Nice European Council : part of the history?

Posté mar 12/12/2000 - 00:00
Par admin

'The European conference in Nice is historic', announced Jacques Chirac after the last night of negociations. However, comments among the media were less enthusiastic.

The European conference in Nice 'will be part of the history as an important conference due to its impact and the complexity of problems solved' said Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic and serving chairman of the European Union. This declaration on Monday early morning, followed a night of fierce negociations, a night from Sunday to Monday, allowing the end of the longest European conference ever known.The agreement made is far from settling everything though. Thus, on the most sensitive point, the one of the re-establishment of the votes among Member Countries, during the votes within the European Council of ministers, Belgium, the most reluctant to French proposals, finally withdrew its veto. Belgium took the lead of the 'small' countries facing the 'large' ones whose interests were suspected to be better served by French proposals. However, the matter of the number of Member Countries within the European Commission, in the framework of a larger Europe beyond 25 members, will be another matter of negociations much later. This decision will have to be approved unanimously, as agreed. Jacques Chirac, during the press conference, also mentioned its hope for the Treaty to be ratified as soon as possible, in the 18 months to come.In Tuesday 12th December's press, comments are much more cautious though. It mentions a Treaty of a minimum importance, an agreement on the re-establishement of the votes, but very complicated to set up for the following reasons : the associated demographic proportions, the suppression of the veto concerning matters of a low importance, a postponement of the decision concerning the size of the European Commission. As a consequence, an 'after-Nice', the next meeting for a real institutional reform expected in 2004, will be determining. Nice, expected to be historic, may have to wait a little bit to be part of the history…

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