Spain Wary of British Animal Rights Moves European Community Members Watch Every Comma, Cross Every before Maastricht - a Letter from Brussels

By Howard LaFranchi, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, December 5, 1991 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Spain Wary of British Animal Rights Moves European Community Members Watch Every Comma, Cross Every before Maastricht - a Letter from Brussels


Howard LaFranchi, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


AT a press briefing on this week's round of negotiations among European Community foreign ministers preparing a profound revision of the EC's governing treaty, a spokesman for British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd announced that Britain would seek language to enforce animal rights.

"Don't laugh," the spokesman responded to a room full of snickering journalists more accustomed to following disputes over a European defense role and the fine points of European monetary union. "This is quite serious."

Indeed, in the year-long talks pushing forward the Community's economic and political integration, which will culminate in the Netherlands town of Maastricht next Tuesday, nothing escapes close scrutiny.

That is why Spain responded so swiftly to Britain's proposal to bring animal rights within Community jurisdiction. "We are not opposed to a narrowly defined declaration on animal rights," said one Spanish official in Brussels, "but we don't want to see it affecting popular traditions and national festivals." In other words, Spain doesn't want the Community touching its bullfights.

The British have their own reasons for making the animal rights proposal. The issue is extremely sensitive in Britain. And "it's an important element" in bringing often reluctant citizens into what, for most of them, remains a distant, bureaucratic process, the British spokesman said.

In its present form the declaration "would not be binding," the spokesman said, and would apply to EC agriculture regulations, animal transport, and research. But "it could be," he added, that an adopted text would develop into something more constraining in the future. And that is what worries Spain.

"This could not be considered as opening the door to a wider definition farther down the road," the Spanish official says. "It is not within Community jurisdiction."

As the generally pro-Community and federalist Spanish know, such doors, once opened, are nearly impossible to shut.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Spain Wary of British Animal Rights Moves European Community Members Watch Every Comma, Cross Every before Maastricht - a Letter from Brussels
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?