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.


Next three EU presidencies aim to revive EU Constitution

The Telegraph reports that the Austrian Government is looking to use its presidency of the EU, in the first half of 2006, to revive the failed EU Constitution.
Ursula Plassnik, Austrian Foreign Minister, said, "We need to look at what we want, how we want to live in Europe, in our re-unified Europe, which is coming closer together. An answer will best come, perhaps, if we look at the Constitutional Treaty, because I think it's a fascinating document, that sets out our objectives as a community of values. The time is ripening now. This is the feeling I get, in my many conversations with colleagues around the table." A spokesman for Angela Merkel is quoted saying that the German government "has the clear intention of reviving the European Constitution" during its Presidency in 2007.

Le Figaro reports that Germany plans to “revive social Europe” by “press[ing] on the social accelerator to get the EU out of the shadows.” Angela Merkel intends to add a “social protocol” to the EU Constitution, to “make it more acceptable to French and Dutch public opinion”. Heads of State and Government would be required to sign a declaration on “the social dimension of Europe” which would have no binding legal value but would oblige member states to take more account of the social consequences of Internal Market legislation.

FT Deutschland reports that Europe’s centre right leaders have agreed that the text of the EU Constitution should not be changed despite its rejection in France and Holland. Angela Merkel is quoted saying that there is“no time” to rewrite the text.

Le Figaro reports that Jacques Chirac wants to “break the institutional silence” over Europe. He is said to want to involve national parliaments and citizens in the European debate, and also believes in ‘pioneer groups’ allowing some countries to go further than others. France and Germany will hold a meeting in January to discuss re-launching “political Europe”. French Europe Minister Catherine Colonna welcomed the agreement on the EU budget saying, “It will be necessary to develop concrete policies, oriented towards growth and jobs, a better coordination of economic policies.”