EU Constitution re-born in Reaissance city

Europe’s head honchos draft treaty in Florence

Editorial Staff
November 2, 2006

A second chance to create the Constitution for Europe will occur in Florence this month. Issues crucial to the citizens of Europe will be examined Nov. 17 and 18 in a conference held at the Palazzo Vecchio.

 

‘For the first time Europe’s political leaders will come together around one table to answer questions left unanswered in 2005. It is a very important occasion for reopening the debate on Europe which has been suspended,’ says Florence’s Mayor Leonardo Domenici.

 

The overall objectives of the treaty are to replace the overlapping set of existing treaties that make up the Union’s current constitution, to set forth uniform human rights throughout the EU, and to organize decision making in what is now a 25-member organisation. The Treaty for the Constitution of Europe, TCE, includes a flag, an anthem and a motto. It would specify that the EU is a union of member states, and that the EU may act only where its member states agree unanimously.

 

Critics of the TCE say that the new document is too long (over 60,000 words in its English version), and overly technical. They call it highly inaccessible to the general public. On the other hand, proponents say that the treaty is much shorter and less complex than the current set of European treaties.

 

The failure of the 2004 constitution to pass has left its European supporters confounded. ‘We mainly speak about Europe in economic terms but not yet as a united singular entity. We hope the conference will go in that direction,’ said Domenici. Politicians will be in Florence to re-examine the treaty once more. The conference initiative entitled ‘The Word Europe’ will be presented by the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, and by Valery Giscard d’Estaing, President of the French Republic. The state of Austria is pushing to convince the two opposing states to accept the 2004 treaty, while France, Germany and Italy await entailed revisions. 

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