NEWS

Simitis in line for role in EU?

Former Prime Minister Costas Simitis has proposed that the EU form a special committee to present the benefits of the European Constitution, arguing that it is «of vital importance» that all member states ratify it. Ratification «affects both all individual states equally, as well as the Union in its entirety,» he wrote in a letter (dated June 26) to Irish PM Bertie Ahern which was made public yesterday. The Netherlands, which takes over the EU presidency today, will consider the question. Although Simitis did not propose himself as a member of the committee «of personalities which will have the support of the Council, the Commission and the Parliament,» he said, «I will, of course, be at your disposal for any help, should that be necessary.» PM Costas Karamanlis, in a letter to Simitis, said he had backed this proposal in talks with his EU counterparts in Istanbul and Brussels. «After my presentation at the Council, the other participants expressed agreement in principle,» he wrote.