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European leaders push to revive constitution in January

[JURIST] European leaders are pushing to revive the European Constitution [JURIST news archive] after its ratification by the Finnish parliament [JURIST report] last week. Leaders of Spain and Luxembourg have called a conference in January for the sixteen EU member states that ratified the Constitution, as well as Bulgaria and Romania. German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website, in German; BBC profile] has also declared her intent to push for a renewed debate about the Constitution in January, when her six-month term as President of the European Council begins. Although Merkel announced her intent to set a timetable for constitutional ratification in October, responses have been lukewarm [JURIST reports] from aspirants in the upcoming French presidential elections. Consideration of the charter has been on hold since it was rejected by voters in France and the Netherlands [JURIST reports] last year.

Although a majority of EU member states support the Constitution, unanimous ratification is required before it can take effect. While French and Dutch leaders have refused to hold second referendums, many within the EU agree that reforms are needed to accommodate institutional enlargements. Although France and the Netherlands would be permitted to join a second summit on the Constitution in February, the Dutch government has expressed displeasure [Expatica report] at the exclusion of the two countries. It is also unclear whether the constitution would succeed in the United Kingdom and Denmark, typically regarded as Euroskeptics. AP has more. EUObserver.com has additional coverage.

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