Schroeder to meet Kwasniewski

8th December 2003, Comments 0 comments

8 December 2003 , BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will have talks Thursday with Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski focused on differences over the upcoming European Union summit, the government said. Poland and Germany sharply disagree over national voting clout in a future European Union constitution. The two leaders will meet in Berlin on the eve of the 12 to 13 December EU Brussels summit aimed at hammering out a final pact among the 25 present and future member states. Germany insists

8 December 2003

BERLIN - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will have talks Thursday with Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski focused on differences over the upcoming European Union summit, the government said.

Poland and Germany sharply disagree over national voting clout in a future European Union constitution. The two leaders will meet in Berlin on the eve of the 12 to 13 December EU Brussels summit aimed at hammering out a final pact among the 25 present and future member states.

Germany insists the constitution include an EU voting system under which decisions could be made if 50 percent the bloc's members representing 60 percent of the population agree on an issue.

This "double majority" system is strongly opposed by Poland and Spain which under the current system have far more clout - 27 votes each, compared to 29 votes for Germany which has a far larger population. The current system was agreed in 2000 under the EU Nice Treaty.

Schroeder said Sunday after talks with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi that Germany would not budge on this issue and warned he was not willing to approve a new constitution "at any price."

The EU currently has 15 members. Poland is part of a group of 10 states from eastern Europe and the Mediterranean which will join the bloc on 1 May 2004.

Germany and other EU member states say the new constitution is vital in order to streamline decision-making in an enlarged Union.

DPA
Subject: German news

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