Skip to main content

European Constitution

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the policy of the Government towards the proposal laid down in the proposed European Constitution that Europe should be governed on a federal basis. [110700]

The Government consider the proposal made by the Praesidium of the Convention on the Future of Europe that

"the Union … shall administer certain common competences on a federal basis"
to be misleading. It has therefore proposed that the words on a federal basis" be replaced by
"shall co-ordinate certain policies at a European level to achieve goals that they cannot achieve on their own".
EU member states will discuss the convention's outcome in an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) before taking final decisions on it by unanimity.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the policy of the Government towards the proposal laid down in the proposed European Constitution stating that the European Union should have a legal personality. [110701]

The explicit grant of legal personality to the European Union would have the advantage of clarity and simplicity. But the Government would only accept it on the basis that the distinct arrangements for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and aspects of Justice and Home Affairs were fully safeguarded, along with the existing arrangements for representation in international bodies.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the policy of the Government towards the proposal laid down in the proposed European Constitution stating that the member states may accede to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. [110702]

All European Union member states are already party to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR).

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the policy of the Government towards the proposal laid down in the proposed European Constitution with regard to the creation of citizenship of the Union. [110703]

EU citizenship was established by the Treaty on European Union. The provisions governing Union citizenship are contained in Part Two of the Treaty establishing the European Community. It is expressly stated that the EU citizenship conferred upon persons holding the nationality of a member state shall

"complement and not replace national citizenship".
The draft Constitutional Treaty being debated by the Convention on the Future of Europe sets out similar provisions. The Government support this policy.