Saturday

28th May 2022

Vienna unveils EU constitution action plan

Draft conclusions on the EU constitution on Thursday evening (15 June) steer carefully between member states' sensitivities, confirming a 2009 deadline for an ill-defined "reform process."

The draft, seen by EUobserver, says the "reflection period" - agreed by EU leaders a year ago after France and the Netherlands voted "no" to the constitution - should be extended.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"The reflection period has overall been useful in enabling the union to assess the concerns and worries expressed in the course of the ratification process," says the document.

The European Council, the formal body of heads of state and government, "considers that, in parallel with the ongoing ratification process, further work, building on what has been achieved since last June, is needed before decisions on the future of the Constitutional Treaty can be taken."

The text proposed by the Austrian EU presidency tasks Germany, which will be at the EU's helm in the first half of 2007, with making the first concrete proposals on ending the current stalemate.

"A report will be presented by the presidency to the European Council in June 2007, based on extensive consultations with member states. This report should contain an assessment of the state of discussion with regard to the Constitutional Treaty to explore possible future developments."

Before 2009, the EU should see a consensus on institutional reform, according to the draft.

"The report will subsequently be examined by Heads of State and Government. The outcome of this examination will serve as the basis for further decisions on how to continue the reform process, it being the understood that the necessary steps to that effect will have been taken during the second semester of 2008 at the latest."

The European Commission appears also to have scored a small victory in Vienna's proposed text.

Wolfgang Schussel, the Austrian chancellor, will propose to EU leaders to follow up on a proposal by commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso to celebrate the union's 50th birthday next year by issuing a declaration on the EU's values.

"The European Council calls for the adoption, on 25 March 2007 in Berlin, of a political declaration by EU leaders, setting out Europe's values and ambitions and confirming their shared commitment to deliver them, commemorating 50 years of the Treaties of Rome," according to the conclusions.

EU lobbies Hungary to break oil sanctions deadlock

After the EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen's Budapest trip, Hungary suggested it wants EU funds to offset the extra costs from receiving different oil sources, and the increased energy prices the planned Russian oil embargo entails.

Opinion

Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine - the case for granting EU candidacy

Granting EU candidacy status to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine will firmly anchor their ties with Brussels — and enable the EU to secure its place in the Black Sea region, connecting Europe to China and energy-rich Central Asia, bypassing Russia.

Opinion

The EU Parliament Covid inquiry: the questions MEPs must ask

A basic lack of transparency around the EU's vaccines procurement negotiations has prevented effective public and parliamentary scrutiny. It has also made it impossible to answer some of the key questions we put forward here.

News in Brief

  1. Dutch journalists sue EU over banned Russia TV channels
  2. EU holding €23bn of Russian bank reserves
  3. Russia speeds up passport process in occupied Ukraine
  4. Palestinian civil society denounce Metsola's Israel visit
  5. Johnson refuses to resign after Downing Street parties report
  6. EU border police has over 2,000 agents deployed
  7. Dutch tax authorities to admit to institutional racism
  8. Rutte calls for EU pension and labour reforms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. EU summit will be 'unwavering' on arms for Ukraine
  2. Orbán's new state of emergency under fire
  3. EU parliament prevaricates on barring Russian lobbyists
  4. Ukraine lawyer enlists EU watchdog against Russian oil
  5. Right of Reply: Hungarian government
  6. When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin
  7. Orbán oil veto to deface EU summit on Ukraine
  8. France aims for EU minimum-tax deal in June

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us