the imperialist world order, and fighting against the EU army already deployed in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Congo. We express our support and solidarity with the anti-NATO mobilizations that will take place this November in Venice.
  • Defending both every people’s right to choose their own path of development and their sovereign rights.
Finally we want to point out that in the final text of the new Treaty - dated 6 August 2004- a new Article was added, so the Articles have now become 60. The additional Article 8 is about the “symbols of the EU” and refers to the flag, the anthem, and the emblem, the currency of Union and names as Day of Europe the 9th of May.

It is an obvious attempt to sweep out the peoples’ memories the anniversary of the antifascist victory, and what is linked with it: the indispensable role of USSR, of national resistance movements, the leading role of communists.

On this regard, we propose to hold demonstrations and manifestations in all the countries members of the EU organised by the parties and movements on the 9th May. Furthermore we support the idea presented by the CP of Bohemia and Moravia at the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Athens on 8-10 October 2004, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the anti-fascist victory with an big international event in Prague.


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