EU ministers to meet in Poland in summit's wake

21st June 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 June 2005, WARSAW - Senior German, French and British foreign ministry officials are scheduled to meet in Warsaw next week for talks in the wake of failed E.U. budget talks, Polish officials said on Tuesday.

21 June 2005

WARSAW - Senior German, French and British foreign ministry officials are scheduled to meet in Warsaw next week for talks in the wake of failed E.U. budget talks, Polish officials said on Tuesday.

Germany's Joschka Fischer, France's Phillipe Douste-Blazy and Britain's Minister of State for Europe Douglas Alexander are to meet with Poland's Adam Daniel Rotfeld at an annual diplomatic gathering.

Although Warsaw invited the ministers prior to last week's E.U. summit fiasco, spokesman Aleksander Checko said the meeting would be "an ideal occasion to discuss what occurred in Brussels and how to overcome it".

"We want to play the role of a mediator, because we have the most to lose in this conflict," an unnamed Polish diplomat told Poland's Rzeczpospolita daily.

"We are close to Britain where liberal economic reforms and enlargement are concerned and close to Germany and France if we speak about building a political Europe and maintaining structural aid," the official said.

As the largest of the bloc's 10 new members, Poland stood to receive over EUR 60 billion in the compromise 2007-13 budget proposed by the Luxembourg presidency of the E.U.

The spending plan failed over Britain's refusal to budge on its budget rebate and the unwillingness of France and Germany to reform farm subsidies, which gobble up some 40 per cent of the bloc's annual spending.

French and German farmers receive the greatest share of those benefits.

Britain appears poised to push reform of the bloc's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) during its six-month stint as E.U. rotating president which begins July 1.

The budget spat follows the rejection of the bloc's proposed constitutional treaty by France and the Netherlands.

DPA

Subject: German news

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