"Professional" atmosphere at EU summit

22nd June 2007, Comments 0 comments

22 June 2007, BRUSSELS – Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende says the first day of the European summit in Brussels was characterised by an "extremely professional atmosphere." Just before midnight he said that the member states had all reiterated their standpoints on Thursday.

22 June 2007

BRUSSELS – Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende says the first day of the European summit in Brussels was characterised by an "extremely professional atmosphere." Just before midnight he said that the member states had all reiterated their standpoints on Thursday.

He said he found that many speakers had "the will to achieve results," but that it was still too early to really debate the issues. The summit will continue on Friday, first with bilateral talks between the member states and EU president Germany. The plenary session will resume after lunch.

Balkenende stressed to the gathering that the Netherlands is focused on three points for the new treaty: strengthening the role of national parliaments, clear criteria for EU enlargement, and the protection of specific Dutch services like housing corporations and health care.

The prime minister said that Poland was explicit on Thursday about its demand for more influence in EU voting. Balkenende said he thought Poland should focus on the future, rather than the past.

Poland held firm to its demands on Thursday, but Balkenende did not want to speculate on any compromises that may be made in order to satisfy Poland. "Anything said about that at the moment would just be speculation."

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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