Content Section

The Content section will provide news, quotes and background materials refering to the topic of the EU Constitution. The time-table will give you an overview about the current status concerning the referendums on the Constitution.


Malta to continue with ratification of EU constitution

The Maltese government will continue with the process of ratifying the EU constitution despite its rejection by Dutch and French voters, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said Wednesday.

"Malta has a right and a duty to express its authentic view on the European Constitution, mindful of the national interest and the interest of the EU as a whole" said Gonzi in a statement to parliament.

The government has already decided that the EU constitutional treaty will be ratified by a vote of parliament, which Gonzi has said will take place in July.

Opposition spokesman on EU Affairs George Vella agreed that Malta should now decide on this issue.

Source: AFP

And here an addition on the situation by Kevin Ellul Bonici:

Although the Maltese PM has been hammering at his intention to ratify the Constitution through Parliament, he has also stated that he would prefer to have the opposition Labour Party in agreement for a unanimous vote(he had already postponed ratification due to Labour's postponement on the vote in November 2004)

Although the Labour Party leadership, led by Alfred Sant, has pronounced itself in favour of the Constitution and its ratification, the issue is far from settled. The final vote that would determine whether Labour is in favour or not will be taken at the party's General Conference starting on 30 June and concluding 3 July. Many of the 900 delegates are said to be against the Cosntitution, with a faction publicly uttering its disapproval at the leadership's U-turn. The outcome is still open and the battle is fierce.

If the Labour Conference votes No, then the Labour opposition cannot vote in favour in parliament and it is not known what the prime minister would then do - whether to move on and call Labour "eurosceptics" , or decide to postpone in view of his earlier pronouncements. The former would be expected, but eurosceptism at party level would survive in Malta.