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EU constitution not dead: incoming presidency

Published on 09/01/2006

VIENNA, Jan 9 (AFP) -  Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel insisted Monday that the European Union's constitution is not dead despite its rejection by French and Dutch voters, as he launched Vienna's six-month EU presidency.

“The constitution is not dead, but it is not in force,” he told reporters in Vienna, where the 25-nation bloc’s new Austrian presidency was meeting with the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm.

“The constitution is in the middle of a ratification process,” Schuessel added.

The EU constitution, aimed at preventing decision-making gridlock in the expanding bloc, was put on ice last June after referendums in France and the Netherlands delivered stunning rejections.

Schuessel confirmed plans to present proposals on the future of Europe at a June summit which will end Vienna’s turn at the EU helm.

“I think we can at the end of the Austrian presidency present some success,” he said.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news