Parliament will see to it that the final IGC text will correspond precisely to the mandate given by the EU government leaders. Mr Brok, who is one of three MEPs who participate in the IGC and who represented EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering at the opening, said that the EU must have the capacity to reform and to act globally. Therefore, he said, "the Parliament itself will also abstain from making any proposals to change the mandate, which must be non-negotiable."
At today's inaugural meeting, Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado presented a draft of the treaty changes, in the presence of EP representatives Elmar Brok , Enrique Barón Crespo (PES, ES) and Andrew Duff (ALDE, UK) as well as Commission President José Manuel Barroso. The three MEPs will represent the European Parliament in all meetings at ministerial level, while EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering will join the IGC whenever it meets at Heads of State and Government level.
Mr Barón Crespo stressed that he and his colleagues "will act as guardians of the spirit and substance of the Constitutional Treaty, this being the foundation of the IGC's work." He added that "we will take special care of the interests of citizens and the Charter of Fundamental Rights."
Mr Duff commented that "the Reform Treaty promises to be a great step forward for parliamentary democracy, for citizenship based on a modern regime of fundamental rights and values, and for stronger leadership at the European level." Therefore, he added, "there can be no excuse for further delay or backtracking. Europe urgently needs a better system of government and a greater capacity to act at home and abroad."