On 11 November 1994 the Government parties - CDU, CSU and FDP - adopted the coalition agreement for the current legislative period. Point VIII on 'Europe and Foreign Policy - Security and Defence' defines the guidelines of the Federal Government's European policy. The government statement by Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl referred to these guidelines (2). The tasks of Germany's policy on Europe are accordingly as follows:
The most important objective of the Federal Government's European policy is consolidating the European Union through consistent application of the EU Treatyand further developing it both at home and abroad. Franco-German cooperation is of particular importance as the central element in the process of European integration. The Federal Government also calls for implementation of EMU with strict compliance with the convergence criteria set out in the Treaty on EU and with the timetable. The other priorities for the Federal Government are the CFSP, cooperation in the fields of justice and home affairs, the institutional development of the EU, implementation of the subsidiarity principle, prompt informing of Parliament of draft EU legislation, financial matters, the social dimension, the question of EU subsidies and European commercial policy.
Institutional development and the 1996 Intergovernmental Conference
The Federal Government has defined the objectives of institutional development as follows:
The following are seen as the priority areas for the 1996 Intergovernmental Conference:
On 21 February 1995 Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel set out the underlying philosophy behind the Federal Government's priorities for the 1996 Intergovernmental Conference (3).
With regard to relations between the CFSP and the WEU, on 9 March 1995, Mr Kinkel called for the EU to be merged with the defence alliance (5).
The EU must be able to take effective action and make a rapid response in terms of the common foreign and security policy. The Federal Government therefore supports:
Appearing before the Bundestag on 22 June 1995, Mr Kinkel stated that the European Union should extend majority voting to CFSP matters. In his view, no Member State should be forced to take part in a military mission, but all members of the Union should be obliged to provide logistical and financial support to decisions taken by a majority.
Speaking in Brussels on 8 June 1995, the German Defence Minister Volker Rühe affirmed that European foreign and security policy could no longer remain separate from the defence policy dimension and its military instruments. He also stressed that the long-term goal was the fusion of the WEU with the European Union and that the whole process formed part of the transatlantic framework. In Mr Rühe's view, the IGC should consider the following provisions:
Justice and home affairs
In addition to implementing the Schengen Agreement, and the agreement on external frontiers which is based on Schengen, the Federal Government regards the following as its priority areas in this respect:
Financial matters and economic and monetary union
The Federal Government calls for the financial decisions taken by the European Council in Edinburgh to become the own resources system. In particular, it calls for an assessment of gross contributions on the basis of the calculation of VAT and the gross domestic product of the Member States. The Federal Government also wants a greater flow of budget appropriations back to Germany and more efficient control of fraud and auditing. The Federal Government rejects any watering down of the convergence criteria for EMU.
The social dimension
The Federal Government supports participation by all Member States in the agreement on social policy. With regard to implementation of framework legislation on social policy, the Federal Government will not tolerate any watering down of German social standards. For this reason, and with a view to further development of the common social policy, the Federal Government calls for harmonization of minimum social standards.
In the opinion of the Federal Government, implementation of the principle of subsidiarity should be one of the main features of the 1996 Conference. In this connection the Federal Government will extend the 'subsidiarity list', whereby existing legal provisions of the EU are tested for their compatibility with Article 3b TEU, and, where appropriate, will propose that they be rescinded. At the 1996 Conference the Federal Government will work towards a precise definition of the respective areas of competence of the EU and the Member States. The coalition agreement refers to tourism and disaster protection as examples of areas where existing Community powers need to be examined for their compatibility with the principle of subsidiarity. In the opinion of the Federal Government, Article 3b of the TEU should be tightened up to reverse the burdenof proof by deleting the words '... and can therefore, by reason of the scale or effects of the proposed action, be better achieved by the Community'.
