The European Parliament is studying the big constitutional questions; next Wednesday it will debate ideas on how to proceed. Fourteen countries have said Yes to the charter, and yet its future appears unstable.German MEP Elmar Brok says it is high time the citizens’ reservations were listened to:
“We have to make clear that certain concerns of the people are taken on board and that means for instance that you make a clear commitment — which is written in the constitution — to the subsidiarity complex, the role of national parliaments and citizens’ rights and more involvement of citizens in the decision-making procedure of the European Union.”
French conservative MEP Alain Lamassoure is in favour of a re-write. “The 448 articles signed in the constitutional treaty on the twenty-ninth of October, 2004 in Rome — that text is dead.” “But the need for a text of that kind is becoming stronger.”
“There will have to be a stock-taking, of what people in the various countries think; what does everybody still agree on, and what are the sticking points. Once this is done, there’ll have to be another text written.”
Nine countries, including Britain, have yet to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the charter. Researcher Marco Incerti, at the Centre for European Policy Studies, looks ahead to elections in both France and The Netherlands.
“There will be a change in the political context and this change should be accompanied by an effort of the politicians and the media as well, to inform the citizens properly about the issues at stake, that is the only way to possibly get a ‘yes’ to the current constitutional treaty.”