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German chancellor reiterates pledge to revive EU constitution

[JURIST] Less than a year before Germany takes over the European Union presidency in January 2007, German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website in German; BBC profile] said again Thursday that she plans to revive the European constitution [JURIST news archive], on hold since major referendum setbacks in France and the Netherlands [JURIST reports] last year. Merkel told members of the German Bundestag [recorded video] in a major policy address that if ratification of the constitution were not resolved earlier, "the German presidency [would] focus on this" issue, though she urged the EU not to "rush things." Merkel first expressed an interest in reviving the charter [JURIST report] soon after succeeding Gerhardt Schroeder as Germany's chancellor in November 2005.

Merkel's remarks came the day after European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso [official website] called for another year of reflection on the EU constitution, suggesting that although the charter should not be abandoned, it might not be appropriate to reconsider it until 2008 or later [AFP report]. In the meantime he added that the "period of reflection" should "be a discussion not an extended siesta." BBC News has more.

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