Europe’s foreign ministers have met in Vienna to discuss how to revive the constitution – the project stalled by voter rejections in France and the Netherlands.
The deadlock has robbed the bloc of its most ambitious plan for the future.
Germany says it expects to be given the role of finding a solution when it takes over the EU presidency early next year.
Arriving for talks on how to end the stalement, German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier said he and his colleagues needed to be more self-confident about tackling the question of the charter.
But he added that he saw no chance soon of breaking the political stalemate over its fate.
The constitution is aimed at streamlining EU decision-making and boosting its foreign policy clout now that the bloc has been enlarged.
All 25 EU nations will have to ratify the charter for it to come into force.
But it is unlikely any plan will be put to voters before France and the Netherlands hold their general elections around May next year.