Sunday

16th Jun 2019

Berlin wants EU constitution adopted under new name

Germany wants to have the EU constitution ratified across the EU by 2009, suggesting a change in the name of the charter to "Basic treaty for Europe," according to a German daily.

Die Welt reports that German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has indicated Berlin will present a "strategic plan" for ratification of the constitution at the end of its EU presidency, in early summer 2007.

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The treaty should then be ratified in 2009 at the latest, probably under the name "Basic Treaty for Europe."

But Die Welt also writes that the expected bad state of the European economy in the next two years could derail the plan.

Projections for the next two years have indicated that economic growth in Germany will slow down until 2008, with unemployment and inflation possibly creating an unfavourable political climate for the adoption of the constitution.

A source close to German chancellor Angela Merkel said "In the end it would be better to postpone the adoption of the constitution than to force it and to fail again," according to the paper.

The charter was put on ice by EU leaders following the French and Dutch "no" votes to the text in referendums last year.

But since then, many voices have called for a resuscitation of the constitution.

Peter Mandelson, the EU trade commissioner, told the BBC on Thursday (6 April) that the constitution is a "very good basis" for EU reform.

"As we enlarge Europe - and I think we should do for the political benefits... then we have to create rules, we have to create institutions that accommodate a growing population and a growing number of member states," the British commissioner said.

"I think the present constitutional treaty in the eyes of many does not provide a solution. It was a very good basis and in many respects it has ideas proposed that we should not lose sight of," he added.

"But I don't think people are ready to adopt, let alone rush to embrace, at this stage."

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