EU constitution ‘won’t be ready for elections’

TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern admitted the European constitution will not be ready in time to be part of the European Parliament elections.

Addressing the parliament in Strasbourg yesterday, Mr Ahern said the shape of the constitution, which is designed to streamline EU decision-making, would be known by the June elections.

“We will try to have a lot of the issues cleared up before the elections.”

While there were about 20 issues to be finally agreed, Mr Ahern said he believed they could be resolved.

Munster Fianna Fáil MEP Gerard Collins urged the Taoiseach to ensure agreement was made on the constitution before the end of the Irish presidency.

“We need to be realistic. It could prove difficult to achieve in the medium term because the dynamics will change with at least half the commission and two thirds of the parliament being replaced. The Government must go the extra mile and strike an agreement now.”

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