Monday

22nd Apr 2019

MEPs: Green light for referendum on Constitution

A draft report from the European Parliament has recommended that member states hold referenda on the EU Constitution.

The draft report, adopted on Tuesday (9 September), with a clear majority (18-6), by the Constitutional Committee, has asked member states - if feasible and permitted by their constitutions - to organise a referendum on the Consitution, if possible on the same day as the European elections.

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  • MEPs from the Constitutional Committee supported the consensus produced by Giscard's Convention (Photo: EUobserver)

After approval by the Constitutional Committee, the MEPs will vote on the report later in September, but the campaigning has already begun.

Jens-Peter Bonde, the president of the EDD group is backing the referenda: "That is the only democratic way to do it. Both eurosceptics and ardent federalists agree on that".

The document in general supports the consensus reached by the Convention and calls on the forthcoming Inter-Governmental Conference (IGC) to resist temptation to change it significantly.

"We should be realistic that the Member States want to make changes to the result of the Convention. But any major change won't make the balanced result any better," José-María Gil Robles Gil-Delgado, the co-rapporteur from the EPP-ED, said.

Instead of opening the Pandora box of national requests for changes, MEPs are advising government representatives to move on briskly, and close the IGC by December 2003.

The new Constitution should then be signed by all 25 Member States on Schuman Day (9 May, 2004).

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