German Chancellor Angela Merkel has formally presented her country’s view of its six-month tenure of the European Union presidency. In Strasbourg, she drove home that tolerance lies at the heart of Europe’s soul, and curiosity. Merkel talked about herself as a younger European, given her upbringing in former communist eastern Germany. She said how different it was to look at the Union from the outside, than from the inside.
She said that now: … “I never want to leave this house. There is no better place to live than in this common European house together.”
Merkel’s speech moved on to the matter of forging consensus on a communal constitution. She described a tight timetable for work on a new draft to replace the charter rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005.
“The phase of reflection is behind us,” she said. “Now it’s time to take decisions, by June. I pledge, by the end of the German presidency to bring about a decision on a calendar for the continued pursuit of the constitutional process.”
Berlin is also in charge of celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, which launched European integration.