Germany confirms EU deal


Summary

"It's done," an official says, after a round of difficult negotiations, focused on overcoming Polish resistance to reforms proposed in a draft treaty.

南宁桑拿

All 27 leaders – including Poland, which had staged fierce opposition to parts of the German proposal – agreed to a "very precise mandate" to draft a streamlined treaty that will guide and

govern the expanded EU, French President Nicolas Sarkozy says.

He says the drafting of the treaty will begin in coming months with the goal of having the rulebook in place by 2009.

"It is very good news for Europe, for France," the French leader says.

‘Good compromise for EU’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed a "good compromise" with Poland over the voting system.

Ms Merkel said the double majority voting system, which Poland strongly opposed because it fears it will give big countries too much decision-making power, would not be introduced until 2014 and would then be phased in over the next three years.

The chancellor, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, says the compromise on the voting mechanism was "what Poland desired".

Ms Merkel says the agreement would make an EU which has enlarged to 27 members capable of action.

"I was sure that if we had not achieved this today we would have ended up in a rather disastrous situation as many would have thought they had been pushed too far," Ms Merkel says.

"We have managed to organise things so that no one can go home and feel they have been put in the corner."

Germany reached its objective

Ms Merkel had made it a priority of her country's six-month EU presidency to come up with a viable plan for a treaty to replace the now-defunct EU charter that Dutch and French voters rejected two years ago.

"The most important thing here is that the constitutional treaty was put to one side.

“This deal gives us a chance to move on," British Prime Minister Tony Blair says.

Ms Merkel also said the summit agreement opens the way for further enlargement of the 27-nation bloc.

"Only through the fact that we have a good chance of having a new treaty in 2009 is the path open for further enlargement," she says.

Croatia and Turkey are negotiating for membership and Macedonia has received candidate status.

But several member states had said further expansion would not be possible until the EU reformed its creaking institutions, designed for a six-nation community.


"It's done," an official says, after a round of difficult negotiations, focused on overcoming Polish resistance to reforms proposed in a draft treaty.

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All 27 leaders – including Poland, which had staged fierce opposition to parts of the German proposal – agreed to a "very precise mandate" to draft a streamlined treaty that will guide and

govern the expanded EU, French President Nicolas Sarkozy says.

He says the drafting of the treaty will begin in coming months with the goal of having the rulebook in place by 2009.

"It is very good news for Europe, for France," the French leader says.

‘Good compromise for EU’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed a "good compromise" with Poland over the voting system.

Ms Merkel said the double majority voting system, which Poland strongly opposed because it fears it will give big countries too much decision-making power, would not be introduced until 2014 and would then be phased in over the next three years.

The chancellor, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, says the compromise on the voting mechanism was "what Poland desired".

Ms Merkel says the agreement would make an EU which has enlarged to 27 members capable of action.

"I was sure that if we had not achieved this today we would have ended up in a rather disastrous situation as many would have thought they had been pushed too far," Ms Merkel says.

"We have managed to organise things so that no one can go home and feel they have been put in the corner."

Germany reached its objective

Ms Merkel had made it a priority of her country's six-month EU presidency to come up with a viable plan for a treaty to replace the now-defunct EU charter that Dutch and French voters rejected two years ago.

"The most important thing here is that the constitutional treaty was put to one side.

“This deal gives us a chance to move on," British Prime Minister Tony Blair says.

Ms Merkel also said the summit agreement opens the way for further enlargement of the 27-nation bloc.

"Only through the fact that we have a good chance of having a new treaty in 2009 is the path open for further enlargement," she says.

Croatia and Turkey are negotiating for membership and Macedonia has received candidate status.

But several member states had said further expansion would not be possible until the EU reformed its creaking institutions, designed for a six-nation community.