22 May 2010

Relations of the Union and the member states 9 – Internal affairs of the federation

This post will be short as, I presume, also this section in the European federal constitution will be short. It will deal with some internal matters of the federation. In the present intergovernmental European Union, everything concerning its internal structure is arranged by the international treaties concluded among its member states – the Union itself has no power to establish its own bodies independently on its member states and to determine the rules of their working. No wonder, it is an international organization and the states associated in it are who decides about it. But it cannot be applied to a European federation, it has to have freedom to establish its bodies freely in case of need and this also has to be written in the federal constitution.

As well as international treaties of the present intergovernmental EU determine bodies of the organization, the agreement among the mentioned states determines also the work conditions of the employees of the organization (at random, let us remember the agreement about wages of the European parliament members). Again, it will not be possible in the future, the federation itself has to determinate work condition of its employees, also the question of their social security (including even e. g. their pensions).

I will stay at the federation's employees yet. It is typical for the international EU at present that its bodies are not concentrated in one place, they are dispersed in various towns and states, including the supreme bodies – one of them, the Parliament, even changes its residence which has been criticized justly as a “travelling circus“ and is one of the best documents of impropriety of intergovernmental approach to European “unity“ (“intergovernmental unity” is nonsense in fact). It will be naturally necessary in the European federation that its supreme bodies (the parliament, the executive, the supreme court) are concentrated in its capital (i. e. likely Brussels) but other offices of the federation could be placed also in other parts of the federation; it will be valid automatically in case of branch offices of the central institutions situated in the member states. Employees of the branch offices of the central institutions situated in the member states should be chosen from inhabitants of respective states but it should be valid also in case of the central institutions themselves located in the capital. For that reason the European federal constitution should contain a provision saying that the member states ought to be represented in the federal bodies equally; the Swiss constitution can be an example for such provision.

The last matter that I insert in the chapter “internal affairs of the union” is the right of the federation to pursue statistics for its own purposes as it is so in other federations including corresponding articles of their constitutions (see for example the German constitution).

07 May 2010

Relations of the Union and the member states – Science, culture (supplement)

In this short post, I will mention only several competencies of the European federation which I have omitted in the penultimate post about education and science and could to do so because they go with the sphere of science.

The first of these omitted competencies concerns interventions in genetic information of living creatures and especially human. This topic is usually not in state constitutions, above all in them that change not often. But the scientific progress requires law arrangement of this topic; the example of German or Swiss constitution shows that to put this power to the hands of the federation, not to those of the member states themselves is the most convenient. Especially the changes in the human genetic code are very weighty and it can be only heavily imagined that this matter can be left to the individual member states and consequences of it can be restricted into the borders of only some member state – mutual interconnection of states in a federation will make none other solution than in the federal level possible. All the more so that already today, matters of genetically modified agricultural products have been treated together.

The second competence that I have omitted in the post about federation's power in the sphere of education and science is the power over medicines. It is a topic that seems to belong rather in the sphere of health system. But I am not aiming at interference of the federation in health systems of the member states and at their subordination to control of the federation; I have in mind only medicines' development, distribution and control of their circulation in the territory of the federation – and it is really a topic rather of science or close to it than of a health care system of any state. For one thing puzzles me: the same medicine can be approved to be used in a European state but at the same time, it is not allowed to be used in another state (though e. g. neighbouring one) because it has not been approved there yet. This is incomprehensible because inhabitants of individual European states have not so different body constitution that to approve newly the same medicine is necessary. One thing more joins it: I do not know what a great role testing medicines in laboratory animals plays but if restriction multiple national medicine approving will reduce the number of (ab)used animals, it will be only another reason in favour of pan-European solution. A progress has been made in this field in the present intergovernmental EU but only in some kinds of medicines (against cancer, diabetes and AIDS) and it is not enough.