Monday

16th Sep 2019

Lisbon Treaty made to avoid referendum, says Giscard

The EU's new treaty is the same as the rejected constitution - only the format has been changed to avoid referendums, says Valery Giscard d'Estaing, architect of the constitution.

In an open letter published in Le Monde and a few other European newspapers over the weekend, the former French president seeks to clarify the difference between former draft constitution - which was shelved after French and Dutch voters rejected the text in 2005 - and the new Lisbon Treaty which EU leaders agreed earlier this month.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • The new Lisbon Treaty "alienates the citizens further", says Giscard d'Estaing (Photo: EUobserver)

"Looking at the content, the result is that the institutional proposals of the constitutional treaty … are found complete in the Lisbon Treaty, only in a different order and inserted in former treaties," Mr Giscard d'Estaing said.

The former chairman of the European Convention - the body of over a hundred politicians that drafted the 2004 EU constitution – suggests the new more complicated layout was only to avoid putting the treaty to a referendum.

"Above all, it is to avoid having referendum thanks to the fact that the articles are spread out and constitutional vocabulary has been removed," he says

Mr Giscard argues that the Lisbon treaty represents a way for the EU institutions to take the lead after the "interference" of the members of parliament and politicians who were in the European Convention.

"They are therefore imposing a return to the language that they master and to the procedures they favour, and in doing so alienate the citizens further," he said.

Mr Giscard's word are likely to fuel the calls for referendums in the UK and Denmark where the governments are arguing that there is no need for a public poll on the Lisbon Treaty because it is sufficiently different from the EU constitution.

EU constitution architect deplores 'cosmetic' text changes

The architect of the rejected European constitution, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, has qualified the recently agreed changes to the document as "cosmetic" and designed to avoid the EU's new reform treaty looking exactly like the EU constitution.

Father of EU constitution issues referendum warning

The architect of the rejected European constitution, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, has criticized ideas by Dutch politicians to hold a referendum on the EU's Reform Treaty. He also deplored some of the textual changes that make his old project more low-profile.

EU agrees new 'Lisbon Treaty'

The European Union overnight agreed the precise text of its new 'Lisbon Treaty' to be formally signed off on 13 December in Portugal's capital. The decision effectively closes a painful chapter of searching for a new set of EU rules to make the bloc better function.

The new European Commission: what's next?

Informal interviews with von der Leyen, hearings with parliamentary committees, and votes in the EU parliament and Council await the 26 candidates.

News in Brief

  1. Nearly 100 refugees evacuated from Libya to Italy
  2. Juncker to meet Johnson on Monday
  3. First Hungary 'Article 7' hearing set for Monday
  4. Vestager picks Danish EU ambassador as cabinet head
  5. Commissioner hearings will start 30 September
  6. Italy says EU countries agree to take in rescued migrants
  7. Germany to organise Libya conference on arms embargo
  8. European Parliament to support another Brexit delay

Magazine

The changing of the guards in the EU in 2019

The four most powerful EU institutions - Commission, Parliament, Council and Central Bank will all have new leaders in the coming ten months. Here is an overview.

Magazine

Explained: What is the European Parliament?

While domestic political parties often use the European Parliament as a dumping ground for unwanted politicians - and a majority of citizens don't bother to vote - the parliament, over the years, has become a dominant force in the EU.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  6. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  8. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  9. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  10. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  11. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat

Latest News

  1. Brexit and new commission in focus This WEEK
  2. As recession looms Europe needs more spending
  3. How should the EU handle Russia now?
  4. EU defence bravado criticised by auditors
  5. Central European leaders demand EU Balkan accession
  6. Luxembourg's cannabis legalisation is EU opportunity
  7. The Catalan National Day has been a success. Why?
  8. Why I'm voting against the von der Leyen commission

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us