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European Convention

Volume 407: debated on Tuesday 24 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the European Convention (a) concluded its deliberations and (b) delivered its report on the proposed European Constitution; and to whom. [121103]

The Convention concluded its deliberations on Parts I, II and IV of the draft Constitutional Treaty on 13 June 2003. That text was presented to the European Council at Thessaloniki, on 20 June 2003, by the Convention's President, Valery Giscard d'Estaing.As the European Council conclusions note:

"the European Council considers that the presentation of the Draft Constitutional Treaty, as it has received it, marks the completion of the Convention's tasks as set out at Laeken and, accordingly, the end of its work. However, some purely technical work on drafting Part III is still required, this work needing to be finished by 15 July at the latest.".

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what legal authority the Convention relied for the preparation of the proposed European Constitution.[121104]

The European Council at Laeken in December 2001 noted the need for the Union to undergo renewal and reform to face the challenges of the future. It established the Convention:

"to consider the key issues arising for the Union's future development and try to identify the various possible responses".
In its mandate, the European Council noted the need to simplify the treaties and asked the Convention to consider whether:

"this simplification and reorganisation might not lead … to the adoption of a constitutional text in the Union".

The Convention's consideration of this and other key issues identified at Laeken led to the drawing up of the draft Constitution, which will provide a good basis for starting discussions in the Intergovernmental Conference.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Convention has (a) voted for and (b) formally agreed to a final text in the proposed European Constitution; and if he will make a statement.[121105]

The Convention concluded its deliberations on Part I, II and IV of the draft Constitutional Treaty on the basis of consensus, rather than voting. The final text was presented to the European Council by the Convention President, Valery Giscard d'Estaing. Leaders agreed that the text:

"is a good basis for starting in the Intergovernmental Conference".
There was also agreement that:

"some purely technical work on drafting Part III is still required, this work needing to be finished by 15 July at the latest".