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by Petra Prossliner | 13 September 2003

Report on the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe
Briefing note on the report on the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe and the European Parliaments opinion on the convening of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC).

Co-rapporteurs: Dimitris Tsatsos (PSE) and José Maria Gil-Robles Gil-Delgado (PPE)

Green/EFA Shadow-rapporteurs: Johannes Voggenhuber, Monica Frassoni, Neil MacCormick

Content of the report

The report is divided in two parts. First, on the evaluation of the outcome of the Convention and secondly a short part on the convening of the IGC and ratification process.

The first part is disappointingly badly structured. The rapporteurs chose at least 7 evaluation criteria mixed up in an arbitrary order but did not follow the chosen structure in the evaluation itself. They divide the report into 4 headings called "important steps towards democracy, transparency and efficiency", "aspects requiring further monitoring", "shortcomings of the draft Constitution" and "general assessment."

The rapporteurs decided to plea for not opening the result of the Convention, a demand that is shared by a great majority of the Committee. But in consequence they were exaterately timid in listing the shortcomings of the draft Constitution. Also the general assessment remains very undifferentiated and vague.

Our main criticism was on the structure of the report, on the lack of a clear message (it was not really understandable what are the good and progressive results, neither what exactly the shortcomings) and on the fact that there has been no strategic elements in it.

As it was quite clear that in order to change it substantially we would have to table amendments on nearly every paragraph we decided to "rewrite" it (sort of counterproposal) but still in form of amendments.

Our amendments:

Our amendments were focused on the stratec elements missing in the report and in a clear and short evaluation containing our green/EFA political priorities

The main strategic element we tried to introduce were :

 The Convention was composed by 4 components who have together achieved a delicate and balanced result and that any substantial unilateral changes by the IGC would not only be unacceptable but also illegitimate

 Insistence on the fact that the constitutional process is to be continued and that the aim of an ever closer Union remains a mission for Europe

 Pointing out that the Conventions mandate for part IV has been revoked by the European Council (that means that we do not accept part IV as a part of the consensus reached in the Convention) and that we call for the IGC to adopt future amending provisions which exclude the power of veto and include the full involvement and ratification through the EP

 Evaluate the method of the Convention

Outcome of the vote in committee:

295 amendments have been tabled and at the 33 compromise amendments proposed by the rapporteurs.

3 of our amendment have been accepted and several partly accepted or bits of it introduced.

Luckily our amendment concerning Euratom (request for a Treaty revision Conference) has been accepted nearly unanimously.

On the whole the structure of the report did not change but at least it became a bit clearer and less confuse in its message. Positive as well as negative points are defined in a better way and the part on the shortcomings deepened without touching the message to the IGC of not reopening the result. Apart from a couple of points we do not agree with, the main problem of the report remains its weak message concerning the revision clause.

The report was adopted with 17 votes in favour, 6 against and 4 abstentions. Our members abstained.

Further steps:

Reintroduce some amendments to improve some particularly weak points. Main focus: strengthen the part on the revision clause.

À noter :

Voir présentation de la situation.

Le blog
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