Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Symbolic, but of what?

MEPs have today adopted the EU's anthem, flag and motto - meaning they will be flown on all European Parliament buildings and displayed in all European Parliament meeting rooms and at official events.

The anthem, based on the "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, will be performed at the opening ceremony after each European election and at formal European Parliament sittings where heads of state are present.

The motto, "United in diversity", will be reproduced on all Parliament's official documents.

As PA reports, in reality the vote changes little - the flag and the anthem have been the EU's symbols since 1985.

But the decision to use them all the more - despite their removal from the Lisbon Treaty - shows just how cosmetic the changes to the original EU Constitution really were.

The Government justified not holding a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty on the grounds it was "substantially different" from the original Constitution, because of the removal of references to the EU symbols. The MEPs' vote today proves the changes are absolutely meaningless in reality.