Thursday, 27 July 2006

What they say on the EU constitution


“The rejection of the Constitution is a mistake which will have to be corrected ? If the Irish and the Danes can vote Yes in the end, so the French can do it too.” – V.Giscard d’Estaing, speech at London School of Economics, 28 February 2006

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“I want to believe obstinately that neither the French nor the Dutch have rejected the constitutional treaty. A lot of the questions in the French and Dutch debates find answers in the constitution. But the voters – and this is why we need this period of explanation and debate – did not realise that the text of the constitutional treaty, the nature of the constitutional treaty, aimed to respond to numerous concerns.” – Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg Premier and holder of the EU presidency, International Herald Tribune, 18-19 June 2005

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‘It was a mistake to send out the entire three-part, 448-article document to every French voter,” said Mr Giscard. Over the phone he had warned Mr Chirac in March: “I said, ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it. It is not possible for anyone to understand the full text.’” – V. Giscard d’Estaing, interview in New York Times, quoted in Euobserver, 15 June 2005

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“I think the EU constitution is the birth certificate of the United States of Europe. It is not the end point of integration, but the framework for – as it says in the preamble – an ever closer union.” – Hans Martin Bury, Germany’s Europe minister, Bundestag debate, Die Welt, 25 February 2005

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“The Constitution is the capstone of a European Federal State.” – Guy Verhofstadt, Belgian Prime Minister, Financial Times, 21 June 2004

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“This (drafting a Constitution)is what you have to do if you want the people to build statues of you on horseback in the villages you all come from.” – V.Giscard d’Estaing, Financial Times, 21 June 2004

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“We know that nine out of 10 people will not have read the Constitution and will vote on the basis of what politicians and journalists say. More than that, if the answer is No, the vote will probably have to be done again, because it absolutely has to be Yes.” – Jean-Luc Dehaene, Former Belgian Prime Minister and Vice-President of the EU Convention, Irish Times, 2 June 2004

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“The Convention (on the Constitution) brought together a self-selected group of the European political elite, many of whom have their eyes on a career at a European level, which is dependent on more and more integration and who see national governments and parliaments as an obstacle. Not once in the sixteen months I spent on the Convention did representatives question whether deeper integration is what the people of Europe want, whether it serves their best interests or whether it provides the best basis for a sustainable structure for an expanding Union. The debates focused solely on where we could do more at European Union level. None of the existing policies were questioned.” – Gisela Stuart MP, member of the Convention praesidium, The Making of Europe’s Constitution, Fabian Society pamphlet, London, 2003.

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“We need a European Constitution. The European Constitution is not the ‘final touch’ of the European structure; it must become its foundation. The European Constitution should prescribe that . . . we are building a Federation of nation-States. The first part should be based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights proclaimed at the European summit at Nice. . . If we transform the EU into a Federation of Nation-States, we will enhance the democratic legitimacy. . .We should not prescribe what the EU should never be allowed to . . . I believe that the Parliament and the Council of Ministers should be developed into a genuine bicameral parliament.” – Dr Johannes Rau, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, European Parliament, 4 April 2001

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“Creating a single European State bound by one European Constitution is the decisive task of our time.” – German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, Daily Telegraph, 27 December1998