MEPs have threatened to vote down a new EU Treaty that would fail to preserve the key elements of the draft EU Constitution, as Parliament struggles to make its voice heard ahead of the June Summit on institutional reform.
Debating a report on the road map for the EU’s constitutional process on 6 June 2007, MEPs called for a more ambitious solution than just a mini-Treaty and defended their proposal for a “Treaty plus”.
Conservative MEP Iñigo Méndez de Vigo said: “You have got to listen to everyone and not just those who want less Europe.” He added: “Our hands will not be trembling if we have to reject the Treaty, which comes out of the intergovernmental conference if we think it does not match our expectations.”
Spelling out a clear warning, Socialist MEP and chairman of the constitutional affairs committee Jo Leinen said: “We do not understand why some governments want to take some aspects out. It will not work, we will not accept it.” He added: “We want a Treaty plus, not a Treaty minus. We will not accept an agreement at any price.”
The new Treaty text would be agreed by EU leaders, most likely under the Portuguese EU Presidency, which takes over for the second half of 2007. Following a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates told reporters on 4 June 2007 that he supports his idea to adopt a slimmed-down Treaty.
Parliament spokesperson Federico de Girolamo explained that there is no precedent of the Parliament vetoing an EU Treaty, however he said that “a strong negative opinion by the Parliament would pose a political problem” to EU leaders. He expects the EU assembly to put forward a resolution following the IGC, which is to take place during the second half of 2007.