If you thought the Hungarian Constitution was hot from the oven of European discontent, then think again. While Romania is all entangled in her own draft Constitution debates and really annoyed by the last MCV Progress report, the EU might just as well be on its way to rekindle the old EU Constitution once and for all!
On 13 March 2013, the European Parliament held a debate during the plenary sitting on the enforcement of the MCV (Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification) on Romania and Bulgaria in the enlargement framework and the possibility expressed last week by Romanian Justice Minister, Mona Pivniceru, to agree with the European Commission on a set of indicators and possibly a working methodology for the future of the said MCV.
To put it simple, the Romanian side wants clear indicators in the application of this mechanism. The request for a debate on such issue might also stem from last week’s plea addressed by 4 EU members to President Barroso asking for yet another mechanism, this time applied to the EU itself in which rule of law and democracy abuses might be easily punished.
Yesterday, the Social-Democrats and the Liberal MEPs, members to the majority in power in Romania, asked for a suspension of the MCV Justice progress report in the near future as they consider it to be an exception to the EU mechanisms engendering new criteria that are more and more arbitrary in relationship to Romania’s and Bulgaria’s progress so far. It was also argued that the MCV mechanism is used on a discretionary basis and might be politically fuelled depending on the ruling majority.
On the other side, Stefan Fule, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy reacted that it is the first time he has ever heard a country asking for a calendar of suspension of the MCV mechanism while no party has advocated for a solution to the problems raised by the recent reports, most of them still pending from last year’s political crisis.
As such the MCV monitoring process shall continue, Stefan Fule reminding the MEPs that some 70% of Romanians and Bulgarians are in favour of the MCV process following an EU survey. Stefan Fule added, now brace yourselves, that as President Barroso had mentioned earlier, that it might be the time for new instruments of compliance to ensure that all EU members are favouring a culture of respect for the rule of law and European values.
In other words, are we talking about new instruments, new compliance mechanisms, or a new EU Constitution? Is Europe still hanging on its individual sovereignty or is it ready to clear the path once and for all?
A new mechanism of compliance for rule of law abuses indicates that the EU, or some old club goers, are not happy with what new members are doing in their own courtyard with Hungary adopting a new controversial Constitution in spite of EU warnings and Romania envisaging a draft Constitution on its way that is set to raise the spirits.
Asking for yet another compliance toy means that the EU willy-nilly are asking for an EU Constitution which is hilarious given the former attempts at passing it. The thing is, are France and the Netherlands (one of the four abovementioned states) up for the challenge of passing an EU Constitution this time around or do they only plot new mechanisms of control that exempt the former EU-15 and apply only to Central and Eastern Europe?