The outgoing president of the European Union says the damage from this week's failed budget talks is profound and has placed the 25-nation bloc in what he called 'deep crisis.'
Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who hands over the reins of the EU presidency to Britain on July 1, said Saturday, a lack of political will by several delegations doomed the budget deal. He pointedly said he would not attend British Prime Minister Tony Blair's address to the European Parliament Thursday laying out Britain's program for the European Union.
A defiant Prime Minister Blair emerged from the summit with London's prized multi-billion dollar annual budget rebate and calling more loudly for fundamental reform of the bloc's spending programs.
Diplomats say the leaders' failure to press forward with ratifying the proposed constitution and inability to agree on spending priorities threatens the very future of the decades old process of European integration.
Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.