on his first visit to the European Commission on Wednesday, said: I
believe Turkey does not have its place in the EU and I haven't changed
replaced Jacques Chirac as president in the middle of May did not say
what France would do about ongoing EU membership negotiations with
Ankara which started in 2005.
He said his priority was the simplification of the EU's constitution treaty and that the groups was “making headway”.
said he was now campaigning to unblock the impasse of what to do with
the constitution – notably on getting EU leaders to accept a
scaled-back, simplified EU treaty passed, and doing away with the
current draft constitution.
need to move forward and a simplified treaty is the way forward …
Europe cannot remain at a standstill, we cannot remain in this relative
paralysis … we have to find a way out of this impasse,” he said.
The EU constitution was to have streamlined how the bloc makes decisions and bolster its role on the world stage.
needs the backing of all 27 EU nations for it to be ratified. French
and Dutch voters rejected it two years ago.
EU nations, such as France, Britain and the Netherlands are now keen to
drop more contentious parts of the draft – its name, the post of an EU
foreign minister and officially designated anthem and flag – to play
down public fears that a constitution would take away powers from
national capitals and create a European superstate.
Barroso agreed that a “consensus is forming around” a toned-down EU treaty to replace the draft constitution.
Sarkozy's visit to Brussels
was only his second trip abroad as president – and was seen as a signal
that the new French leader plans to take a more hands-on approach to France's European policy than Chirac did during his 12 years in office.
officials said Sarkozy wants a “simplified” treaty to replace the
current constitution, doing away with notions that the existing charter
is a “solemn text”, as a way to avoid the need for new referendums.
Tony Blair must be crossing his fingers, hoping that they get this done before he leaves office so he can be named as the first unelected European Commission President.