France warns against EU break-up

20th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 19 (AFP) - French European Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna on Sunday warned EU countries tempted to go it alone after the latest crisis summit to seek a consensus rather than a break-up of the 25-nation bloc.

PARIS, June 19 (AFP) - French European Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna on Sunday warned EU countries tempted to go it alone after the latest crisis summit to seek a consensus rather than a break-up of the 25-nation bloc.  

"We need to think together, but debate openly, in a consensual way and without a break-up, on what we want for Europe in five years, 10 years, 30 or 50 years," Colonna said on France Inter radio.  

"We have to define together, and I mean together, all 25, what the Europe of tomorrow could be. All together and not at the will of a few," she said.  

British Prime Minister Tony Blair appealed Saturday for "a fundamental debate about the future of Europe and its direction" after rejecting a compromise on the bloc's budget for 2007-13 at the summit, which broke down in acrimony.  

"Britain, which takes over the presidency (of the European Union) from July 1 will have a heavy responsibility to ensure that Europe gets back running after playing a part in the summit's failure," she said.  

"One cannot say that (the summit on Thursday and Friday) was a success for anybody, or even a success for the British prime minister. There is no success for anybody when there is a failure for Europe."  

She saw the crisis in Europe as primarily coming from a weakening of the European spirit.   "Some have kept their national egos, while it is only the European spirit that enables one to find the solutions together," she said.  

© AFP

Subject: French News

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