Joint declaration of 15 July 1995 by the German and Italian Foreign Ministers regarding the 1996 IGC
Letter of 6 December 1995 from the President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac, and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Helmut Kohl
Common foreign and security policy: guidelines adopted by the Foreign Ministers of France and Germany at the Freiburg seminar of 27 February 1996
This document was submitted by the German Foreign Minister, Mr Klaus Kinkel, on 26 March 1996 on the eve of the Turin European Council. The first part of the text refers to the IGC as the starting point for a 'European political agenda for the year 2000'. The German document begins from the position that the European Union has been a success, as it has brought Europe four decades of peace, stability, prosperity and good neighbourly relations, and has also been a factor of major importance for the German economy, as well as having made German unification possible. The text points to the enormous challenges now facing Europe in the context of the globalization of the world economy, and stresses the need for internal and external changes in Europe with a view to adapting to the demands of this dramatic structural change in the world economy. ASEAN, NAFTA and Mercosur are cited as instances where the European model has followed. Also considered are the demands of the Union's citizens, especially as regards prosperity, job security, the preservation of external peace, the maintenance of internal security and the protection of natural resources. As the key elements for the 'European political agenda for the year 2000' which the EU will have to prepare for the transition into the twenty-first century, the document lists: the 1996 IGC as a starting-point; the decisions to be adopted in early 1998 with a view to completing EMU; the opening of the accession negotiations with the countries of central and eastern Europe and Malta and Cyprus (to begin six months after the close of the IGC); and the decisions to be made concerning the Union's financial situation and the own-resources system after the year 2000. Other key elements cited are the reform of the structural policies and the CAP and investment in areas vital to Europe's future, such as research, technology, etc.
The German government's text argues that this accumulation of objectives is comparable, in terms of strategic importance and complexity, only to the founding phase of the Community. Germany therefore considers, as far as the IGC is concerned, that it is vital to avoid any risk of overloading the Conference:it must concentrate on what is essential, especially as regards the workings of the Union, while at the same time safeguarding its internal and external security, preparing it for expansion and bringing the Union closer to the public. The IGC must be conceived from the correct angle: it is not the final point of European integration, but simply one more of its stages. The objectives for the IGC must be approached realistically, with the goal of obtaining a more operational Union and not jeopardizing the European policy objectives already mentioned as forming the 'agenda 2000'.
Concerning Germany's objectives for the IGC, the second part of the text bases the, on the coalition agreement and on the joint letter of Chancellor Kohl and President Chirac of 6 December 1996. These objectives may be summarized as follows, as far as the CFSP is concerned: the reinforcement of the policy's effectiveness, coherence, continuity, solidarity and visibility (Germany thus favours the creation of a planning and analysis unit, under the aegis of a CFSP secretariat answerable to the Council); extension of qualified majority voting, but with unanimity being retained for certain areas, such as the projection of operational capacities; integration of the WEU into the EU in the medium term; inclusion of a 'political solidarity' clause in the Treaty; incorporation of the Petersberg Declaration in the TEU; and the development of a common policy on weapons.
For the third pillar (CJHA), Germany stresses that the public expects progress on the front of action against transnational crime and drug trafficking. The German government supports: closer police cooperation, with the long-term objective of creating a European police office with operational powers; harmonization of civil and criminal legislation; bringing visa and asylum policy, customs cooperation and immigration under the Community pillar; extending the Union's responsibilities in the areas of action against xenophobia and racism and fraud against the Community budget; and a greater consultative role for the Commission, the Court of Justice and the European Parliament.
With respect to subsidiarity, European citizenship, democracy and transparency, the German government proposes that the principle of subsidiarity should be incorporated in a protocol to be annexed to the Treaty.
Finally, on the subject of differentiated integration, Germany advocates a model of flexible integration which would not exclude any Member State from joining a hypothetical 'vanguard' group. It also favours introducing the double majority principle for voting in Council, reducing the number of commissioners and, generally, any formula that ensures that the EU troika always includes at least one of the larger Member States.
The German Länder have to be involved in the preparatory work to establish the German position for the 1996 Intergovernmental Conference. The views of the Länder are being developed in Länder working parties, at the Conference of Ministers of European Affairs and the Conference of Prime Ministers of Länder and, of course, in the Bundesrat.
