On 30 November Group President Hans-Gert Poettering spoke at a congress organised by the Dutch Christian Democrats (CDA) in the Dutch Second Chamber. He discussed the future of Europe and co-operation between the EPP-ED Group and the political groups in national parliaments with his colleague from the CDA Group in Second Chamber, Jan Peter Balkenende.
Mr Poettering said that co-operation between national Groups and the EPP-ED Group is vital in view of the debate on the review of the Nice-Treaty: „Until now, the European Parliament and our Group said neither yes or no to the Nice Treaty. Our final decision will depend on the results of the Laeken Summit and the agenda that is set for the Convention for preparation of a new Treaty. In this Convention national parliamentarians and representatives of the European Parliament will participate. In this Convention we must co-operate.“
On the future of Europe, Hans-Gert Poettering said the aim of the 2003 Intergovernmental Conference, prepared by the Convention, must be to elaborate a Constitution for the European Union. Fundamental rights and civic rights must be incorporated into the new treaty. The democratic deficit must be addressed by simplification of legislative procedures on the basis that the general principle in legislative matters must be qualified majority voting in the Council and codecision involving the European Parliament. The Council must deliberate and take decisions on European legislation in public. Furthermore the Commission President must be elected by the European Parliament.
The CDA has produced a discussion paper on the future of Europe
Information on the views of the EPP-ED group on the future of Europe
More information: Eduard Slootweg, tel. +32 475 721280