LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EUROPE OF THE FUTURE
THE POLITICAL AGENDA FOR EUROPE
The European Council identified the challenges which the Member
States of the European Union must meet in order to prepare Europe
for the 21st century. In the next five years, we must:
- carry out adjustments to the Treaty on European Union;
- make the transition to a single currency in line with the timetable
and conditions set;
- prepare for and carry out the enlargement negotiations with
the associated countries of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe
which have applied for membership;
- determine, in parallel, the financial perspective beyond 31
- contribute to establishing the new European security architecture;
- actively continue the policy of dialogue, cooperation and association
already under way with the Union's neighbouring countries, and
in particular with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the Mediterranean
Success in all these tasks will mean that a large community enjoying
the benefits of freedom, prosperity and stability can be set up
THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONFERENCE
- The European Council received with great interest the Report
by the Reflection Group, chaired by Mr Westendorp (Annex 15),
which had been instructed by the European Council to prepare for
the 1996 Intergovernmental Conference. It considers that the
guidelines distilled within the Group, following a thorough analysis
of the internal and external challenges facing the Union and the
possible responses, constitute a sound basis for the work of the Conference.
- The Intergovernmental Conference will have to examine those
provisions of the Treaty on European Union review of which is
expressly called for in the Treaty, as well as those questions
which it was decided should be discussed by the Conference, both
in the Brussels and Corfu European Council conclusions and in
declarations adopted at the time of interinstitutional agreements.
The European Council also reaffirms the guidelines laid down
at its Cannes meeting. The Intergovernmental Conference will,
in general, have to examine the improvements which will have to
be made to the Treaties to bring the Union into line with today's
realities and tomorrow's requirements, in the light of the outcome
of the Reflection Group's proceedings.
- The European Council agrees that the formal review procedure
stipulated in Article N of the Treaty will be carried out as quickly
as possible so that the Conference can be officially opened in
Turin on 29 March. The European Council takes note of the intention
of the forthcoming Italian Presidency to adopt appropriate measures
for preparing the Conference.
- The Conference will meet regularly, in principle once a month,
at the level of Foreign Affairs Ministers, who will have responsibility
for all proceedings; preparations will be conducted by a working
party made up of a representative of each Member State's Minister
for Foreign Affairs and of the President of the Commission.
The SecretaryGeneral of the Council will make the necessary
arrangements to provide secretarial support for the Conference.
- The European Parliament will be closely associated with the
work of the Conference so that it is both briefed regularly and
in detail on the progress of the discussions and can give its
point of view, where it considers this necessary, on all matters
under discussion. The detailed arrangements for such association
will be determined by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs in line
with the provisions which apply to the review of the Treaties.
- The representatives of those countries of Central and Eastern
Europe which have concluded Europe Agreements, and of Malta and
Cyprus, will be briefed regularly on the progress of discussions
and will be able to put their points of view at meetings with
the Presidency of the European Union to be held, in principle,
every two months. The European Economic Area and Switzerland
will also be briefed.
[Madrid European Council]