The Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern has suggested the EU constitution could be altered in order to win the approval of French and Dutch voters who rejected the text last year in referendums, harking back to a similar situation Dublin went through concerning the Nice Treaty.
“As was the case on previous occasions when European Treaties ran into difficulties at national level, additional elements could be introduced to address concerns which have arisen.”
“Such additions could enrich rather than undermine the substance and balance of the treaty.”
“It happened in the case of Ireland and Nice, the issue then is to try to get protocols to deal with the issues,” said Mr Ahern, who is among the veterans of EU leaders.
His words represent a change, as previously he had defended the entire text of the constitution – a document he fought hard to get his counterparts to agree upon when Ireland had the EU presidency in the first half of 2004.
Reported in EUobserver on 30.11.2006 http://euobserver.com/9/22982