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EU integration reaps huge harvest in 2004
www.chinaview.cn 2004-12-24 10:16:53

    EPOCH-MAKING CONSTITUTION

    The constitutional treaty, adopted at a EU Brussels summit in June, is undoubtedly a work of genius. It is nothing short of wisdom, strategic mentality and extraordinary skills. Though constructed on a basis of delicate balances, the constitutional treaty embodies all the EU needs to further promote the integration process.

    The adoption and signing of the constitution is the culmination of years of hard bargaining over the future powers of the EU. It represents a compromise between those who are pushing for deeper integration and those who want to protect national sovereignty.

    It is designed to make the EU run smoothly after 10 new members joined the bloc on May 1. It would make the EU more than simply a free trade area, but less than a United States of Europe. The introduction of quality majority voting in more areas will be essential for achievement of the goal.

    There has been already one member state which has ratified the Constitution and others are to hold either referendums or try to secure parliamentary approvals.

    The constitution underlines more areas of cooperation, especially in European security and justice. More than half of EU citizens regard the constitution as a unifying force badly needed by the EU.

    What the constitution does is to intensify integration in some areas by greater use of qualified majority voting by the EU over a greater number of issues.

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair said it paved the way "for a flexible Europe, in which groups of countries can take action together within the framework of the EU provided they do not damage the interests of others." 

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