9th Apr 2020

Giscard receives 'united Europe' prize

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, president of the Convention on Europe's future on Thursday, 29 May received the Charlemagne Prize for the "fostering of a United Europe" amid a barrage of criticism for his latest constitutional proposals.

Unveiled on Monday and Tuesday, the draft treaty has drawn fire from several quarters - not least because it fails to offer a solution to the division of power between the institutions in the EU.

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It also maintains the veto in the area of common foreign and security policy, despite popular polls showing support for progress in this area, in some cases from the convention delegates themselves.

Yet progress in both the institutional and CFSP questions were put to a halt by Madrid, which is determined to get better vote weighting in the future, and by the UK determined not to give up its precious veto in foreign policy.

Commission president Romano Prodi on Wednesday attacked the draft as lacking in "vision and ambition".

"It does not solve the problems created by the Treaty of Nice. On the contrary, it is in some respect a step backwards", said Mr Prodi.

However, according to the European Voice, Mr Giscard will hit back against those who are holding up integration in his speech in Aachen today. He will say: "Damn Europe, if it remains divided".

"Europe needs to go further in its ambitions. Europe must better organize itself to become an actor more listened to and more respected in international life.

First awarded in 1950, the Charlemagne prize has also been bestowed upon former US president Bill Clinton and former Commission president Jacques Delors.


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