§ Lord Stoddart of Swindon
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to their statements that the proposed additions to the existing treaty provisions of the European Communities and Union do not alter the fundamental relationship between them and member states, whether their opinion is compatible with the proposed additional Article III-246 (Cm 5897, p. 120) that would permit decisions of the Council of Ministers currently requiring unanimity to be regarded as unanimous, even if there is abstention in, or absence from, such meetings by any representative of any member state. [HL4744]
§ Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean
Article III-246(3) of the draft Constitutional Treaty provides thatAbstentions by members present in person or represented shall not prevent the adoption by the Council of Ministers of acts which require unanimity.This corresponds to Article 205(3) of the Treaty establishing the European Community, which states that:Abstentions by Members present in person or represented shall not prevent the adoption by the Council of acts which require unanimity.The draft Constitutional Treaty therefore makes no change to the existing treaty provisions.