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Merkel on EU Convention during German primetime

Merkel on EU Convention during German primetime

28-08-2012

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has fuelled the debate about an EU convention to elaborate a new treaty for the EU. In a TV interview broadcasted on Germany’s first channel on Sunday, 25 August 2012, Ms Merkel made clear that Europe must take steps towards more European integration and that the question of how to change existing EU Treaties must be discussed.

The German Head of State appeared in the “summertime interview”, a traditional series of interviews during July and August questioning leading German politicians on their political course and day-to-day politics in Germany, Europe and the world. Being asked whether Ms Merkel was calling for an EU convention the Chancellor said:

"I am not calling for a convention, but I have been demanding for some time that we do not stand still regarding the steps we have taken. For example, the fiscal compact. If we had not made the fiscal compact as a treaty among 17 EU Member States, but if the UK would have been willing to agree to a treaty change, then the question would have been how this could be discussed. In such cases a convention is convened in Europe under the Lisbon Treaty. But that is not what it is about. The point is: We must consider the next important steps that we must take" (translated from German into English).

Ms Merkel is the first European Head of State talking about the idea of a European convention to a TV audience. The interview, aired during German primetime, is a clear signal that the idea of a citizens’ assembly for a new EU treaty has reached the mainstream of politics and media. Six weeks ago, civil society activists had called for an EU convention in their final declaration at Democracy International’s summer academy in Burgas, Bulgaria. Democracy International demands that the EU’s 500 million citizens must vote on the proposal by referenda in all EU Member States.

Text by Cora Pfafferott

Further information:
Verbatim transcript of the interview with Chancellor Merkel (in German) at www.bundeskanzlerin.de/Content/DE/Mitschrift/Pressekonferenzen/2012/08/2012-08-26-ard-sommerinterview.html
Final declaration by Democracy International, Summer Academy Burgas at www.democracy-international.org/democratic-eu-convention.html

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