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Barroso urges EU leaders to strike deal on new treaty

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso urged on Tuesday leaders from all European Union (EU) member states, who will gather in Brussels for a two- day summit, to strike a deal on a new EU treaty replacing vetoed EU Constitution.

„We should not leave Brussels before we get a deal,” Barroso told a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg of France. On Thursday and Friday in Brussels, leaders from 27 EU member states will debate a compromise document that the EU's German presidency plans to put to the summit. German chancellor Angela Merkel hopes to unveil to the public the outlines of a new treaty to replace the bloc's failed constitution -- a feat which, if successful, would end a two-year political impasse. „Please don't miss this opportunity. Please don't undermine all the progress that has been achieved so far. We have a real opportunity for a deal,” Barroso said. „Failure will set back our work across the board...There will only be losers in Europe,” he added. He noted that while there is still a „way to go” for decisions to be reached, a solution is possible. Barroso said there are „real reasons” why the bloc's needs more treaty reform -- namely „more efficiency, more accountability and more coherence in external affairs.”

However, Merkel's version of the treaty has met with opposition from Britain, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Poland. Those countries are far less attached to the old EU constitution, which was rejected in referendums in France and the Netherlands two years ago. They are standing fast on issues such as the powers of any future EU foreign minister and the Charter of Fundamental rights, how much control Brussels should have over national affairs and the way votes are shared among countries.
Poland is adamant that voting powers allocated to each state should be based on the square root of their population. Britain refuses to accept broad powers for any future foreign minister. (people.com.cn)