[JURIST] Germany intends to set up a "road map" for the ratification of the EU constitution [official website, text; JURIST news archive] when it assumes the rotating EU presidency on January 1, 2007, German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website; BBC profile] said Wednesday. Merkel acknowledged that the document would not be approved during Germany's six-month presidency, but called for the treaty to be in place before the next European Parliamentary elections in 2009. Earlier Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier [BBC profile] made similar comments, saying that Germany hopes to establish a workable timetable for treaty ratification [AP report] before relinquishing the presidency to Portugal in July 2007.
The constitution is now in limbo after voters in France and the Netherlands [JURIST reports] voted against it. All 25 EU member states must ratify the charter before it can come into force. In July, when Finland assumed the EU presidency, the prime minister of Finland promised not to push for ratification [JURIST report] without building consensus among all member nations. EUObserver.com has more.