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Michel Barnier

European commissioner in charge with EU reforms

Barnier: exit-clause needed for EU member states
EU Observer 2001-10-23

The reforms of the European Union will fail unless a common European project is defined before and the political will to support the project is gathered, according to the European commissioner in charge with EU reforms Michel Barnier.

In a paper drafted ahead of the EU Summit in Ghent, Mr Barnier points out that the debate on the future of Europe must above all frankly answer the question "what do the EU member states want to do together?" and only then adapt the institutions to that European common project. As for the institutional set-up, Mr Barnier rejects the idea of creating a second chamber gathering national parliaments' representatives and favours the creation of a permanent body in Brussels with EU countries' ministers of European affairs co-ordinating the work of diverse meetings of the Council of ministers.

He also points out that, with the reflection on simplifying the Treaties and of integrating the Charter of Fundamental Rights into them, a constitutional process has started, which is going to lead either to a European Constitution, or to a European constitutional Pact.

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