Rhineland-Palatinate and Bavaria are the rapporteurs for the Länder for the 1996 Conference (A Rhineland-Palatinate representative will be the senior negotiating party since the SPD-controlled Länder have a majority in the Bundesrat). Mr Karl-Heinz Klär, Rhineland-Palatinate delegate to the Federal Government and for Europe, will represent the interests of the Länder at the 1996 Conference. On 3 March 1995 he submitted to EU Commissioner Oreja the conclusions of the Conference of Ministers of European Affairs of 16 February 1995, the substance of which is as follows:
Mr Klär reiterated the negotiating position of the Länder in an interview with the 'Europäische Zeitung' (No 4, April 1995):
Furthermore, on 24 June 1995, the Ministers of European Affairs of the sixteen Länder, meeting in Würzburg, adopted a document on the IGC in which they declared themselves in favour of greater use of majority voting in the Council (with the population criterion being introduced), limiting the number of Commissioners and drawing up a list of powers at Union, national and local level.
On the basis of the conclusions of the Conference of Ministers of European Affairs of 16 February 1995, on 31 March 1995 the Bundesrat adopted a decision on the preparations for the 1996 Intergovernmental Conference. No substantial changes were made to the conclusions of the Conference of Ministers of European Affairs (6).
The most recent position expressed by the Bundestag on the IGC is its resolution of 7 December 1995. This resolution, approved at the end of a major debate on Germany's European policy, reflects a wide-ranging consensus based on the linking of the subjects of widening and deepening (8).
Of the various positions taken by the German parties in relation to the IGC, particular mention should be made of the proposals recently presented by the CDU/CSU group in the Bundestag, which constitutes the political and parliamentary base of the present government led by Mr Helmut Kohl (9).
On 1 September 1994 the CDU/CSU Group in the Bundestag proposed a wide-ranging reform of the European Union aimed at making its institutions more democratic and making it possible for new members from the countries of eastern Europe to join in the near future. The plan advocates a multi-speed Europe and states that a key aim would be to move Germany away from the dangers of nationalism and transform it into a focus of stability at the heart of Europe, since such stability would benefit both Germany and Europe.
The document, largely the work of Karl Lamers, CDU Group spokesman on international policy, was presented by Wolfgang Schäuble, chairman of the CDU/CSU Group in the Bundestag, who is seen in political circles as a close ally of Chancellor Kohl. The document is thus regarded as politically significant, particularly since it was presented at a time when Germany held the Council presidency.
The programme presented by Mr Schäuble contains a package of five proposals:
The document also proposes combating organized crime; establishing a common policy on migration; combating unemployment; establishing a common social policy; guaranteeing Europe's continued competitiveness and protecting the environment.
1. More specifically, on the question of institutional development, the CDU/CSU document proposes the following objectives:
To this end, and in order to prevent the dynamics of intergovernmental cooperation from leading to a 'Europe à la carte', the CDU/CSU document suggests that the concept of 'variable geometry' or a 'multi-speed Europe' be institutionalized and enshrined in the quasi-constitutional document mentioned above. It also considers it vital that no country should be able to exercise its right of veto to block the efforts of other countries which are able and wish to go further in the process of European integration.
2. On the question of strengthening the 'hard core' of the European Union, the CDU/CSU document recommends that the process of integration should be led by a 'hard core' of five Member States (Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg), cooperation between which should focus on the new policies established in the EU Treaty. The document stresses that this 'hard core' would be open to the possibility of including other countries such as Spain, Italy and the UK once they had resolved 'current problems' and if they wished to take part in the project.
The basic idea is to provide the Union with a compact centre which would counteract the centrifugal tendencies arising from successive enlargements and prevent a North-South alignment.
3. On the question of intensifying Franco-German relations, the CDU/CSU document states that any significant action in the fields of EU foreign or internal policy should be preceded by prior consultation between the two countries. In particular, it calls for France to respond to the clear and unequivocal proposals put forward by Germany on the Union's institutional and political development before enlargement with equally clear and unequivocal decisions so that the political quality of cooperation between the two countries would issue from a serious and open dialogue.
