23rd Jan 2018

Germany to make EU constitution a priority next year

Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has said that reviving the EU constitution will be one of the priorities of his country's EU presidency next year.

Speaking before a gathering of German diplomats on Monday (4 September), Mr Steinmeier said "We need a constitution as soon as possible."

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"We need this constitution so that we can benefit from better representation in foreign policy and security issues. The constitution will improve the EU," he suggested.

His French counterpart Philippe Douste-Blazy, who was present at the meeting, gave his backing to the document as well.

According to Reuters news agency, Mr Douste-Blazy told the group that France also wants to see the constitution project relaunched.

The EU charter was rejected by both French and Dutch voters in referendums last year putting the bloc into a conundrum about how to solve the political tangle – as 15 countries have already ratified the document.

Meeting in June after a one-year period of reflection, member states avoided taking any concrete decisions and instead set out a timetable.

Under this timetable, Germany will during its presidency present a report on the constitution based on "extensive consultations" with other member states.

The report should contain an "assessment of the state of discussion" and "explore possible future developments."

Afterwards EU leaders should examine the report using it as the basis for "further decisions."

However member states have not committed themselves politically much further than this with the June statements concluding in a woolly manner that it is "understood that the necessary steps to that effect will have been taken during the second semester of 2008 at the latest."

In the second half of 2008, France will have the presidency of the EU and will be under new leadership following elections in 2007.

The Netherlands, facing elections in November this year, could have a new leader with analysts suggesting that only after elections in these two countries can a constitution revival be spoken about in any real sense.

However, others are taking a more practical approach. EU commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has made it clear that he thinks the bloc should stop navel-gazing over its constitutional tangle and should rather focus on concrete things that it can achieve using its internal market.

Commission and council dig in on GMO opt-outs

The European Commission and the EU's national governments pass each other the buck on who should move first on a heavily-criticised proposal on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food.

ECB withheld information on 'flawed' bank supervision

The European Central Bank refused to provide important evidence when the Court of Auditors examined its management of the banking crisis. A court report said the system was substantial but had "flaws".

Fewer MEPs than visitors turn up for Estonian PM

Less than seven percent of MEPs watch Estonian prime minister's speech in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. More visiting students showed up than MEPs, prompting questions of the value of such sessions.

EIB 'more sensitive' to fraud after Dieselgate

The president of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, said the bank had high standards - but did not explain why an anti-fraud report on a loan to Volkswagen was being kept secret.

News in Brief

  1. Belgium lowers terror alert level
  2. France, Spain set to gain seats in post-Brexit EU parliament
  3. Orban family probed over 'fraudulent' EU projects
  4. Spanish judge rejects Puigdemont arrest warrant
  5. Austria plans to sue Commission over Hungary's nuclear plant
  6. Puigdemont proposed as sole candidate for Catalan leadership
  7. Abbas in Brussels to discuss Palestinian state recognition
  8. Exiled Catalan leader leaves Belgium for first time

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. EU stands by Palestine on Jerusalem
  2. MEPs may bar killer robots and drones from EU research cash
  3. Europe's social democrats are having a hard time
  4. How Oettinger's CO2 permit sale could fill Brexit blackhole
  5. New Polish foreign minister tries to charm EU commission
  6. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on agenda This WEEK
  7. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  8. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems