Accessibility links

Poland's President Says EU Reform Issues Being Resolved


Poland's President Lech Kaczynski sounded upbeat on a key institutional reform treaty that European Union members hope to approve next week. Lisa Bryant has more from Paris, where Mr. Kaczynski held meetings on the subject with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

European Union members have been worried that Poland would undermine a deal to streamline EU institutions that is considered critical for the 27-member block to function efficiently. On Friday, Warsaw threatened to block the treaty over concerns about voting rights.

But during a press conference in Paris, Polish President Lech Kaczynski struck a more positive tone.

Kaczynski said most of the outstanding problems blocking the accord have been largely fixed, and just a few details remain to be resolved. He praised the treaty as an "enormous progress" for Europe. Poland previously criticized voting rights provisions, but appeared to agree to concessions offered in June.

If passed, the reform treaty would offer a number of changes in the way the European Union functions. That includes lengthening the term of the president of the European Council, representing member governments, from six months to two years.

The European Commission - the EU executive branch - would be trimmed, and the treaty stipulates the naming of a formal representative for foreign and security policy.

But the treaty is far less ambitious than the constitution EU members drafted a few years ago. That accord was blocked after French and Dutch voters rejected it in referendums, in 2005.

EU members are expected to finalize this new treaty during a summit in Lisbon on October 18 and 19. Even if it is passed, each individual nation must ratify the accord.

XS
SM
MD
LG