Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-04-Speech-2-060"

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"Mr President, Mr President-in-Office of the Council, you have a two-fold historic responsibility; firstly, to give the Union a Constitution, a text that will enable it to function. I should like to highlight, if I may, the inherent paradox in reaching agreement on a text after the elections, even though it will have been the main subject of debate. If governments had wanted to assert their authority, to put it mildly, they could not have done so any better. As we await the summit of 17 and 18 June, all we have, as things stand today, is a virtual Constitution. We hope it will not turn out to be a minimalist one, but we will judge it when the time comes. Your second historic responsibility is more important: that of setting in train the ratification process. If we do not want this Constitution to be stillborn, it must be adopted. Accordingly, Mr President, I should like to inform you of a proposal that came out of discussions in the which I have had the honour of chairing since May 2003. Governments must reach an agreement, both on a joint text, and on when it is to be ratified, or, in other words, the day – or rather the period of days, as with the European elections taking place from 10 to 13 June – when the Constitution is to be submitted for ratification in the twenty-five countries, following a joint transnational debate. On this subject, I was very taken by the way Commissioner Vitorino put it: we must not simply juxtapose twenty-five national debates. I suggest therefore that you set the date for 5 to 8 May 2005. We will thus replace the 60th anniversary of the end of World War Two, which affected all of us, with the anniversary of something that we are adopting together. On that day, which we could celebrate together as Constitution Day, and which could subsequently become a public holiday in the twenty-five countries of the EU, each country will ratify its constitutional treaty according to its own tradition and legal system, by means of a referendum or through parliamentary channels. In France, I would, of course, advocate a referendum. Answering the same question together on the same day, and adopting the same fundamental text, will truly make the European people sovereign in matters of common concern."@en1
"Club du 13 juin"1

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