Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, June 17, 2005

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EU Constitution: Post Referenda
Gallegly Schedules Wednesday Hearing to Examine
Future of European Constitution and U.S.-EU Relations

BACKGROUND:  Prospects are uncertain for ratification of the constitution of the European Union by its 25 member nations following its rejection by voters in France and the Netherlands less than a month ago.  The constitution, announced with much fanfare a year ago, was rejected by voters who cited fears that it would undermine traditional social welfare protections and who expressed dissatisfaction with unpopular national governments, the EU bureaucracy, and continued EU enlargement.  Some experts assert that passage of the EU constitution would have positive implications for the U.S.-EU relationship because the new president and foreign minister positions are designed to promote an EU able to “speak with one voice” on foreign policy issues.  Such an EU would be a more credible partner for the United States in tackling common challenges such as terrorism and Middle East instability.  Other U.S. experts suggest that a unified EU would likely lessen Washington’s leverage on individual member nations and could complicate U.S. efforts to rally support for its initiatives in institutions such as the United Nations or NATO.  At the June 20th U.S.-EU summit in Washington, agenda items reportedly included promotion of transatlantic economic growth and integration; democracy and the Middle East; U.N. reform; cooperation on nonproliferation, counterterrorism, transport and border security; and development and humanitarian assistance, especially with regard to Africa.                                                                                              

WHAT:                                          Subcommittee Oversight Hearing: 
                                           The EU Constitution and U.S.-EU Relations: The Recent Referenda in France and
                                            the Netherlands and the U.S.-EU Summit

                                            Subcommittee on Europe and Emerging Threats,

                                           U.S. Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA), Chairman

WHEN:                                          2:15 p.m., Wednesday, June 22, 2005

WITNESSES:                                 H.E. Arlette Conzemius, Ambassador of Luxembourg; and
                                                        H.E. John Bruton
, Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Commission.

WHERE:                                        Room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

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