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The European Court of Justice

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The British newspaper, The Telegraph painted a bleak picture of the new European constitution, in particular the new powers it will give to the European Court of Justice. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes in the opening paragraph that the court ".emerges as the undisputed master in the new constitution, coming of age as a fully-fledged supreme court with vastly increased jurisdiction and the unchecked power to strike down the laws of 25 member states."

We are reminded that the new constitution is unlike all preceding European treaties in that it dissolves the old Union and establishes an entirely new one in its place on "altered foundations." The new "Euro-judges" in Luxembourg-one from each country-will have great power and the final say on many far-reaching issues. For example:

• Article I.14 stipulates that the Union "shall adopt measures to ensure the co-ordination of economic policies of the member states."

• Article I.15 says, "Member states shall unreservedly support the Union's common and foreign security policy in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity. They shall refrain from action contrary to the Union's interest."

• Article I.10 states, "The constitution, and law adopted by the Union's institutions in exercising competences conferred upon it, shall have primacy over the law of member states."

There still exists, however, in the draft text under Article 59, the guarantee for any state to withdraw from the Union. The British Foreign Office is adamant that as long as withdrawal is possible, Britain will retain its sovereignty. But without it, Evans-Pritchard writes, it loses all.

Source: The Telegraph


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