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Ratify or quit

The EU's constitutional convention must take a tough line on small countries that fail to ratify treaty changes

By Charles Grant   January 2003

The convention on the future of Europe, meeting under the chairmanship of Valery Giscard d’Estaing, is likely to agree on a new constitution for Europe. The EU’s governments will adopt this text, with amendments, in 2004. Most of the key issues have already been discussed at length. But so far almost nothing has been said about the most sensitive question: what to do with countries that cannot ratify treaty changes. To its credit, the commission at least mentioned the problem, in its December submission to the convention.

The Irish voted “yes” to the Nice treaty in October, which means that…

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