EU sets 2008 deadline for decision on reviving European constitution News
EU sets 2008 deadline for decision on reviving European constitution

[JURIST] During a two-day European Union summit in Brussels [Financial Times report], German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website in German; BBC profile] told reporters Friday that attempts to revive the European Constitution will be delayed until 2008 and won't occur during Germany's six-month presidency of the European Council as Germany had hoped. The proposed European Constitution [official website, text; JURIST news archive], which requires unanimity for passage, was rejected by French and Dutch referendums [JURIST reports] in 2005. Speaking Thursday after chairing the day's summit, Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel said [EITB report] there is little consensus among member nations [EITB report] on how to proceed with the treaty. European foreign ministers in May said there was little hope [JURIST report] that Germany would be able to achieve substantial progress on ratifying the document during its presidency in the first half of 2007.

If enacted, the European constitution would streamline voting procedure on EU laws, provide for an official EU foreign minister, grant new substantive oversight powers to the European Parliament [official website], create a bill of fundamental rights, and transfer new police and immigration powers to the European Union [official website]. Constitution author and former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing said last month that France should vote again on ratification [JURIST report], but Dutch officials have said the constitution is "dead" as far as their voters are concerned [JURIST report]. Bloomberg has more.