Merkel wants to revive EU constitution
11 May 2006, BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel threw her support behind the European Union's controversial draft constitution on Thursday and said the EU needed to be stricter on entry requirements for new members.
11 May 2006
BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel threw her support behind the European Union's controversial draft constitution on Thursday and said the EU needed to be stricter on entry requirements for new members.
"We need the constitution to ensure that the European Union continues to function," the chancellor told the German parliament in a policy speech on Europe.
Merkel said Germany would try to win over a skeptical public with new suggestions to revive the dormant treaty when her country assumes the rotating presidency of the EU in January.
But she cautioned against hasty action that could result in fresh setbacks for the charter which has been in virtual cold storage since it was rejected by French and Dutch voters last year.
Referring to EU enlargement, she repeated her view that not every country which wanted to become a new member of the 25-nation block should be granted admission.
"Of course, Bulgaria and Croatia will become EU members," she said, but added that the EU Commission should point out what deficits they have in meeting entry requirements.
She said the EU needed to make it clear that entry negotiations are not a one-way street. There should also be no more deals of multiple countries gaining membership together just because entry negotiations with them started at the same time.
The chancellor did not spell out Germany's plans for its EU presidency, but in a speech on Tuesday she let it be known that research, securing energy supplies and cutting red tape would be given priority.
She repeated her call for bureaucracy to be dismantled and urged individual EU members to adopt a uniform approach when dealing with matters of internal security.
Merkel called for a new era in the EU in which the people of Europe should be the focus of attention. She said it was important to remove the citizens' skepticism of the European Union.
This echoed remarks made by European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, who on Wednesday called for action to revive Europe's flagging fortunes and lift the "cloud of pessimism" that has settled on the continent.
Subject: German News