Tuesday, 27 May 2008

WHAT TOP EU POLITICIANS SAY ABOUT THE LISBON TREATY


“France was just ahead of all the other countries in voting No. It would happen in all Member States if they have a referendum. There is a cleavage between people and governments … There will be no Treaty if we had a referendum in France, which would again be followed by a referendum in the UK.”
- French President Nicolas Sarkozy, at meeting of senior MEPs, EUobserver, 14 November 2007
“The difference between the original Constitution and the present Lisbon Treaty is one of approach, rather than content … The proposals in the original constitutional treaty are practically unchanged. They have simply been dispersed through the old treaties in the form of amendments. Why this subtle change? Above all, to head off any threat of referenda by avoiding any form of constitutional vocabulary … But lift the lid and look in the toolbox: all the same innovative and effective tools are there, just as they were carefully crafted by the European Convention.”
- V.Giscard D’Estaing, former French President and Chairman of the Convention which drew up the EU Constitution, The Independent, London, 30 October 2007

“Sometimes I like to compare the EU as a creation to the organisation of empires. We have the dimension of Empire but there is a great difference. Empires were usually made with force with a centre imposing diktat, a will on the others. Now what we have is the first non-imperial empire.”
- Commission President J-M Barroso, The Brussels Journal, 11 July 2007

“Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly … All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden and disguised in some way.”
- V.Giscard D’Estaing, Le Monde, 14 June 2007, and Sunday Telegraph, 1 July 2007
“The substance of the constitution is preserved. That is a fact.”
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speech in the European Parliament, 27 June 2007
“90 per cent of it is still there…These changes haven’t made any dramatic change to the substance of what was agreed back in 2004.”
- Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Irish Independent, 24 June 2007

“The aim of the Constitutional Treaty was to be more readable; the aim of this treaty is to be unreadable … The Constitution aimed to be clear, whereas this treaty had to be unclear. It is a success.”
- Karel de Gucht, Belgian Foreign Minister, Flandreinfo, 23 June 2007

“The good thing about not calling it a Constitution is that no one can ask for a referendum on it.”
- Giuliano Amato, speech at London School of Economics, 21 February 2007

“If it’s a Yes, we will say ‘On we go’, and if it’s a No we will say ‘We continue.’”
- Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg Prime Minister and holder of the EU Presidency, Daily Telegraph, 26 May 2005

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