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E.U. Constitution Debate

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Tim FranksTim Franks
European Union Foreign Ministers are holding talks in Brussels in an attempt to make progress on agreeing a new constitution for Europe by the middle of June.

LISTEN
MONDAY:
Is the EU about to become a 'superstate'?
LISTEN
TUESDAY:
'Will an EU constitution be a charter for centralisation of power?'
LISTEN
WEDNESDAY:            Will the new EU constitution make the mechanics of the European Parliament easier to understand?
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THURSDAY:     Can Britain win the battle to have the 'Charter of Fundamental Rights' excluded from the European constitution?
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FRIDAY:                       What will happen if the E.U member states fail to agree on the content of a new constitution?
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Did you know you can vote for a pan-European politician in the forthcoming elections? Tim Franks.
Jack Straw and the constitution

Jack Straw is "batting for Britain".
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Can 25 countries 
become a superstate?

Jack Straw negotiates

Britain is keen to negotiate certain issues.
The decision announced in April to hold a referendum on the European Union constitution has been described as the biggest U-turn of Tony Blair's premiership. Only one thing, we don't actually have an EU constitution yet - the final text has not been agreed.

EU leaders last tried back in December, that failed amid some acrimony. Now EU foreign ministers are beginning their first meeting of the year on the issue. The aim is to have it all agreed and signed by the middle of next month.

But what does the constitution really mean, will it mean greater centralisation, an end to 1,000 years of national self-determination as some in Britain see it, or will it succeed just in bringing Europe closer to the people -helping people understand better what the EU does and allowing the EU simply to do its job better?

Over the course of the week our Europe Correspondent Tim Franks examines what the text of the proposed constitution actually means.

MONDAY:
'Is the EU is about to become a superstate?'

TUESDAY:
'Will an EU constitution be a charter for centralisation of power?'

WEDNESDAY:
Will the new EU constitution make the mechanics of the European Parliament easier to understand?

THURSDAY:
Can Britain win the battle to havethe 'Charter of Fundamental Rights' excluded from the European Constitution?

FRIDAY:
What will happen if the E.U member states fail to agree on the content of a new constitution?

Some of the details to be thrashed out...

The powers of the European Union are limited. They do not have any power to raise tax, and are unable to declare war. However there is a momentum to cement relations and increase the powers of thealliance that has recently increased to25 members.

* There will be a President and a Foreign Minister - but what will these roles entail?
* Will the European Union law have primacy over national law?
* Will the powers of the EU Supreme Court increase?


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