4. On the question of strengthening the Union's ability to act under the CFSP, the CDU/CSU document calls for a strategic concept of the CFSP which clearly defines common objectives and interests, conditions and procedures and the necessary political, economic and financial means. The document lists the following priority areas of action for the CFSP:
The document further stresses the urgent need to create a common European defence, which should be brought about immediately without awaiting the circumstances envisaged in the EU Treaty. NATO should be converted into an alliance in which Europe, the United States and Canada would have equal weight and form a combined whole able to carry out effective action; to this end, the 1996 IGC should reorganize relations between the European Union and the WEU in accordance with Article J.4(6) of the TEU.
5. On the question of enlargement to the East, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia might join the European Union around the year 2000. The document makes a number of proposals in this connection. At all events, such enlargement should be accompanied by intensified cooperation with Russia.
The CDU/CSU document aroused strong reactions for a variety of reasons, particularly in connection with the idea of the 'hard core', but it was initially without doubt the most constructive and interesting political standpoint adopted in Germany on the subject of the forthcoming 1996 IGC.
On 13 June 1995, the Steering Committee of the CDU/CSU Group in the Bundestag submitted the new document analysed below as its contribution to the debate on the 1996 Intergovernmental Conference in the field of the second pillar of the Union.
Again, the main author is Karl Lamers, whose manifesto presented on 1 September 1994 gave rise to the debate on the issue of differentiated integration.
The discussion paper on the second pillar of the European Union states that a central aim of the 1996 Intergovernmental Conference should be to strengthen substantially the Union's ability to act in the field of foreign and security policy. In addition, a common defence policy and a common defence should be an integral part of the CFSP. With a view to guaranteeing the territorial integrity of the EU Member States and ensuring that such a guarantee should be the same for all the countries, the document proposes that all EU member countries should join NATO. NATO remained the indispensable basis of European security but Europeans should take on a greater share of responsibility in the tasks of the alliance. Starting from the premise that national states can now guarantee the external security of their own citizens only to a limited extent, the document affirms that the EU's ability to make its own military contribution to maintaining peace in Europe and protecting its citizens against external pressures represents a vital element of the EU's identity, in which the identity of each Member States should nevertheless be ensured.
The second part of the document affirms that the priority tasks of the CFSP are determined by the new challenges facing Europe today. Specifically, the document lists three principle and most urgent tasks and challenges: establishment of a European peace order, establishment of a genuine Euro-Mediterranean partnership and development of a broader transatlantic link. In this context, the document proposes that the first countries of central and eastern Europe to fulfil the economic and political conditions should be admitted to the European Union shortly after the entry into force of the revised Treaty around the year 2000. Such countries might enjoy transitional periods as in the past, while the remaining countries of central and eastern Europe should be offered concrete prospects of membership at a later date. The document takes the view that such an approach would enable a close link to be established between this timetable and the opening up of NATO, highlighting the correlation between the two stages of integration, although it would be possible to join NATO before becoming a member of the EU. Further east, in relation to Russia, the document proposes establishing a wide-ranging and balanced partnership between the EU and Russia which would go even further than the cooperation agreement signed between the EU and Russia and the partnership for peace agreement between NATO and Russia. The document also highlights the importance of EU relations with Turkey, taking the view that the customs union is important and necessary, and declares itself in favour of developing good neighbourly relations with the countries of the Mediterranean basin from the Middle East to North Africa with a view to guaranteeing economic, political and social stability in the area. The document also recognizes the stabilizing role played by the United States in Europe and proposes strengthening the transatlantic alliance by consolidating the European pillar and establishing a broader transatlantic link in the political, economic and security fields.
The third part of the document affirms that the 1996 IGC should create four conditions necessary for the success of the CFSP: improved decision-making process; measures on institutional organization; guarantee on funding; and an agreement on a common defence policy and common defence. Strengthening the Union's ability to act should also be accompanied by a parallel development of the corresponding instruments of parliamentary control.
