Merkel, Angela (1954 - )
Merkel, Angela (1954 - )
On 22 November 2005, East German scientist and CDU politician Angela Merkel was elected chancellor of Germany. She led the German EU presidency from 1 January 1 to 30 June 2007.
Merkel restarted the constitutional process and launched bilateral negotiations even before Germany took over the Presidency.
On the occasion of the solemn summit on March 2005 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the EU, Merkel succeeded for the first time: the 27 heads of states and prime ministers adopted the Berlin Declaration on joint values of the Union.
Through very secret and persuasive diplomacy, Merkel gained the support of all member states to restart of the constitutional process. She then continued bilateral talks and mutual preparations to finalise a very detailed negotiation mandate for a new intergovernmental conference. This mandate was unanimously confirmed by the 21 – 23 June 2007 summit in Brussels.
Merkel is said to have safeguarded the new “double majority” voting system, introducing the number of citizens as the most important factor for the allocation of power between member states. That gives Germany 16.4 % of the votes in the Council of Ministers instead of 8.4 % under Nice.
To restart the constitutional process Merkel sent a secret letter with 12 questions to the colleagues. Here you can read Markel’s letter:
1. How do you assess the proposal made by some Member states not to repeal the existing treaties but to return to the classical method of treaty changes while preserving the single legal personality and overcoming the pillar structure of the EU?
2. How do you assess in that case the proposal made by some Member states that the consolidated approach of part 1 of the Constitutional Treaty is preserved, with the necessary presentational changes resulting from the return to the classical method of treaty changes?
3. How do you assess in that case the proposal made by some Member states to use different terminology without changing the legal substance for example with regard to the title of the treaty, the denomination of EU legal acts and the Union’s Minister for Foreign Affairs?
4. How do you assess the proposal made by some Member states to drop the article that refers to the symbols of the EU?
5. How do you assess the proposal made by some Member states to drop the article which states the primacy of EU law?
6. How do you assess the proposal made by some Member states that Member states will replace the full text of the Charter of Fundamental Rights by a short cross reference having the same legal value?
7. Do you agree that the institutional provisions of the Constitutional Treaty form a balanced package that should not be reopened?
8. Are there other elements which in your view constitute indispensable parts of the overall compromise reached at the time?
9. How do you assess the proposal made by some Member states concerning possible improvements/clarifications on issues related to new challenges facing the EU, for instance in the fields of energy/climate change or illegal immigration?
10. How do you assess the proposal made by some Member states to highlight the Copenhagen criteria in the article on enlargement?
11. How do you assess the proposal made by some Member states to address the social dimension of the EU in some way or the other?
12. How do you assess the proposal made by some Member states applying opt-in/out provisions to some of the new policy provisions set out in the Constitutional Treaty?