Draft EU Constitution Approved
Voice of America
13 Jun 2003, 12:53 UTC
Delegates at a European Union convention have approved a draft constitution spelling out how the growing bloc will be governed in the decades ahead.
The convention chairman, former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, said he will present the draft to European leaders at a summit next week in Greece.
Speaking in Brussels, Mr. Giscard d'Estaing told a packed chamber of the European parliament that history was made Friday. Slovenian lawmaker Alojz Peterle, whose country will join the EU next year, is quoted as calling the constitution a new beginning for Europe after 50 years of Cold War division.
The draft was approved after 16 months of debate. Key items include provisions for a long-term European Council president, and an EU foreign minister. The draft also proposes streamlined legislative and legal procedures.
Authorities say details of some key items, including tax and national veto issues, have not yet been agreed upon and will be debated in negotiations set to begin later this year.
Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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