On the question of improving the decision-making process, the document stresses that the political will to take joint action is the key condition for a European foreign policy and takes the view that the current decision-making process required for joint action is the main cause of the CFSP's weakness. Consequently, the document reaffirms two objectives. Firstly, foreign and security policy issues which have no military aspects should be resolved under the qualified majority system with the introduction of a double majority system, i.e. a majority of states and a majority of the population represented by those states. Secondly, all decisions on foreign and security policy issues with military implications, specifically use of military means, must be taken in such a way as to ensure that a minority of Member States cannot prevent the majority from committing themselves to joint action and that no country is obliged to take part in joint action against its will. This includes the possibility that only some of the EU Member States might undertake joint actions under the auspices of the Council, and non-participating states would be obliged to demonstrate solidarity by, inter alia, contributing to the joint funding of such action.
On the question of measures relating to institutional organization, the document proposes, firstly, the urgent creation of an appropriate permanent body, which it does not define but which would be responsible for analysing, planning, proposing and monitoring the execution of Council decisions in the field of the CFSP. Secondly, while guaranteeing the Union's institutional balance, the document proposes that the resources already existing in the Commission, the Council, the WEU and, above all, the Member States be combined so that appropriate proposals might be submitted to the Council in good time, in agreement with the Commission, with a view to implementing the CFSP and monitoring the application of provisions by the Council. Furthermore, such resources should also be combined so that, in cases of crisis and conflict, proposals for action can be submitted to the Council as soon as possible, together with a precise assessment of their political implications and consequences. Finally, these combined resources should make it possible to ensure that the EU adopts a concerted position vis-à-vis third parties. Nevertheless, the document does not declare itself in favour of any of the specific options or models currently being discussed in the EU, merely noting that any solution adopted by the IGC should encompass the three criteria listed above and prepare the way for increased application of Community provisions.
On the question of guaranteed funding for the CFSP, the document affirms that the EU budget should set aside appropriations for the CFSP, particularly as regards operating expenditure arising from joint action, which should be decided on a case-by-case basis.
The document goes on to discuss defence policy and a common European defence, declaring itself in favour of bringing defence within the scope of the EU in future. The aim of such a common European defence policy and common European defence would be to enable the EU to make its own contribution to safeguarding peace and security in Europe and protecting its members against external pressures. In particular, the document proposes integrating the WEU into the EU in the medium term. To this end, it proposes that the IGC should draw up a fixed timetable for such integration.
The document declares that a European identity in the field of security and defence policy would strengthen the transatlantic alliance. NATO would remain the indispensable basis of security in Europe, but the document also proposes a series of basic principles for putting a European defence into action. Firstly, the EU's basic decisions on security policy would have to take account of transatlantic interests. Secondly, responsibility for collective defence rests with the Atlantic Alliance. Thirdly, the EU and the WEU would make their own contribution by means of the military measures envisaged in the Petersberg Declaration, where NATO did not wish to act but where the interest of the European Union required concerted action; in such cases, the European armed forces committed to such actions under the CFSP should remain under European command. As a fourth principle, the document affirms that the policy of enlarging the European Union, the WEU and NATO should be based on the principle of equal security, and proposes that the accession of new Member States to the EU, the WEU and NATO should take place simultaneously.
The document also stresses that priority should be given to the following tasks with a view to integrating the WEU into the EU: ensuring that the WEU had full operative capabilities for the tasks set out in the Petersberg Declaration; establishing a close organizational link between the WEU and the EU, in particular a clearly defined European decision-making structure for the military measures required for crisis management; guaranteeing the interoperability of armed forces and joint provision of equipment, which would include harmonizing the export policies of EU Member States. On the specific question of the WEU's operational capacity, the WEU should be developed into a common defence structure capable of putting the actions set out in the Petersberg Declaration into practice and open to the participation of associated members, associated partners and observers on a case-by-case basis. Establishing an operational capacity for the EU via the WEU would involve implementing the concept of combined joint forces enabling members of the WEU or a coalition of members of the EU to make their own contribution to peace-keeping and humanitarian missions using joint installations and NATO capacity after consulting the North Atlantic Council, but always under European command. Regarding the close organizational link between the EU and the WEU, in particular decision-making structures in a crisis, the document proposes that the European Council be granted the necessary competence to draw up general guidelines for European defence; that a uniform decision-making structure be set up at senior political level in the EU in cases of crisis, while the WEU's role would be restricted to that of an executive body acting in accordance with political instructions issued by the EU; that a close organizational link be established between the WEU secretariat and the permanent body for the CFSP referred to above; and finally that the WEU planning cell should provide back-up for the EU Planning and Analysis Unit in the field of foreign policy.
