Richard North, 12/04/2005  

The EU is not implementing the constitution ahead of ratification. That is the extraordinary claim made by a spokesman for Elmar Brok following the EPP MEP's call that the "spirit (and substance) of the provisions of the constitution regarding CFSP should be applied as of now… without waiting for the formal ratification of the Constitutional Treaty."

This call was picked up by Dave on North Sea Diaries and amplified by our own post, but now Dr Michael Kambeck, writing on behalf of Brok in an e-mail to one of our readers, denies that there is any intention "to legally implement unratified laws".

What he really meant, we are told, is that the "political will" has already uttered by elected heads of states and governments "with respect to projects alongside or outside the Constitution Treaty."

"For example," writes Kambeck, "the European Defence Agency is (legally) being set up, which was decided outside the Constitution negotiations." He also claims that the protocol to the Treaty calls upon member states, the Council and the Commission to prepare the blueprint of a European External Service. Another example he cites is that Javier Solana has already been named first European Foreign Minister, once the Treaty will be enacted.

These examples, he says, "show that the political will to cooperate in CFSP matters is already - without the new Treaty - strong." That is why Brok’s report "calls upon all concerned to move forward with political agreements and not let the ratification procedure be an excuse for a position on halt and waiting."

There is, of course, a minor problem with Kambeck's spirited defence of his boss. Brok's actual call was that the "provisions of the constitution regarding CFSP should be applied as of now". The provisions to which he was referring, therefore, are not "projects alongside or outside the Constitution Treaty," as Kambeck asserts.

However, his response give a good indication as to how the "colleagues" will try to react if the ratification process fails. They will simply "move forward with political agreements" – presumably on a piecemeal basis so that we do not notice.

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