The EU’s Council of foreign affairs ministers has been meeting under the chairmanship of Britain’s Jack Straw, who says a British budget compromise will be ready for November. However cold water was quickly poured on the latest ideas from London on reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy taking place any time soon. France’s Phillipe Douste-Blazy said talks could only begin in 2010, for the EU’s next five-year budget, beginning in 2014. More problems facing Britain during its six-month presidency include enlargement. London is very pro-Turkey, but many other members are not. These include Austria, the next EU president. Austria’s finance minister on Monday called for Balkan candidates to join first. Straw said in Croatia’s case, that meant confronting war crimes issues sooner rather than later. A new poll in Europe suggests people share their leader’s reticence about Turkey. In the older EU members this feeling is the strongest, but even the latest members, the most pro-enlargement in general, are lukewarm, with less than 50 percent welcoming Turkey joining the EU club.
Straw flags UK budget compromise in Council