France calls for less EU representatives at summits

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France's Secretary of State for European Affairs calls for tighter European representation at major world summits so the bloc will not appear ridiculous with eight or nine representatives.

La Granja -- France Wednesday called for tighter European representation at major world summits so the bloc did not appear "ridiculous".

"The question of the representation of Europe on a world scale (was) raised" after the UN climate summit in Copenhagen last month, said France's Secretary of State for European Affairs Pierre Lellouche.

"When you have a representative from India ... one from China ... and one from the United States, if you line them up with seven or eight European representatives it's not great for strengthening the position of the 500 million Europeans."

"We need to progressively arrive at a more concentrated position," he told AFP.

"In its representation abroad, Europe must be visible and not ridiculous with eight or nine representatives," he said.

He was speaking on the sidelines an informal meeting of EU affairs ministers in the Spanish town of La Granja outside Madrid.

He said the issue was brought up at the La Granja conference Wednesday, but it was up to European leaders to "take a decision".

Lellouche also regretted the absence of the Europe's new foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, at the meeting, organised by the Spanish rotating presidency of the EU.

He urged that the future conferences of EU affairs ministers be chaired by the new president of the European Union, Herman van Rompuy, and by Ashton.

AFP / Expatica

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