France and Spain close to agreement on simplified EU treaty

31st May 2007, Comments 0 comments

MADRID, May 31, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Thursday they were close to an agreement on a new simplified EU treaty proposed by France.

MADRID, May 31, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Thursday they were close to an agreement on a new simplified EU treaty proposed by France.

"We are in a position to be able to reach an agreement during the German presidency of the EU," Zapatero said during a joint news conference with Sarkozy in Madrid. Germany holds the rotating EU presidency until the end of June.

"Spain desires that there be a basic treaty which maintains its essential content but which allows all nations to join," he added.

Spain was the first country to vote in favour of a proposed constitution for the enlarged EU in a referendum in February 2005. Voters in France and the Netherlands rejected it a few months later.

Sarkozy, who took office earlier this month, has been pushing for a scaled-down version of the document which aims to streamline decision-making in the block.

"Regarding the content our positions are very close," he said in Madrid.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is trying to get member states to reach an agreement on the treaty agreement at an EU summit on June 21-22 and wants it to be ratified before elections to the European Parliament in 2009.

Spanish government officials have said they could accept a slimmed-down version of the text, but do not want it to be simply a technical document with all political elements stripped from it.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article