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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-06-14

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Draft EU constitution dominates Simitis-Schroeder meeting in Berlin
  • [02] FM Papandreou briefs President Stephanopoulos on foreign policy, EU

  • [01] Draft EU constitution dominates Simitis-Schroeder meeting in Berlin

    13/06/2003 23:40:19

    BERLIN (ANA/P. Stangos) -- The draft Constitution of the European Union has been the center of discussions here on Friday, between Greeces Prime Minister and current European Council President Costas Simitis and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

    The specific issue would dominate debate during the EU Thessaloniki Council, next weekend, in order to set a binding timetable for a prompt conclusion of the subsequent Intergovernmental Conference aiming at the endorsement of the EU Constitution also by the ten new member-states to fully enter the Union in May 2004. The current rationale envisages that the EU Constitution should be adopted before the Euroelections of June 2004.

    The key to achieving the specific target is to avert the likelihood of the Intergovernmental Conference re-opening deliberations on the draft Constitution. This means that the EUs 15 heads would have to accept the plan, to be presented to the EU Council by Convention on the Future of Europe President Valery Giscard d'Estaing.

    During a joint press conference after their meeting, Schroeder played down EU-US and specifically US-Germany problems which arose as a result of the Iraq war, while said that a joint defence initiative by four European nations (Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg) was an effort within NATO, envisaged to strengthen also the North Atlantic Alliance.

    Simitis clarified that the EU Thessaloniki Council is not to deal with the reform of the Unions Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

    According to reports, the German side has expressed support to Greek Presidency efforts to enhance EU policy on and relations with Western Balkans, recommending however that the Unions steps should move forward in a reserved pace.

    [02] FM Papandreou briefs President Stephanopoulos on foreign policy, EU issues

    13/06/2003 23:31:36

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Friday briefed President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos on foreign policy issues and matters concerning the European Union, which Greece currently chairs.

    During the one-hour meeting, Papandreou briefed the President on the agenda for the EU summit in Thessaloniki on June 19-21, which essentially marks the end of Greece's presidency of the EU in the first half of 2003. Stephanopoulos, who will also be at the summit, will be hosting a dinner in honour of the EU heads of state and government on Friday night, June 20.

    After the meeting, Papandreou told reporters he had outlined to Stephanopoulos the Greek EU presidency's targets for the summit.

    Replying to press questions on the Cyprus issue referring to his talks on Thursday with visiting US state department coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston, Papandreou said that the gist of Weston's comments was that far from having been forgotten, it was necessary to bring the Cyprus issue back to the international scene, adding that the prospects were auspitious given the momentum of Cyprus' EU accession.

    Papandreou reminded that Turkey's course to the EU required that it tackle the Cyprus problem, adding that Weston's message was the that the US consistently backed UN secretary general Kofi Annan's effort and proposal, and would act in coordination with the EU so that ''we may see a resolution of the Cyprus issue, soon''.


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