Friday

18th Sep 2020

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 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe 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.

Analysis

The State of the Union speech - digested

The 61-year old former German defence minister, who only narrowly won the backing of MEPs last year, outlined not a vision, but an ambitious list of policies to tackle - including more health care competencies to the EU.

EU regions: pandemic should force decision-making rethink

EU regions say the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe is a "timely opportunity" to debate how to make local and regional authorities full- involved in the EU response to Covid-19 - even including possible EU treaty changes.

Exclusive

Far-right MEP resigns from EU Endowment for Democracy

French far-right MEP Thierry Mariani said he is resigning as a board member of the European Endowment for Democracy. His replacement may be Jerome Riviere - another far-right French MEP from the Identity and Democracy group.

Opinion

Why so few women in EU missions?

Angela Merkel is only the seventh woman to chair the Council of the European Union's meetings. And in 2020 there is no woman leading any of the current 11 European civilian missions (let alone the six military operations).

Commission chief under fire for Croatia campaign video

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen recorded a video in support of Croatia's ruling party, which the EU executive said was in her "personal capacity" - and admits it was a "mistake" that this was not made clear.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  3. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID-19 halts the 72nd Session of the Nordic Council in Iceland
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCivil society a key player in integration
  6. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular

Latest News

  1. Commissioner: No one will like new EU migration pact
  2. Buying an EU passport 'no use for evading sanctions'
  3. MEPs call for first-ever EU law on Romani inclusion
  4. EU to help draft Libya's strategy on border security
  5. Spain to recognise Kosovo if it gets Serbia deal
  6. Ylva Johansson on Migration and Drama Queens
  7. Does Erdoğan's long arm now reach Belgian universities?
  8. Biden threatens UK trade deal over Brexit shambles

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us