EU may hold special Summit on institutional reform in June

The Greek Presidency of the EU is examining the possibility of organising a special summit in June to discuss the institutional reform.

The Greek Presidency is in contact with other EU Governments to find out whether they would be in favour of a special EU summit on 30 June, dedicated to the draft Constitutional Treaty. This means that the Convention would have to complete its work on time, by the end of June.

The Presidency is also said to be in favour of Belgian Government’s proposal to hold a special summit in April to deal with the development of common EU defence policy.

 

Mr Giscardsaid that the mandate of the Convention may have to be extended by three months, until the end of September. He proposed that a special summit, dedicated to reform of the EU, be held in the autumn.

Such a delay would put in danger the planned adoption of the new Constitutional Treaty by EU leaders at the European Council in Rome in December 2003.

Mr Giscard is seeking EU leader's opinion on several institutional issues:

  • the role of the Council and the European Council in the organisation of competencies;
  • reform of the rotating Presidency;
  • the role and composition of the Commission (whether each Member State should continue having its Commissioner);
  • procedures for the appointment of Commission President and the role of the European Parliament therein;
  • the role of an EU Foreign Minister;
  • the establishment of a Convention or another body (a Congress of national MPs and MEPs) as the forum for future modifications of the Constitutional Treaty.

 

EU leaders were due to discuss the report on the Convention's progress at the Brussels European Council on 20 March, but this point was removed from the agenda due to the war in Iraq. The Convention President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing asked EU leaders to answer a number of specific questions, dealing with the institutions of the enlarged Union.

 

The next meeting of the Convention is on 3 and 4 April.

The Convention Presidium will present its proposals on this issue on 10 April, and they will be discussed at the Convention's plenary session on 24 and 25 April.

The Convention's progress report will be discussed at the Athens Summit of 16 April, where the Accession Treaty with 10 new Member States will be signed.

 

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