Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments


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Governance and citizenship

European Summit - 16.12.2003

CEMR on collapse of European Summit : 'Europe cannot be reduced to squabbling over 25 countries'competing national interests!"
Following the failure of the Brussels Summit (12-13 December) CEMR calls on the EU's heads of state and government not to let the European Constitution fall.
'Europe cannot be reduced to squabbling over 25 countries' competing national interests, says CEMR secretary general Jeremy Smith. Our political leaders need to think about what is best for Europe, for Europe's citizens. We urge them to reconvene as soon as possible to finish the task of giving the European Union its vital constitutional basis.
The European Convention did a huge job in putting forward the draft European Constitution, reaching compromises between all the different viewpoints. The draft text is far simpler and clearer than what we have today. Europe cannot afford to carry on indefinitely with the long and hugely complex Treaties as they stand.
The heads of state and government, in the Laeken Declaration which set up the Convention, called for a Europe that is closer to the citizen and much easier to understand. That is why we have welcomed several key points in the draft Constitution; it would give a bigger role to local and regional government. Our members act as a vital bridge between citizens and the Union, on the daily issues that concern citizens most. These points include a stronger role in subsidiarity (who does what) and consultation, and the recognition of local and regional self-government."
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