Declarations on ICG ” “

Ten days before the Intergovernmental Conference is due to open (in Rome, on 4 October), declarations on the draft European Constitution continue (cf. Sir no. 62/2003). Italy has announced that it “sees no reason to re-open to renewed discussion the essential lines of the draft drawn up by the Convention”. Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, chairman of the Convention, has also reaffirmed his own opposition to the Commission’s proposal to amend the institutional chapter by guaranteeing a Commissioner for each member state. Giscard’s view was backed by Jean-Luc Dehaene, deputy chairman of the Convention, according to whom “reopening to discussion a compromise reached only with difficulty would be playing with fire”. At their recent summit in Berlin, Germany, France and the United Kingdom confirmed their intention “not to propose amendments unless accompanied by alternatives able to meet with consensus”. Poland, a candidate country, continues to act as the mouthpiece of the “small and medium countries” that ask for greater influence in the EU Council of Ministers and the adoption of the principle: one Commissioner for each member state. Lastly, as regards the vexed question of the reference in the preamble of the Constitution to the “Christian roots” of Europe, the European People’s Party, to which over half the leaders of the 25-member EU belong, has expressed a “favourable position”.

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