Accessibility links

EU Leaders Seek Compromise With Poland, Britain on Treaty


European Union leaders are holding intensive talks for a second day aimed at breaking a deadlock with Britain and Poland over a new EU treaty.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country holds the six-month rotating EU presidency, met Friday with Polish President Lech Kaczynski in an effort to win a compromise.

Poland is demanding voting clout linked to each member's population in the 27-member European Union. Polish officials have argued that the country would have had greater voting power if its population had not been decimated in World War II.

Ms. Merkel also met Friday with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. His country objects to provisions that would make an EU Charter on Fundamental Rights binding on all members, because it includes a broadly defined right to strike.

Britain also opposes EU treaty reforms that it says might reduce London's control over its own judiciary and foreign policy.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has persuaded his counterparts to drop a reference in the treaty to "free and undistorted competition," in an effort to ease French voters' fears that the charter would not protect workers.

Mr. Sarkozy's spokesman said the French president also proposed a compromise that would give countries a mechanism to postpone EU decisions and force more negotiations.

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

XS
SM
MD
LG