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.


More calls to bring back the good old treaty

The Austrian chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel with his foreign minister Ursula Plassnik

French, German and Austrian politicians want to bring back EU Constitution as step to “political Union”

In an article in European View, the EPP’s journal, Nicolas Sarkozy stresses that he wants to bring back the EU Constitution because it will help to create a “political Union”. He writes, “The Draft Constitutional Treaty contains important advances which improve the functioning of Europe, and move towards a political Union, which is the UMP’s aim: a stable presidency of the Union, a European Minister of Foreign Affairs, double majority, reform of the Commission, co-decision, and the extension of the qualified majority. Our objective must be to implement these advances, whilst respecting the democratic vote of the French people.”

However he warns, “One way or another, we must give Europe the procedures that will enable it to make decisions in a quick and effective manner. The rules that have already been proposed have not been criticised, but they have nevertheless been refused along with all the rest. In order for these rules to be re-adopted, it is essential that Europeans rekindle their faith in Europe and its progress.” Sarkozy also calls for Europe to “protect against globalisation” . He argues that “Once the posts have been created, the President of the European Union or the European Minister of Foreign Affairs must represent the EU in negotiations with the WTO.”

An article in Les Echos argues that while “more and more European leaders are saying they want to save the EU Constitution”, Europe “will probably have to wait until Germany’s presidency of the EU in the first half of 2007 – when the French presidential elections will take place – and perhaps the Portuguese Presidency in the second half, to seize the opportunity to get the institutions out of their impasse.”

Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel said on German TV that Austria would reopen negotiations on the EU Constitution. He told ZDF television, “We have promised ourselves that we will restart the negotiations on the Constitution. We will not be able to resolve the matter entirely, that is clear. But we have made it our aim to present a progress report at the summit in June”. He said, “A new Constitution would be better then the quite fragmented conglomerate of many texts that we have today.”
Ursula Plassnik, the Austrian Foreign Minister, said "The constitutional process has slowed down over the last half year - it is now covered in a blanket of snow waiting for spring. So what we need is climate change. We have had massive blows to the European ego in 2005. I hope that now - having agreed on the [budget] - we will be moving into a more positive climate."