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European Commission president urges action on EU constitution

[JURIST] European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso [JURIST news archive; official website] urged swift resolution on the issue of the European constitution [JURIST news archive; text] at a press conference with Polish President Lech Kaczynski [official website, in Polish] Saturday. Barroso said, "We are not credible when we say that we try to speak with one voice to third parties and go on speaking with 27 voices inside the European Union." Kaczynski, for his part, promised that Poland would play an active role in moving forward with the constitutional treaty. Consideration of the charter has been on hold since it was rejected by voters in France and the Netherlands [JURIST reports] in 2005. Poland has previously shown a reluctance to expedite the integration process.

Germany assumed the six-month EU Presidency on January 1, 2007; German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website, in German; BBC profile] has promised to put the constitution back on the EU agenda [JURIST report] and encouraged EU member nations to ratify the charter [JURIST report; speech transcript, in German] before the next round of European Parliament elections scheduled for June 2009. Proponents of the proposed constitution, including Denmark, Finland [JURIST reports], and over a dozen others [EU interactive map], point to the clear demarcation of the powers of the Union and member states and efficient transnational government. Of the countries that have ratified the constitution, most hope it will be saved without major changes. Some countries that have delayed ratification would rather that the treaty not be revived at all. The EU constitution requires ratification by all member states before it can take effect. Xinhua has more.

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