[JURIST] UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and new French President Nicolas Sarkozy [JURIST news archives] agreed at the G8 summit [official website] in Germany Thursday that the controversial European constitution [text] should be reconstituted into a "simplified treaty" whose ratification would not require the support of the voters of individual countries. Voters in France and the Netherlands notoriously rejected the original draft constitution in national referenda in 2005, effectively derailing the ratification process and throwing the constitution into legal limbo.
Several countries, including Italy [JURIST report], have publicly opposed the idea of a "simplified treaty", and seek to retain the document as drafted. The current version of the constitution has been ratified by 18 EU states thus far. Although his country already passed the constitution through a referendum, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero late last month joined Sarkozy's call [JURIST report] for a limited treaty. Sarkozy first proposed a limited treaty [JURIST report] in February while he was still France's interior minister. Reuters has more.