Tuesday, 5 June 2007

New treaty proposal

“High-level group writes new-look EU treaty”, Honor Mahony reported on EUobserver, which has links to the relevant documents.

The Action committee for European democracy – a group of notable European politicians led by Giuliano Amato – published “A New Treaty and Supplementary Protocols” on 4 June 2007.

The New treaty, which consists of 71 articles organised in XI Titles, would replace the text of the present Treaty on European Union, as amended by the treaties of Amsterdam and Nice. The Action committee has tried to show that a new Treaty can be concise, accessible and readable.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights would be given legally binding force through a single clause, but would be published separately.

Part III of the Constitutional treaty would be replaced with amendments to the Treaty establishing the European Community.

The adaptation of the EC Treaty would be dealt with in two supplementary protocols: a Protocol on the Functioning of the Union and a Protocol on the Development of the Union’s Policies in Order to Meet the Challenges of the XXIst Century.

After consolidation there would be only two treaties and the Charter.

In its statement “The way forward for the European Union” the Action committee believes that a balance can be reached without reducing the ambitions for the reforms that the Union badly needs to the benefit of its citizens and without ignoring the objections raised. Therefore, the European Council on 21/22 June 2007 should adopt a clear and stringent mandate to enable an inter-governmental conference to be successfully concluded before the end of 2007, with a view to ratifying the new Treaty in all Member States before the European Parliament elections in 2009.

Institutional reforms are not an alternative to more effective results. On the contrary, they are the foundation on which better policies depend and have to be built. The Action committee invites the inter-governmental conference to assess whether new challenges, such as climate change and energy policy, should be addressed in the new Treaty.

The Action committee does a considerable service to the European public. First, it looks at the Union its citizens have a right to expect. Second, it does not bow too deep to intransigent deserters. Third, it makes its contribution public knowledge. Fourth, it broadens the discussion.

Ralf Grahn