The Government submitted a report to Parliament on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for the European Union
On Friday, 25 November, the Government submitted a report to Parliament on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for the European Union. In addition to a detailed examination of the Constitutional Treaty, the report also provides a general overview of the ways in which to develop the Union in the future.
In June 2005, the European Council decided to introduce a period of reflection with regard to the ratification process of the Constitutional Treaty. The European Council issued a declaration whereby the period of reflection should be used to enable a broad debate to take place in each of our countries, involving citizens, civil society, social partners, national parliaments and political parties.
The Finnish Government was prepared to issue a proposal for the adoption of the Constitutional Treaty to Parliament during its autumn session. After the European Council issued the declaration introducing the reflection period, the Finnish Government considered that there was no need to ask Parliament for an immediate adoption of the Constitutional Treaty. Instead, Parliament was to be given a possibility to discuss the Constitutional Treaty on the basis of a government report.
The report emphasises that it is in Finland's interest to further develop the European Union. Active participation in the Union action and its further development in all levels and areas will strengthen Finland's position in Europe and the world.
The European Union has changed in a considerable manner. The process of change is still underway due to changes in the global operational environment, the Union's enlargement and gradually deepening cooperation. According to the Finnish Government, the Constitutional Treaty would provide a balanced and an acceptable approach that would strengthen the Union's capabilities and decision-making ability.
According to the report, Finland is ready to seek, with an open mind and in collaboration with the other Member States, for solutions whereby to implement the reforms included in the Constitutional Treaty. Difficulties in the Constitutional Treaty process must not obstruct the Union's functioning and its further development but the Union must continue to improve the efficiency of its action within the framework of the existing Treaties.
The Government hopes that the position of the Finnish Parliament with regard to the Constitutional Treaty will be known before the European Council will re-consider the issue during the Austrian EU Presidency. Parliament's position on the matter might contribute favourably to the general opinion in Europe.
Further information: Antti Peltomäki, State Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 9 1602 2180 and Päivi Kaukoranta, Counsellor, tel. +358 9 1602 2190, Government Secretariat for EU Affairs