He wants a debate about the direction in which Europe is heading. It is a plan however that could lead to further clashes within the EU.
Tony Blair has been outlining his priorites now that Britain has taken over the bloc’s rotating presidency. He revealed social and welfare issues would be discussed at a special summit in October – something that could put the British prime minister on collision course once again with France’s President Chirac.
The pair last drew swords at a summit in June amid a spat over the EU’s future financing. That row was brought home to British tourists arriving in Calais, as French farmers staged a friendly protest in support of agricultural subsidies that Britain wants to review. They handed out French strawberries and other produce to the British visitors, in a bid to show the importance of the Common Agricultural Policy to European farming.
“The message is that France has good products and that it needs the CAP,” said organizer Joelle Hellebroid.
Tony Blair says he will try to oversee an EU budget deal. But he has admitted that he can’t offer any guarantees.