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Poland Stands Firm on Demand for EU Voting Reforms


Poland is refusing to drop its demand for reform of the European Union's voting system - a position that could derail this week's EU summit, aimed at reviving plans for a new European constitution.

At a meeting in Luxembourg Sunday of European foreign ministers, Poland's representative, Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga says she restated her country's formal objections. Poland insists the current (so-called "double majority") system is unfair because it gives more voting power to the biggest nations, such as Germany, at the expense of voting rights for small- and medium-sized EU members.

Poland says the EU must adopt what it says is a more equitable system based not on size but on population, so that citizens of all member states have equal voting rights. If the Poles' demands are ignored, they are threatening to veto any draft constitutional agreement at the crucial summit by heads of state, beginning in Luxembourg on Thursday.

The previous attempt at an EU constitution died in 2004 when Dutch and French voters rejected it in referendums.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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