Poles Hang Tough on EU Constitution


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "New Warsaw Express"

Government leaders took the fight over the new EU constitution to Rome and Madrid this week, stressing that Poland would not give up its heavy-hitting voting power agreed under the treaty of Nice.
Poland and Spain are the main opposition to a change in the Nice agreement, which gave smaller countries more votes in Brussels' Council of Ministers than their population size would justify. The EU's bigger countries, with France and Germany leading the charge, want to switch back to a size-based system. But both Poland and Spain have taken an uncompromising line on the issue and appeared to gain support for their stand earlier this month from British foreign minister Jack Straw.
Under the Nice agreement, Poland (40 million inhabitants) will hold 27 votes in the new council of ministers – only two less than Germany (80 million). Speaking respectively in Rome and Madrid, President Aleksander Kwasniewski and Prime Minister Leszek Miller stressed the Nice provisions were crucial to Poland approving EU entry – and could not now be changed.
"I could close my eyes and agree to changes to the Nice agreement, but it wouldn't make any difference," Miller warned. "The fact is that without the system of weighted voting we have no chance of passing the EU accession treaty in Poland."
Diplomats from other countries say that progress has been made toward a compromise, although for once, the Polish government's line appears to be holding strong. The issue is due to be cleared up at December's EU summit.

STEVEN MULLER

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