Sarkozy in diplomatic push for EU treaty

21st May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 21, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy told the president of the European parliament on Monday that he wants to move quickly to win approval from the 27 EU member-states on a treaty, a spokesman said.

PARIS, May 21, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy told the president of the European parliament on Monday that he wants to move quickly to win approval from the 27 EU member-states on a treaty, a spokesman said.

Sarkozy, who was beginning his first full week in office, met with Hans-Gert Pottering for more than an hour to discuss his proposal for a treaty to break the impasse created by the French and Dutch rejection of the EU constitution two years ago.

The new president "wants to move quickly and get a result as quickly as possible with extremely tight deadlines for all of the steps leading to the conclusion of what could be a simplified treaty," said presidential spokesman David Martinon.

Sarkozy has called for a simplified version of the constitution that would allow the EU institutions to function fully and which would be adopted by parliament and not by referendum.

The French rejection of the EU constitution in a referendum two years ago slammed the brakes on the bloc that has taken in 12 new countries since 2004.

Pottering, a German conservative who was elected to the presidency of the parliament in January, said he also wanted to move swiftly and noted that 18 EU countries have already adopted the constitution.

"We must now all come together with the aim of arriving at a solution that will ensure stability, and that is quickly resolved before the European elections of 2009," Pottering told journalists.

Sarkozy travels to Brussels on Wednesday for talks with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and is due to go to Madrid next week to meet with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

Spain became the first EU country to adopt the constitution by referendum in 2005.

On Wednesday, hours after his inauguration, Sarkozy flew to Berlin to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying he wanted to "get down to work immediately" on reviving a charter.

Merkel, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, wants to reach a political deal on a new constitutional treaty to be sealed at an EU summit in Brussels on June 21-22.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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