Lastly, the document declares itself in favour of parallel development of parliamentary control mechanisms and increasing the Union's ability to act. Given that the introduction of majority decision-making would reduce the monitoring opportunities of national parliaments, the document proposes that the monitoring functions carried out by the European Parliament in connection with the CFSP be extended beyond their current limits along the following lines: firstly, the European Parliament should be consulted before the European Council adopts any general guidelines on foreign and security policy; secondly, the European Parliament should be informed where the Council takes a decision on foreign and security policy by a qualified majority.
This discussion document of the Steering Committee of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag on developing the bases of Community policy in the field of the third pillar is also largely the work of Karl Lamers. The document affirms that the basic aim is to bring Member States' policies on justice and home affairs closer together, for the structures pertaining to the rule of law in the Community to be harmonized and for an impetus to be given to the Union's constitutional policy.
The second section of the document concerns extending the provisions of the rule of law at European level. The main proposals set out in the document are: firstly, progressively extending Community procedures to certain areas of justice and home affairs, so as to overcome the inefficiency and sluggishness of the current procedure based on intergovernmental cooperation. Secondly, all the fields included in Article K.1 should be placed on a firmer institutional basis; in this context, the principle of mutual administrative and judicial assistance of national authorities and courts in all the Member States represents the best way of guaranteeing a greater degree of integration. Thirdly, the document proposes progressively attributing rights of initiative to the Commission on matters covered by Article K.1 of the Treaty in order to strengthen the identification of supranational interests; subsequently, in specific fields such as asylum policy, there should be a progressive transition from intergovernmental cooperation to Community competence in the Council, which would adopt its decisions by a majority as defined in Article 148 of the Treaty; where the Community procedure could not yet be applied, the European Parliament should be granted a general right of compulsory prior consultation in all the areas covered by Article K.1 of the EU Treaty. Fourthly, the document declares itself in favour of implementing an integrated system which would make it possible to combat crime at European level; given the absence of a Union penal code or criminal justice procedure at Union level, the document proposes approximating and harmonizing the definition of the constituent elements of a punishable offence and the procedure applicable as far as possible, which would apply to serious cases of international crime such as terrorism, stockpiling arms, trafficking in human beings and money laundering; as regards the police, the document advocates more effective powers for EUROPOL and, for the crimes listed above, transforming it into a European police investigation office, calling for the EUROPOL Convention to be concluded promptly.
The document also discusses uniform legislation on border crossing, asylum policy, refugees and immigration. In all these areas the document proposes making the current legislation of the Member States as uniform as possible whiletaking account of the geographical and geopolitical differences between each of them. The document affirms that key issues arising from asylum, visa and immigration policy can be resolved only at Community level, taking the view that the Schengen method, i.e. conventions which must be ratified by national policies, is not sufficient to meet the challenges posed in such areas. The document therefore proposes that all these areas be integrated as far as possible into the Community sphere of competence by amending or supplementing the Treaty or, at the very least, harmonizing the various national legal systems and their fields of competence to a greater extent. The cooperation already embarked on in accordance with the provisions of Article K of the EU Treaty and Article 100c of the EC Treaty should provide a basis for common regulations and measures, in particular in the field of asylum policy, controls on the crossing of borders by persons and the fight against illegal immigration, and in areas such as drugs trafficking and other serious forms of international crime.
