Friday, October 19, 2007

EU treaty – help wanted

I’ve been trying to figure out what’s going on with this for a little while now, and in light of this pleasantly calm, intelligent post by Cassilis, I’m hoping to step that up a bit.

So I have a question for anybody who might be inclined to reply: can you point me towards any decent analyses/discussions/evaluations of what’s in this treaty?

I’m looking for links to material that’s better-quality than the rubbish in most of the newspapers, preferably not zealously biased on one side or the other, and that I don’t have to be an expert in European law to understand.

Much appreciated.


Slartibartfas said...

The best summary I could find so far about the treaty is from Forbes:

Its rather objective and reduced to the facts without judging them.

Cassilis said...

A real struggle finding anything entirely neutral that isn't then just impenetrable legalese. A couple I like are:

Open Europe - very definitely anti though well informed, academic and not at all preachy and...

Centre for European Reform - essentially the same thing but from a 'pro' perspective.

Both sites actually have useful PDF guides available now on this treaty.

p.s. thanks for the kind comments and link.

Richard said...

Of course you won't find anything neutral ... why should you even expect to find such a thing?

Adults are supposed to read a range of material and make up their own minds, not have their information pre-digested for them under the guise of neutrality.

And, if you don't know anything about the subject, how in any case would you be able to work out whether it was neutral?

For a total absence of neutrality, however, see:

Matt M said...

Not the greatest source in the world, but Wikipedia seems to have a decent overview of the Reform Treaty and a number of links to various discussions/analyses, etc.

Cassilis said...


Neutrality means devoid of judgement, factual only rather than interpretive or analytical. Adults can only make their minds up if they can access material which isn't already loaded with suggestion or with hostility / enthusiasm.

Are you really saying no such thing exists, in respect of anything?

One wonders what then whether 2 + 2 really does equal four or if I'm just being led to believe that it does by the Murdoch press...?

Tom Freeman said...

Thanks all.

And Richard,

"Adults are supposed to read a range of material and make up their own mind"

My aim precisely!

Tom Freeman said...

Phew. this is taking a while. However, having tried to understand the rules of rugby over the weekend, I'm sure this will be the lesser challenge.

I want to lament, again, the quality of analysis on offer. The Open Europe and CER stuff is certainly a cut above newspaper columns, but the former takes such a polemical tone that I hesistate to trust its claims (well-researched as they clearly are), and the latter is pleasingly measured but a little thin.

The recent report by the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee isn't bad. Plus they have some interesting transcripts of evidence sessions.

It's a real pity there's no Institute for Fiscal Studies equivalent in this area.