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Commission welcomes Cyprus' EU Constitution ratification
2005-07-01 12:19:51

Nicosia, Jul 1 (CNA) -- The European Commission has welcomed yesterday's ratification by the Cypriot House of Representatives of the European Constitutional Treaty, noting that the message Cyprus sends is an important sign of its commitment to Europe.

In a declaration, the Commission says that ''Cyprus yesterday became the 12th member state to ratify the EU Constitution,'' adding that ''this demonstrates the determination of Cyprus to see the benefits of the Constitution become a reality.''

''The message from Cyprus is an important sign of its commitment to Europe, and we welcome this strong and encouraging message,'' it points out.

The Commission says that ''with regard to the Constitution, we are of course in a very different situation today, compared to the time before the French and Dutch negative referenda,'' adding that ''the European Council recently met to debate the ratification process on the EU Constitution, in light of the result of these.''

''It agreed a Declaration that provides for a period of reflection, while also giving member states the freedom to continue the ratification process if they so wish. Whatever the final outcome of the process, the Commission is determined to use the period of reflection to assist member states in developing a broad debate to listen to our citizens' concerns and reflect more generally on what Europe is for,'' it notes.

Concluding its declaration, the Commission says it ''will play its role and will visit all the member states to kick-start this 'Plan-D' of dialogue, debate and democracy,'' adding that it will then ''present a forward looking strategy paper to the June 2006 European Council that draws on the listening exercise.''

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