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.


"Mistakes can be corrected"

“In the end the text will be adopted", said Valery Giscard d'Estaing in his speech at the London School of Economics on 28th of February. "Let’s be clear about this: the rejection was a mistake, which will have to be corrected.” If the Irish and the Danes can vote yes in the end, so the French can do it too. And “ if we wait for the Europeans to love Europe before we can reform its institutions, we shall stay for a long time with an ungovernable system.” Instead of debating again and again it is no an “urgent task” to “prepare a realistic timetable an binding commitments with a view to establishing the European political Union.” Because the Constitution will only be one stepping stone to further integration later. Adopting it –against all odds- “will not be enough to complete Europe” . In a BBC interview the next day he took a more cautious line.

Other politicans are as ignorant as Giscard d’Estaing and still say that the EU simply needs the Constitution. Angela Merkel and Tony Blair after their meeting on 22nd February agreed that “a Europe of 25 or 27 cannot work effectively with the rules we have in place at the moment” (Tony Blair). And many more politicians repeat that good old argument: Austrian President Heinz Fischer argued "an EU of 25 plus cannot work ideally, or perhaps not even satisfactorily, with the structures of the EU of 12.” So that leads to the conclusion that “it would be a mistake to lie down meekly an allow the project of a constitutional treaty to perish, and to more or less escort it to the cemetery.”

Elmar Brok, MEP and President of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee believes the entry into force of the EU Constitution is essential for the future enlargement of the EU after the accessions of Bulgaria and Romania. And thanks to some events during the last few months the “atmosphere has changed. The emergence of new challenges in terms of the common foreign and security policy (the business of the cartoons, the nuclear issue with Iran, development in the Middle East, terrorist threats, etc.), but also the issue of energy security, have shown that if it is to be able to act in all of these fields, the European Union needs the instruments provided for by the Constitution.”

Read speech here: open europe: Chirac's speech

Listen to BBC interview:
bbc. Radio4