From: Marc-Oliver Pahl (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Oct 22 2002 - 11:12:58 CEST
Giscard confirms his vision for a Constitution
In an in-depth interview with the German periodical, Der
Spiegel, chairman of the Convention on the Future of Europe,
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, has underlined his view that if a
member state fails to ratify a future European Constitution it
should be excluded from the Union.
Giscard, who plans to present his proposed constitutional text
at the end of October, said that if a nation had a negative
result in a referendum on a future constitution, it "will not be
part of the new system."
Right to step out
He added that it would probably be the case that a member state would find individual points of the
constitution difficult to agree with. In this scenario, the model of the single currency would come
play, with an overall framework for everyone and possibilities for some not to participate. Any
state wishing to step out of the Union would have the option to do so, confirmed Giscard, but a
could only be excluded if it was in serious breach of human rights.
He added that member states who chose to leave the united Europe would not be allowed to stay in the
eurozone, even though this does not have a "get-out" clause. If a member state wants to leave the
European Union today, it needs unanimous accept from the other member states according to the
current Treaties. This has only happend once, when Greenland left the EU.
The future of the Council
According to Mr Giscard the Council is not working and is in need of renovation. His vision for the
future make-up of the Council would consist of a General Affairs Council, with a separate Council
Foreign Affairs and one for Justice and Home Affairs. The Ecofin Council would also continue with
The Convention President is in favour of more decisions to be taken in Council on the basis of
majority voting (QMV) rather than by unanimity. While agreeing that there is an overall consensus to
change the six-month rotating Presidency, he said that the election of a future EU President is
controversial point. In particular there is disagreement over the powers and mandate of this figure.
The logical way out, according to Mr Giscard, is if the Council elects its own president for a
period of time but his powers remain the same as currently under the rotating presidency: chairing
Councils and representing the EU to the outside world.
Written by Nicola Smith
Edited by Lisbeth Kirk
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