Monday, October 27, 2003
Constitutional Developments

The Assembly of the Western European Union, noting the disunity over defence in the intergovernmental conference, proposed on the 21st October 2003, that a mutual defence clause reinforcing NATO's role, should form an optional annexe to the Constitution allowing each member state to sign. New Europe favouring the variable geometry model?

The Council of Foreign Ministers, meeting today, proved unwilling to sanction the extension of the European Parliament's powers, as set out in the draft Constitution. Further detail can be found on EuObserver, which states from a report sourced in the FT that finance ministers wish to keep their authority over budgetary matters and the Growth and Stability Pact. This is further evidence that the intergovernmental model is preferred by the Member States, especially when it comes to crucial policies that impact upon fiscal, defence or foreign policy. The integrationist model, based upon supranational European institutions, like the Parliament and the Commission, will not be realised.

(27th October 2003, 20.17)


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