Saturday, 27 September 2008

EU: Economic crisis management III

In the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, signed by all, but approved internally by 18 member states before ratification stalled, the provisions on economic policy were located in Part III ‘The policies and functioning of the Union’, Title III ‘Internal policies and action’, Chapter II ‘Economic and monetary policy’, Section 1 ‘Economic policy’.

Article III-180 is found in OJ 16.12.2004 C 310/77:

Article III-180 Constitution

1. Without prejudice to any other procedures provided for in the Constitution, the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may adopt a European decision laying down measures appropriate to the economic situation, in particular if severe difficulties arise in the supply of certain products.

2. Where a Member State is in difficulties or is seriously threatened with severe difficulties caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurrences beyond its control, the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may adopt a European decision granting, under certain conditions, Union financial assistance to the Member State concerned. The President of the Council shall inform the European Parliament of the decision adopted.

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We have been able to see that Article III-180 of the Constitutional Treaty is practically the same as Article III-72 of the draft Constitution and the current Article 100 TEC.

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The Swedish government memorandum ‘Fördraget om upprättande av en konstitution för Europa’ (Utrikesdepartemetet, Departementsserien (Ds) 2004:52, december 2004) described the signed Constitutional Treaty, but I found no comment on Article III-180.

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The government of Finland laid out the Constitutional Treaty in its ratification bill ‘Hallituksen esitys Eduskunnalle Euroopan perustuslaista tehdyn sopimuksen hyväksymisestä ja laiksi sen lainsäädännön alaan kuuluvien määräysten voimaansaattamisesta’ (HE 67/2006 vp). On page 183 Article III-180 was stated to be substantially the same as Article 100 TEC:

”III-180 artikla, joka antaa neuvostolle poikkeusvaltuudet taloudellisissa erityistilanteissa, vastaa asiasisällöltään SEY 100 artiklaa.”

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The same remark can be found in Swedish, in ’Regeringens proposition till Riksdagen med förslag om godkännande av Fördraget om upprättande av en konstitution för Europa och till lag om sättande i kraft av de bestämmelser i fördraget som hör till området för lagstiftningen (RP 67/2006 rd), page 187:

”Innehållet i artikel III-180, som ger rådet undantagsbefogenheter i ekonomiska specialsituationer, motsvarar i sak artikel 100 i EG-fördraget.”

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Klemens H. Fischer in ‘Der Europäische Verfassungsvertrag‘ (Nomos, Stämpfli & Manz, 2005), page 309, makes the observations that „Artikel III-180 EUVV korrespondiert mit Artikel 100 EGV“ and „Artikel III-180 EUVV korrespondiert mit Artikel III-72 VVE“.

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Both the texts of the Articles and the (lack of) comments have shown that there was no substantial change between the current TEC and the Constitutional Treaty.

The next instalment turns to the IGC 2004 and the Lisbon Treaty.



Ralf Grahn