France Rejects Reference to Christianity in EU Constitution

May 24, 2004

Source: Yahoo! News

On May 24, 2004 Yahoo! News posted an Associated Press article that reported, "France said Monday it could not accept references to God and Christianity in a European Union constitution. France and Belgium have been most opposed to religious references in the charter, while Italy and Poland, backed by Pope John Paul II, want the charter to acknowledge Christianity's role. 'I think the text as is, is a balanced one,' said French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said. 'The text already includes a mention to heritage.' The 25 EU foreign ministers set down for a new session of negotiations, one week after talks failed to narrow deep differences over a constitutional draft, which should be finalized by the June 17-18 summit of government leaders. The constitution seeks to simplify decision-making in the EU and prevent a minority of states from blocking decisions."