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From Idealism to Pragmatism: Germany and the Constitutional Treaty

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Chapter Summary

In the early morning of 23 June 2007 the Heads of State or Government of the European Union Member States found a way out of the constitutional deadlock. Two years after the negative referenda in France and the Netherlands the German EU Presidency had succeeded in organising a breakthrough on constitutional project. Following the June 2007 agreement an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) will negotiate a reform treaty on the basis of the constitutional draft adopted in October 2004. The reform treaty that will amend the Treaty of Nice is envisaged to enter into force before the next European parliamentary elections in 2009. The German Presidency sacrificed a lot of the symbolism of the draft Constitution: the European anthem, the flag and the constitutional language. But in doing so Berlin managed to preserve most of the institutional substance of the draft Constitutional Treaty for the Lisbon reform treaty. Pragmatism won over idealism.

Keywords: Constitutional Treaty; European Union Member States; German EU Presidency; idealism; Intergovernmental Conference (IGC); pragmatism; reform treaty; Treaty of Nice



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