Huis Clos (aucune sortie)
"Second Empire furniture, I observe... Well, well, I dare say one gets used to it in time".
Work on the EU constitution is to begin again in an informal manner when a "wise" group of unelected politicians and officials from across Europe meet this weekend to see if they can come up with solutions to pull Europe out of its institutional impasse. (Euobserver)
Policy Networker Giuliano Amato, former Prime Minister of Italy and friend of Peter Mandelson and other now ousted leaders, is the driver behind the group which will have its first meeting in Rome on Saturday (30 September).
Supported by the un-elected European Commission which is sending two commissioners - Danuta Hubner (regional policy) and Margot Wallstom (communications) - the group also includes British ex-politician Chris Patten, former French foreign minister Michel Barnier, ex-German justice minister Otto Schily, former prime ministers Paavo Lipponen and Wim Kok of Finland and the Netherlands.
Un-elected European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso put the issue back on the political table earlier this week by saying that there will be no further enlargement until there is an institutional settlement.
Berlin takes over the EU presidency in January and supports a revival of the EU constitution.