Archive for Friday, October 19, 2007

EU leaders settle on reform treaty

October 19, 2007

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— European Union leaders endorsed a reform treaty today to replace their failed European constitution and give the 27-nation union a more influential say in world affairs, diplomats said.

The new treaty will take effect in 2009 if it passes national parliamentary votes and referendums.

"With this new treaty, Europe has overcome an impasse that lasted for several years," said Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, who played host to the EU summit.

The pact aims to achieve the same thing as the constitution that collapsed in 2005 when it was rejected in French and Dutch referendums: to expand the union's global influence by translating its economic might into a bigger diplomatic punch.

It will do so though quicker decision-making, more majority voting, more powers for the EU and give the bloc more power to act on global issues such as defense, energy security, climate change and migration.

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