Monday, March 28, 2005

“You can’t fool us with your Jedi mind tricks Mr de Villiers”

Glorious moment of theatre on French Television (TV2) last week. De Villiers, the leader of the right of centre ‘No’ campaigners was debating with Olivier Duhamel, former socialist MEP and member of the Constitutional Convention.
This report appeared in Liberation on Friday;

De V, “The Bolkestein Directive, it is there (in the Constitution) in Article 144”
Duh, “No way”.
De V, reaching for something in his pocket, “I will just read it to you…”
Duh, “You cannot fool us with your tricks”.
The rest is history, it was a marvellous moment.”

2 comments:

Mike said...

Whereas a better response might have been that de Villiers was talking rubbish.
The constitution makes absolutely no difference to the free movement of services.
The EC Treaty currently says:
"Article 49

Within the framework of the provisions set out below, restrictions on freedom to provide services within the Community shall be prohibited in respect of nationals of Member States who are established in a State of the Community other than that of the person for whom the services are intended.

The Council may, acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission, extend the provisions of the Chapter to nationals of a third country who provide services and who are established within the Community."

This is identical to the passage in the draft constitution (unless Mr de Villiers objects to the change of numbering).

The passage in the EC Treaty is an amended version of Article 59 of the Treaty of Rome (signed in 1957):
"Article 59. Within the framework of the provisions set out below, restrictions on freedom to provide services within the Community shall be progressively abolished during the transitional period in respect of nationals of Member States who are established in a State of the Community other than that of the person for whom the services are intended.
The Council may, acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission, extend the provisions of this Chapter to nationals of a third country who provide services and who are established within the Community."

Now I'm no Fabian, but surely 48 years is a gradual enough change for the progressive abolition of restrictions.

Elaib said...

Thanks for the Heads up Mike. I) understand that the key word is "established" and how that word is recognised and what it means in legal practice. The recent case of the French student winning against the UK for student loans was based on this. (Not sure if I fully understand the legal niceties). But thanks again

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