Sarkozy says ending EU crisis top priority

28th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 28, 2007 (AFP) - French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday that his first foreign policy goal if elected would be to wrench the European Union out of two years of institutional crisis.

PARIS, Feb 28, 2007 (AFP) - French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday that his first foreign policy goal if elected would be to wrench the European Union out of two years of institutional crisis.

"The most urgent priority of our foreign policy is to resolve the institutional crisis opened by the French and Dutch 'no' votes" rejecting the EU's draft constitution in 2005, Sarkozy told a press conference.

"There is nothing to be gained by allowing a European crisis to drag on," the interior minister and right-wing candidate for the April-May election told reporters in a wide-ranging speech on foreign policy.

"After half a century of European construction, we are united enough for none of our members to be able to act independently, but not enough to be able to act together."

"Most of the time we are spectators rather than actors, financiers than decision-makers."

Sarkozy repeated his call for a simplified, mini-treaty aimed at breaking decision-making gridlock in the 27-member bloc.

"This will not aim to reinvent political Europe, but to ensure that institutions that are no longer working can work once again. Time is running out if we do not want European construction to be definitively compromised."

Asked whether other European leaders backed his proposal, Sarkozy said that British Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, had "shown a great openness" towards the idea.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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