The document also sets out further measures aimed at constitutional integration. It affirms that, over the coming decade, the EU should gradually move from a Community based on law to a constitutional Community. This evolution should be based on the specific Community law emanating from the Treaties so that, in the long term, the Community and EU Treaties should be progressively transformed into a kind of constitutional Treaty. At all events, current Community legislation should be developed further under the aspect of constitutional policy and should be supplemented in an appropriate manner. In particular, in addition to strengthening the powers of the European Parliament as described above, the document underlines the importance of guaranteeing full democratic equality between all the citizens of the Union as regards the electoral law governing elections to the European Parliament. The document also calls for fundamental rights to be made as uniform as possible so as to make progress on a people's Europe. In this context it declares itself in favour of the European Union formally acceding to the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Finally, the document discusses the subsidiarity principle. It affirms that this principle should be observed and applied as regards both planned legislation and questions of procedure. Some of the powers conferred on the European Union by the Treaties should be examined in the light of the subsidiarity principle and, if appropriate, transferred back to national level. On the question of procedural matters, the European Union should make use of regulations only where a directive would be insufficient, since directives enable Member States to take greater account of specific national features and differences and, in the majority of cases, are more compatible with the subsidiarity principle than regulations.
The two documents on the second and third pillars outlined above were approved by the executive bodies of the CDU/CSU at their meeting of 13 June 1995 in Berlin. Meeting in Bonn on 4 July 1995, the CDU Federal Bureau subsequently debated and approved its guidelines on European affairs with a view to preparing the 1996 IGC. These guidelines will be submitted to the Federal Conference of the CDU for approval in October. The guidelines in the latter CDU document, drawn up by the leader of the CDU/CSU members within the PPE Group of the European Parliament, Mr Rinsche, and the Secretary of State in the Chancellery, Mr Pfeiffer, do not differ from the two documents on the second and thirdpillars analysed in the previous section. Nevertheless, the document setting out guidelines on European affairs also includes further chapters. On the decision- making procedure for areas coming under the first pillar, the general rule proposed is that the Council would decide by a majority except on questions affecting taxes, finances, enlargement and amendments to the Treaty, where voting by unanimity should be maintained. With regard to economic and monetary union, the document does not propose any date for the start of the third phase, but it underlines the importance for Germany of the establishment of an integrated European economic area. The document also comments on the application of the subsidiarity principle, taking the same view as the document analysed above. The powers of the European Parliament should be extended so as to make it a co-legislative body enjoying the same powers as the Council. The number of legislative proposals should be reduced, simplified and made more open; the codecision procedure between Parliament and the Council should be improved and simplified. Parliament should also be given a greater part in the decision-making process and consulted to a greater extent on matters concerning intergovernmental cooperation. Finally, the document comments on the enlargement of the European Union to include the countries of central and eastern Europe, but does not differ from the views already expressed by the second CDU/CSU document on the second pillar.
Bulletin of the Federal Government Press and Information Office, No 108, 24 November 1994, pp. 990-991
(3) English summary in Agence Europe of 22 February 1995
(4) VWD-Europa: Monday, 20 February 1995, p. 5
(5) VWD-Europa: Thursday, 9 March 1995, p. 2
(6) Bundesrat, Reference 169/95 (decision) of 31.3.1995
(7) For more detailed information on the content of the Bundestag resolution of 7 December 1995 and the Bundesrat resolution of 31 March 1995 and current parliamentary work in the Bundestag, cf. note on the state of discussions in the national parliaments on the 1996 IGC (rev. 9 of 14 February 1996, published by the Division for Relations with the Member State Parliaments).
(8) For an analysis of the elements of consensus among the German political parties deriving from the Bundestag resolution of 7 December 1995, cf. op. cit., pp. 5-6.
(9) For an analysis of the elements of consensus existing among the German parties arising from the Bundestag resolution of 7 December 1995, cf. ibid., pp. 5-6.
Europaen Parliament, last revised: 18 September 1996
URL : http://../igc/en/pos-de.htm