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Europe

Magazine: Conservatives Plan to Revive EU Constitution

A group of conservative European politicians is on a mission to resurrect the moribund EU Constitution, according to a German weekly. Angela Merkel is reportedly among them.

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Angela Merkel and Jacques Chirac hope to get the constitution back on track

Christian Democratic politicians from Berlin, Paris and the European Parliament were holding confidential talks to restart talks on the failed attempt to ratify a constitution for the European Union, according to reports in Der Spiegel magazine.

EU Verfassung gestoppt Symbolbild

The French voted 'non' to the constitution last April

The group includes German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Jacques Chirac, and other conservative EU leaders, the magazine reported.

The European constitution was put on ice after voters in France and the Netherlands rejected the draft document last year.

New approach

Now, Der Spiegel wrote, the group of European conservatives planned to augment the first two chapters of the document, which describe the functions of the 25-state union and the common and civil law that applies to it. The new version would then be put to vote before the French and Dutch populations.

The third chapter, which is entirely bureaucratic, would then be ratified by each country's respective parliament.

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The Dutch drafted cows for the cause of anti-constitution propaganda

Should this happen, it means both countries will ultimately have given their legal rubber stamp to the same document 14 other EU member states have already agreed to. It still remains to be ratified by the remaining states.

The latest attempt will likely begin when Germany takes over the EU presidency, in the first half of 2007.

Diverging views

In late January, at the invitation of the Austrian government, a group of EU politicians, artists and intellectuals met in Salzburg to discuss a way forward for the stalled project. Throughout the bloc, there are discordant views on what should be done about the constitution.

So far, Austria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Germany have ratified the treaty, whereby Germany voted in favor but the federal president has not yet signed the ratification.

The constitution cannot come into effect unless it is ratified by all 25 member states.

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