The EU’s annual Europe Day, celebrated every May 9th, has already seen thousands of visitors turn out for open house at EU headquarters in Brussels at the weekend. But the celebrations did not eclipse the difficult tasks at hand, notably the EU constitution. It has been ratified by two-thirds of the 27 Member States.
The parliament’s constitutional committee chairman, Jo Leinen, meeting the current German EU presidency, said the assembly would not accept an alternative “mini-treaty” as proposed by French president-elect Nicolas Sarkozy.
A spokesperson at the Commission offered this comment: “We believe in Europe Day, and as far as the treaty is concerned, you are well aware of the process that is under way; You will know what I am going to say next: There is no new position from the Commission at this point of time, as we are discussing under the leadership of the German presidency, how we reach a good result for Europe on the treaty.”
Europe Day marks the proposal in 1950 by the French statesman Robert Schuman of a common project for the continent, considered indispensable for a peaceful and constructive future together. Today, the European Union numbers nearly half a billion citizens.