Expatica news

PM seeks closer union links

26 November 2003

BRUSSELS – Speaking on an official visit to Berlin, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said Belgium should move towards greater cooperation with a smaller group of countries should negotiations on a European constitution fail.

In a speech at Humboldt University, the Prime Minister made it clear that Belgium should follow the example set by France and Germany by leaning towards alliances with a smaller group of countries.

Belgium seems intent on making its presence felt alongside France and Germany, as it did in its condemnation of the US-led military operation in Iraq.

Belgium has already been invited to take part in the next G5 meeting, where the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK will be cooperating on issues of immigration and criminality.

Verhofstadt held talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, with whom plans for the creation of a new European defence initiative were discussed.

The US administration has shown itself deeply sceptical of an EU-led military force and the impact it could have on the supremacy of Nato.

The German chancellor has been invited to attend a meeting of Belgium’s federal cabinet next year.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Belgian news