Sunday, June 24, 2007

Angela Merkel’s Successful EU Summit in Brussels

Europe's Marathon Talks Clinched a Deal (smd/reuters/ap)* - Europe can breathe a sigh of relief after a marathon night of negotiations ended in a deal. After German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised the stakes by threatening to go ahead without Poland, Warsaw was finally placated with a number of concessions and all 27 countries agreed to move forward with a new draft treaty to replace the defunct constitution...

The compromise with Poland includes the postponement of the new voting system until 2014, and it will now not be fully implemented until 2017. In essence, it means the Poles can maintain their current level of influence in the EU for another 10 years. Under the current system Poland has 27 votes on the EU's decision-making council, compared with 29 for Germany, although its population is twice as big...

Blair, who leaves office on June 27 and who 10 years ago had pledged to place Britain in the heart of Europe, could go home with a deal which let London continue to control over its own national affairs. "The most important thing here is that the constitutional treaty was put to one side," Blair said on June 23. "This deal gives us a chance to move on."

* Excerpts of the linked article, dated June 23, 2007

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