Emphasising the EU’s social dimension in the context of the EU’s upcoming 50th anniversary declaration, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier presented the presidency’s view to Commission and Parliament leaders on 14 March 2007.
“Europe stands for a social model based on economic competition but reconciling that competition with social and ecological responsibility,” Steinmeier emphasised. He went on to say: “The EU has a social face and the social dimension is something that we want to underscore in the Berlin Declaration.”
The Constitutional Treaty was rejected by voters in France and the Netherlands in a 2005 referendum. In particular, the French referendum was said to have failed because of the lack of social elements included in the text.
The German foreign minister told the assembly that the presidency drew confidence from the success of the Spring Summit and will now try to give a boost at the Berlin Declaration.
Steinmeier emphasised that the presidency has been listening to what the people expect from the EU. He said: “If we want to win the trust of the people of Europe, then we have to provide practical evidence that European unity makes sense for them.”