The Future of Europe: Merkel Pushes for Convention to Draft New EU Treaty
Chancellor Angela Merkel's plans for a new treaty governing the European Union are becoming more concrete. SPIEGEL has learned that the German leader wants the EU to begin working on a draft this year, with the aim of providing Brussels with greater power to monitor budgets. But many countries are deeply opposed to the idea.
Angela Merkel at a recent EU summit in Brussels: The German chancellor is pushing for a new treaty for deeper European integration.
Germany is pushing for a new treaty governing the construction of the European Union, and it is calling for a convention to draft the pact to be convened before the end of the year. The treaty would pave the way for deeper European integration and would create a new legal foundation for the bloc. Chancellor Angela Merkel's European Union policy adviser, Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, has expressed this desire in discussions with high-level EU officials in Brussels, SPIEGEL has learned.
So far, though, the German proposal has found few supporters in the other EU member states. During a meeting of the so-called Future Group, an informal gathering of 10 foreign ministers from EU countries, the majority opposed a call by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle for a new treaty convention. Other countries, including Ireland, do not want to take the risk of a national referendum, which a new EU treaty would entail in some member states. Poland, a close partner of Berlin, also believes there is currently little chance of finding a compromise among the 27 member states.
When Merkel previously brought up the subject during a December EU summit meeting, many people reacted with indignation. Initially, the other EU countries were unwilling to go along with the calls from Merkel and then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy for automatic sanctions for repeat offenders of budget rules. In the end, the Germans and French found a common position, saying they would push forward with a new EU treaty -- either with the entire bloc or with the 17 members of the euro zone if other countries were unwilling to go along with it.
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