Compare and contrast

Compare and contrast
: The draft European Union Constitution is out. Compare:

: E.U. Constitution: Reflecting the will of the citizens and States of Europe to build a common future, this Constitution establishes the European Union, on which the Member States confer competences to attain objectives they have in common. The Union shall coordinate the policies by which the Member States aim to achieve these objectives, and shall exercise in the Community way the competences they confer on it. The Union shall be open to all European States which respect its values and are committed to promoting them together.

: U.S. Constitution: We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Did the European version lose something in the translation from the French?

: I find it telling that the Constitution “respects and does not prejudice the status under national law of churches and religious associations or communities in the Member States.” Why single out “churches?” Because there are not many synagogues left? Because they wish mosques would go away?

: Note that the Constitution has a sex quota (what about race and religion?): “Each Member State shall submit a list of three persons, of whom at least one must be a woman, whom it considers qualified to be a European Commissioner.”

: The EU is going to have its own foreign minister. So what happens — as happened lately — when the nations disagree? Sounds like a mess. In any organization, somebody has to be in charge or no one is in charge. So who is it?

Member States shall consult one another within the Council and the European Council on any foreign and security policy issue which is of general interest in order to determine a common approach. Before undertaking any action on the international scene or any commitment which could affect the Union’s interests, each Member State shall consult the others within the Council or the European Council. Member States shall ensure, through the convergence of their actions, that the Union is able to assert its interests and values on the

international scene. Member States shall show mutual solidarity.

Sounds as if they’ll never decide anything. How convenient.

: “The Union and its Member States shall act jointly in a spirit of solidarity if a Member State is the victim of terrorist attack or natural or man-made disaster.”

Bin Laden will test that.

: I’ll be eager to read their bill of rights vs. ours when it’s released.