Summary: August 29, 2005: EU Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner remarks on Iraqi draft Constitution (Brussels)
Following the presentation to the Iraqi Transitional National Assembly of the draft constitution, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner said:
“The political representatives of Iraq have made great efforts to find a common framework to accommodate the interests and aspirations of all parts of Iraqi society. Now the Iraqi people will have their say on the constitution. I hope they will make full use of their democratic rights and I invite all communities to promote an active debate across the broad spectrum of Iraqi society ahead of the referendum. The European Commission will continue to support efforts to reach out to all Iraqis”
Preparation for the October referendum will very much rely on effective outreach and awareness building among Iraqis. European expertise will be mobilised for these crucial activities. The European Commission is providing €20 million in support for the Iraqi constitutional process, including preparation for the constitutional referendum. This funding covers provision of European experts, outreach activities, media and information campaigns, civic education and promotion of public debate. The funds are channelled via the United Nations, which, with Iraq, is coordinating international support for the Constitution.
The Iraq International Conference which took place in Brussels last June confirmed the importance of pursuing the political process with the drafting and approval of a constitution and the holding of new elections in December as provided for in the UNSCR 1546 and the Transitional Administrative Law.