Recently, I decided to take up studying EU constitutional law theory to get clear on the mechanisms again. I started where I had left off as a EU jurist many years ago: the draft constitution of the EU that got shot down by the people of France and Holland. I started to feel pretty good about seeing through some of the misinformation in the articles I was reading. Knowledge of the pillars and law structure came in handy to shift through the pretense of legitimacy. Reading the material, I rested assured that there was no way the UK could exit the first pillar to find its peril.
Then the Brexit referendum happened and the prick minister announced his resignation. That is, he will not resign until he is done with whatever he is really doing but not telling. Typical, but it was probably according to plan anyway. As long as Britain could not Brexit, it meant nothing to me. I took my time to look at article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and understood that the people really do not have a say in it. It is the State that first has to decide, and then the EU gets to decide as if a State. Nowhere is there any room for people – or any government aligned with the people – to have a say on what UK or EU, is to decide. I was still feeling pretty good about having studied EC and EU law in law school.
But, then I got a wake up call. People were laughing at the British supposedly googling “what is the EU” and such. So, I asked them if they knew. Of course, they thought they knew. But everything they said was first pillar. Nothing they said even alluded to the other two pillars. As an EU jurist I informed them so. When I was told that there were no more pillars, I was surprised. Everything up to the Draco draft constitution was still dealing with pillars. If there were no more pillars, then were did they go?! But, sure enough, the all knowing wikipedia stated that the Lisbon Treaty abolished the pillars. That got me to wake up out of my feeling good illusion.
For me to look at the materials I had at hand again. All these professors and former ECJ judges were mentioning no such thing. They were clear on the pillar structure still erected under the draft constitution. If the pillars were removed – aside the factual override of the subsidiarity principle to grant the institutions more competence – then the Lisbon constitution is a completely different treaty from the draft constitution that got presented to the peoples of Europe in 2005. And thus, the peoples of Europe should have been given the opportunity to shoot down this Liscon, the same as Ireland did.
Prolonged exposure to EU law got me to understand the EU front office better, and I was able to say and write a few sensible things on the official workings. But theory is not practice. I never got let into the practice, but I can tell from rereading the material with new insight, that the professors I dealt with already knew about what would become the Liscon treaty. They were teaching on pillars when they already knew that the plan was to get rid of them to enable the next phase of the European disUnion. They made use of the work of another professor to show it on the sly. De Burca wrote an article on federalism and competence, and is the only one to show that he was not concerned with a pillar structure. But one has to already know it to be able to pick up on it.
The Dracon constitution got shot down, but all the professors were already working on the Liscon treaty. Showing why I rile at fool school and push for education. Sure enough, fool school is needed for the basics if one has no idea of them. But, if the basics are history, then there should be education on reality. Real reality, not the nonsense I still deal with on a daily basis. I have been schooled to live in history, instead of having been educated to deal with the present – never mind the near and less near future.
Ugh. I need to end this piece right here. Realizing that I got schooled to be a EU con jurist has spoiled my mood.