Sunday, November 30, 2003

Initial indications show that the meeting of the EU foreign ministers, negotiating the draft of the European Constitution, achieved institutional agreements that shored up the text. The agreement on defence is detailed below and, in addition, ministers gainedcommon ground on arguments over foreign policy and the structure of the EU Commission.

Due to the removal of sanctions from the Stability and Growth Pact at Franco-German behest, the smaller countries gained their demands of one commissioner apiece, leading to an unwieldy and overpopulated Commission.

The meeting was unable to overcome divisions on overturning the voting powers enshrined in the Nice Treaty with Spain and Poland opposing any dilution of their votes and Germany demanding a greater say as the most populous power in Europe. The Italians suggested postponing the issue for some years without success.

(21.25, 30th November 2003)


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