21st Mar 2018

Eurosceptic MEPs call for fresh start

Eurosceptics from the European Parliament have proposed to start afresh the process of drawing up a new treaty, after the EU constitution was rejected in France and the Netherlands.

Calling themselves the Referendum group, their Plan D (democracy) has seven proposals "for a better Europe" and suggests the current treaty be dropped, as it is "dead" anyway.

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In an open letter to the EU leaders, who start a two-day meeting today (16 June) in Brussels, the Referendum group's co-president, Danish MEP Jens-Peter Bonde suggests a "cooperation agreement" instead of a "complicated constitution", and sets openness and transparency as the main criteria for any new document.

Mr Bonde, who is also co-president of the Independence / Democracy group in the European Parliament, says that "150 people will meet behind closed doors in the Justus Lipsus building in Brussels to decide what was meant by the No-majorities in France and the Netherlands".

Instead, representatives of the No voters should be consulted, and both supporters and opponents to the Constitution should be included in a group to draw up a new text, says the MEP.

A mixed forum of Yes and No supporters is the key to set up rules which unite Europe instead of dividing it, reads the letter.

Also, EU Commissioners should be elected by citizens in every country, laws should be adopted by unanimity or a 75-percent majority among the member states, and "enhanced cooperation" instead of "compulsory union" should be privileged, under the proposals.

The domains of cooperation would include the foreign and security policy, cooperation on the euro and the rules of law, but not defence.

Two of the proposals have been tested by consulting Danish citizens, 80 percent of whom supported the transparency proposal. Seventy-nine percent were favourable to the suggestion of electing EU Commissioners, according to the letter.

EU leaders are set to decide on what to do with the EU Constitution, and on whether or not to pursue the ratification process, during their high-level meeting.

Commission rejects ombudsman criticism over Barroso case

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