The European Parliament is expected to give the go-ahead for the ‘Reform Treaty’ mandate, despite criticism concerning the large number of exemptions and footnotes in the draft text agreed by EU leaders at the June Summit.
The Parliament will vote on a report by Socialist MEP and Constitutional Affairs Committee Chairman Jo Leinen on the IGC in plenary on 11 July. The plenary is expected to give a strong backing to the mandate, following the overwhelmingly positive response to the outcome of the June Summit (EURACTIV 28/06/07).
The draft report welcomes the fact that the substance of the draft EU Constitution has been preserved, especially the granting of a legal personality to the EU, the extension of qualified majority voting to the areas of defence, social security and fiscal policy, the inclusion of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the reference to energy and climate change.
However, the text laments the dropping of elements, such as the reference to the EU’s symbols, a statement referring to EU law primacy and the renaming of EU legislation. The report also criticises the increased number of exemptions granted to member states.
The Parliament will also look at the issue of a new seat distribution, on which it is expected to present a proposal in October.
Three representatives of the Parliament’s leading political groups are to represent the European assembly at the IGC opening on 23-24 July. Elmar Brok (EPP-ED) and Enrique Baron Crespo (Socialist group) have already been named by their groups.