Press Release


Hans-Gert Poettering on the Brussels EU Summit - Use the crisis as an opportunity - finish the work on the constitution without delay


PÖTTERING, Hans-Gert"Disappointing" was how the Chairman of the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, described the end of the European Summit in Brussels today (13.12.2003) without a result on the new constitution. It is unfortunate that despite the good preparatory work done by the Convention on the Future of Europe, the Heads of State and Government were unable to reach agreement.

"The crisis must now be used as an opportunity to conclude an agreement on the new constitution without further delay, under the Irish Presidency", declared Poettering. It is important that European citizens receive a clear signal on the future of Europe before the European elections in June 2004. Therefore Poettering suggests calling a special European Summit for the end of February 2004. The Foreign Ministers could use the time to find a solution which could be then adopted by the Heads of State and Government. Recrimination is useless now. Those who defend Nice as well as those who defend a double majority must move their positions. Europe has always progressed through compromise and not by the adoption of dogmatic fixed positions. "The achievement that the constitution represents is so positive that the overall project cannot fail on the single question of the weighting of votes in the Council of Ministers", declared Poettering.

"New and current Member States of the European Union must now ask themselves whether they want more or less democracy in the European Union, more or less influence in the world, more or less economic and political security. The European Union is not a self-service shop, each Member State must make its contribution to the overall success", declared Poettering.

The European constitution is the legal basis for the resolution of conflicts and the balancing of interests in the European Union and is therefore the basis for the guaranteeing peace in Europe in twenty-first Century.

(translation from the original German)

Further information from Katrin Ruhrmann, Tel +32 475 493357