Barroso presses for new EU Treaty by 2009

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Commission President José Manuel Barroso has called on EU leaders to follow an ambitious road map to put a new treaty in place by 2009 and has warned against reopening issues already agreed in the Constitutional Treaty.

On a visit to his home country on 13 April 2007, the Commission President urged EU leaders to swiftly find an agreement on a new treaty in order to solve the institutional impasse by 2009.

“The aim of the EU is to have a new treaty by 2009 before the European Parliament elections,” Barroso said in a speech to the Portuguese Parliament.

He said that the starting point for this new treaty should be the text of the Constitutional Treaty signed by all EU members and already ratified by 18 member states.

EU leaders could agree on a new text at an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) under the Portuguese EU Presidency during the second half of 2007.

Barroso warned not to reopen issues that had already been agreed by EU leaders in the Constitutional text. Poland in particular has challenged the German Presidency’s timeline to have a new treaty in place by 2009 and would like to reopen the issue of the Council voting system. Czech President Vaclav Klaus is also sceptical about the 2009 deadline and said the new treaty was not a priority for his country.

The EU has found itself in crisis following the failed referenda on the European Constitution in France and the Netherlands in 2005.

German Chancellor and current EU President Angela Merkel intends to present a road map at the June Summit, which will lay out an ambitious calendar to put a new treaty in place.

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